Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default how long does it take hive to recover from smoking

    Nah, my girls haven't taken up toking, but this topic did come up on our local beekeeping forum and I wanted to get some more data from folks here. I had heard from various beeks (both here in the forums and via email exchanges) that it can take a hive a few days to recover from being smoked, but I was scoffed at by a couple local beeks who said they recover in about 15 minutes, and besides, it's better to smoke them than have them send out the alarm pheremone, which would disrupt the hive MORE than being smoked (which is what one person said, who co-teaches the local class).

    I tried doing a search of the forums, but when I put in "smoking bees" I got every single thread ever posted, because it isolated "bees" in addition to "smoking." :-) Too much to read through.

    Does anyone have an actual timeframe? And I know it depends on the weather, the nectar flow, etc. But I try not to smoke my hives unless absolutely necessary in order to have less disruption. Some of the newbees from the class this past Spring are going into their hives every 3-4 days (and smoking them), which to me seems excessive. There's been a lot of supercedure of queens too, and I can't help but wonder if they're not related.

    Thanks...
    jules

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Arlington, TX, USA
    Posts
    453

    Default

    I go into my hives at MOST once a week. I usually try to stay away for longer, but c'mon, its a hobby that just makes you want to be active.

    I tried not smoking a couple of times and it was not a fun experience with one of my two hives. In my observations when I smoke they will run down into the hive, or to another part of the hive (mine are long hives that are about three normal hives in length). After a few minutes, when the smoke is gone, they are rushing back to the tops of the frames again. So really I don't see much disruption at all.

    I do not recommend smoking the bees off of a frame though, unless of course you are taking it to be extracted. If you smoke them off of a frame of brood / eggs you'll disrupt them a lot and potentially kill the offspring.

    Doug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    I don't know when you go into your hives but if you do during the day, most of the foragers will be out of the hive so when people say it sets a hive back that doesn't make much sense. The nurse bees will move into cells with nectar or honey to start to feed. When the air clears from the hive they will return to their duties. This is why you don't want to over smoke, just use enough to keep things calm. Also you smoke and then go through the hive. By the time you are finished the air should be smoke free so when you close it back up they will be back to normal pretty quick.

    As to your statement "here's been a lot of supercedure of queens too" I would look for a new queen supplier if thats the case, I doubt it has anything to do with using smoke.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    "Some of the newbees from the class this past Spring are going into their hives every 3-4 days (and smoking them), which to me seems excessive. There's been a lot of supercedure of queens too, and I can't help but wonder if they're not related."

    Every 3-4 days and smoking them for 'newbees' would not be excessive [not good; but not excessive] as long as this wouldn't continue, let's say, after the third week of installation or set up and certainly not all spring or summer long . Not much changes in the new colonies until 21-25 days later when young bees are emerging. New beekeepers may spot something that needs early correction. Most books, classes, mentors/teachers usually say not to go into the hives 'too much' but for new beekeepers, an understanding 'exception' is allowed. As far as supercedure, hives that have not been inspected/smoked too frequently would have to be 'in the mix',.. [a mini-course in the 'scientific method',.. ]

    A functional observation hive [not just for display] would have to be smoked lightly and observations made for signs of 'disruption'; queen stops laying, bees are agitated/disoriented, normal hive activities seem to be disorganized,..etc. I don't know of any scientific research that shows that a hive is disrupted for more than 1-2 hours. We certainly 'hope' this is the case. From the outside of the hives, they seem to go back to normal activity after 15-20 minutes or so, from my observations. Sometimes a few bees are fanning at the entrances for awhile, even on relatively cool days
    Last edited by Oldbee; 05-28-2009 at 11:17 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    I usually recover within a few minutes. But I smell like it the whole day...

    Oh...the bees...I get as much as they do, but I'd guess they recover within an hour. If i try to go back in the hive 15 minutes after the last smoking, they're recovered!!

    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default

    I do not know if our manipulations/inspections have any significant impact on the bees, unless, of course, we make significant changes, such as reordering combs, removing the queen, adding empty frames, etc.

