Urban Beekeeping Article
This nice article appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer today, and features several local beekers and Beesource members...
Caption under photo: Beekeeper Elka Harabin uses smoke to calm the bees before opening their box to feed the hive seven pounds of sugar dissolved in water.
First: I never thought that smoke calms them... it gets them excited moving them back into the hive and they fill up with honey, which BTW when they do fill up they can not sting, or so I was taugh back in the 60's and 70's. I know if it calmed them-- then why would they get their wings going and move back into the hive?
Second thing I don't understand: She smokes them to open and feed them sugar water. If she is opening them up to feed them sugar syrup, then she has a top feeder so where is she smoking and why? Looks to me that she is smoking the front and I don't see any top feeder... I never smoke the front if I am going in the top... but then this year I never used a smoker. I do know some smoke the front before going in. I never did though.
Thanks for the article.
Regarding urban/residential beekeeping--- anyone had any experience dealing with city municipal codes that are less than bee-friendly? Out here in SoCal there are a number of cities with strict limitations, including space requirements that pretty much rule out a typical San Fernando Valley tract home.
I'm fortunate enough to be on a ranch in an unincorporated area, so it's not an issue for me personally. But I'm trying to help some friends who might be interested. Any advice?
regarding the goofy caption--- I've worked with reporters before. Many times they write the captions, many times the page editor writes the captions, and much of the time neither has any idea what they're talking about.
I was with a photographer once while doing a story of a rat infestation. He took a picture of the only rat we could find, which was quite dead. The caption the next day, written by the page editor, read: "A rat scurries across the lawn of (name of neighborhood withheld)."
Working with reporters is oftentimes harder than it would seem. Reporters have a limited amount of time, and an extremely limited attention span. You're trying to teach them something, which they may or may not actually be interested in, while they're distracted with their job. Sometimes, instead of reporting news, they're trying to expose a certain "angle", and it's impossible to get them to turn loose of a preconceived notion they have.
When dealing with reporters, I call it a win when, while the facts might not be exactly right, they don't print anything detrimental about honeybees.
I've had experiences with reporters and you're right, they just want the story and what willl capture the readers attention. Everyone expects beekeepers to use a smoker. If we didn't it would be like a fireman without his hose!
I was on the front page of our local rag er..paper, sorry, a few months ago saving the city from thousands of swarming bees! And I too was miss quoted but they had a front page story. My husband was in the paper a week or two ago and the photo was posed, it was made to look like the reporter "caught" them working. But my feeling is any positive reports on beekeeeping are o-kay with me even if we are miss quoted (the stuff that really doesn't matter)and the picture is posed. Nice story!
smoke can calm them in the fact that alarm pheromone perception in honey bees is decreased by smoke. A reduction in peripheral sensitivity appears to be one component of the mechanism by which smoke reduces nest defense behavior of honey bees.
Originally Posted by Eaglerock
>She smokes them to open and feed them sugar water. If she is opening them up to feed them sugar syrup, then she has a top feeder so where is she smoking and why? <
Seven pounds may equal one or two frame feeders wouldn't it? I don't have them so I don't know. I do know you have to open the hive to fill them.
Last edited by notaclue; 09-11-2008 at 10:07 PM.
I feel the smoke agitates the individuals but calms the superorganism.