    My primary reason for keeping bees is simply to enable me to observe the inner workings of the hive, whenever the mood strikes. Since the late 1960's the mood keeps striking almost every day. Presently I feel the need to examine the inner workings of a hive several times per day, and several times per week, I even do it at night. If this has caused any overt deleterious consequences, it has never been noticeable.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    cleveland, oh, usa
    Posts
    160

    Default search

    Try using the google search on beesource.com, I put in "smoking bees" and got hits on that exact phrase.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default

    The best advice I ever got was to puff a little smoke in the entrance and under the top, and then go get my veil on. By the time you get back, the smoke has made its way throughout the hive, all the girls are sucking up honey, and all is calm--- I rarely need to use any more smoke, unless I'm in there messing around for quite awhile.

    Definitely no lasting impact when done this way. Recovery seems to be within minutes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default smoking clarification...

    thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned that one of the newbees in question was talking about looking in her hives ever 3/4 days NOW, 2 months after installation. Not in the beginning. Sorry. Hmmmmm, I even read on this list someone saying "takes a couple days for the hive to recover" so I wondered about that. I suppose in the overall order of things, if the bees suck up honey (and break cappings to do so?) it would take longer than 15 minutes to fix that. I dunno. I'm no scientist, but I was wondering how often might be TOO often to smoke a hive. And yes, some hives NEED to be smoked to look at. I have one like that. But I also learned over the years to move verrrrrrrry slowly and deliberately, and as long as it's not a cool/overcast/very windy day, and it's not that particular pissy hive (must requeen that sucker) the bees are usually just fine. Of course, we don't have AHBs in our area!

    Thanks for the key phrase search, thelorax. I'll try that instead.

    It should be noted that the supercedures are from several suppliers, and usually involve the queens included in the package bees. The class uses one supplier, and a commercial beek uses another, and both have had issues with supercedure.

    jules

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    197

    Default Supercedure

    julesbeek- I have a friend that also had issues with bees superceding package queens.

    I get my bees from swarms and cut-outs and will re-queen if nasty. I have a hive that was requeened with a nice carni and it was just not building up and was a kind of dog.

    Last week I see that she was superceded.

    In short I have been told that bees will ofter raise their own queen, especially if they feel something is not quite right with her.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Depends on what they was a smokin:



    hehehehhehe
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    Proper use of smoke will disrupt a hive very little. Just a small puff or two at the entrance and then an occasional wafting of smoke across the top of the bars is all I use. The only exception is when I get into one that is exceptionally aggressive. Then it may take a little more, but not too much. I had my sister helping me for the first time the other day. I needed to peek into the bottom deep of a hive that I suspected was queenless, so not even thinking, I asked her to smoke them a little as I lifted up the top deep. Well, she really smoke the devil out of them and they started pouring out all over the outside of the hive. I ended up putting them back together and leaving the "peeking" for another day. My point is, that you can definitely disrupt them in a significant way if you overdue it.
    Last edited by Gene Weitzel; 05-28-2009 at 06:00 PM.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Newport, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default

    I don't use much smoke. I typically tip up the outer cover and do a single puff, put it back down and then wait a minute or two. I find that I don't need to smoke the entrance. As I work my down through the supers, I may do a puff once in a while if I have lots of bees working their way up to the top of the frames.

    When I put things back together, sometimes I need to use a puff of smoke on a super before I pick it back up to put back in place.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default

    I have been told by older beeks, when asked, that I need to get in frequently as a newbee to learn. But, if I get in too often over time they may very well ball the queen and make a new one (seems she gets the blame). This opinion varies somewhat. I have also been informed that the hive may take two to three days to recover from my manipulations and only a short time from smoking and just peeking in real quick.

    I have my smoker lit and with me when I'm checking them. Their attitude can vary and if the guard bees seem a little 'twitchy', I smoke them a little. I usually watch the entrances for a little while before getting into them anyway. Since I am in the middle of town I've gotten real sensitive about their reactions and moods and if need be walk away til another day.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    What are you guys using for smoker fuel? I've tried the pellets from suppliers (which was on the porch and now has a wren nest on top) and burlap from the fabric store and I can't seem to keep my smoker lit long enough for the bees to get much! The burlap stays lit better, but often when I finish one hive and go to the next, the smoker is out ...again. It's not like I'm using much smoke, either. On my big hives, they don't even seem to notice the smoke and they go everywhere I've lifted, and it's impossible to replace a super without squashing, which I don't even like to do to spiders, much less my little darlings. Bee brush doesn't seem to help much, every spot cleared, more just move on. I'm thinking of splitting a few just to avoid that, but I like that nice strong hives seem to take care of most problems on their own and don't suffer in winters. And of course there's the expense of more hives and more time opening everyone up. But I digress. Why aren't these bees heading for honey when they smell the smoke? And how do you keep lit? I have started fire on newspaper, then put material over that, which helps a little.
    __________
    Terri

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Jonesboro, AR
    Posts
    215

    Default

    I was wondering if we could use charcoal and if it would hurt the bees?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    67

    Default Pine hamster litter for smoker fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by terri lynn View Post
    What are you guys using for smoker fuel?
    My kids have a hamster, and I was out in the garage looking for something to use in the smoker, when I spotted a bag of pine hamster litter (pine shavings). It's easy to find at a pet store, and it's cheap. It proved to be the answer to all my smoker needs. I have smoker fuel from Dadant that I don't even bother with anymore.

    I only have 1 hive so I only need to keep it lit for 15-20 mins top. Here is how I do it, and it works perfectly every time for me.

    Drop a medium to small handful of litter in the bottom, lightly wad a single sheet of medium sized news paper type flyer that you probably get tons of in the mail and light it. When its burning push it in to the smoker and pump the smoker a few times to get the flame going pretty good. Then throw another medium to small hand full of litter on top of the flame. It'll start smoldering, so quickly shut the door, and pump it to feed it oxygen. Cool thick white smoke should start pouring out. It will easily last long enough to do 1 hive inspection. I'm sure you could just use more litter if you need it to burn longer.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by terri lynn View Post
    What are you guys using for smoker fuel?
    I use twine, burlap, pine needles, heating pellets, compressed cotton fiber - depending on what I'm doing and how long I am going to need smoke.


    Quote Originally Posted by terri lynn View Post
    I've tried the pellets from suppliers (which was on the porch and now has a wren nest on top) and burlap from the fabric store and I can't seem to keep my smoker lit long enough for the bees to get much! The burlap stays lit better, but often when I finish one hive and go to the next, the smoker is out ...again. It's not like I'm using much smoke, either. On my big hives, they don't even seem to notice the smoke and they go everywhere I've lifted, and it's impossible to replace a super without squashing, which I don't even like to do to spiders, much less my little darlings. Bee brush doesn't seem to help much, every spot cleared, more just move on. I'm thinking of splitting a few just to avoid that, but I like that nice strong hives seem to take care of most problems on their own and don't suffer in winters. And of course there's the expense of more hives and more time opening everyone up. But I digress. Why aren't these bees heading for honey when they smell the smoke? And how do you keep lit? I have started fire on newspaper, then put material over that, which helps a little.
    Does your smoker go out with unburned fuel still in it, or does it burn it all up and go out? If the former, is there a small tray in the bottom to allow air to get below the fire for ventilation? Otherwise, the fire can easily smother. Every smoker I've had came with the tray. It can sometimes fall out, when you empty the smoker and then you don't realize it's not there anymore, which is why I ask. Also, make sure the top is not all clogged up with accumulated soot on the inside so that the hole is too small.

    I use a small piece of newspaper to start, then either pine needles or twine, then burlap or pellets or cotton fiber, depending on what I have on hand and how long I think I'll be in the yard. Whatever you use, be sure it is not treated with rodenticide or pesticide, because that can be a problem, when you burn it.

    To get the bees away from the edges just blow smoke on them. They will scurry back down inside. If your bees are not moving, when you smoke them, they are either high, or you are not using enough smoke.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default

    there are several studies that show some types of smoke actually kills bees.. indication none if it is good. It also causes gourging on honey, which takes time to replace,,, I belive it sets them back several hours at least, so i USUALY only use the smoker late in the day. lots of inspections without a smoker, just sugar water...

    I have also found thet FISCHERS bee quick on a papertowl in an old smoker works very well. instead of gourging on honey they start fanning..... works FANTASTIC on cutouts..... I put it in my bee vac filter and blow the exaust into the hive...... last cutout got NO stings.....

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default

    A couple of the guys in my club just use water in a spray bottle.
    They swear by it.
    Dan

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads