Re: Is smoking bad for my bees?
Originally Posted by WLC
Apple Cider Vinegar = Acetic Acid
Acetic Acid is like Formic Acid, only slightly weaker.
Acetic action dissolves the chitin of exoskeletons. If they're running, they're running because you are literally HURTING them. Whether or not it's because you're killing them, I'm not sure.
I hear that you can use Acetic Acid to disinfect comb and equipment WITHOUT any brood or bees in it to disinfect it of nosema, but that's a different story altogether.
If you REALLY need an alternative, there's sugar drench or liquid smoke. I have both in my arsenal, but you have to known when to use what. The sugar drench, with lots of lemongrass and peppermint and thyme, is good for them and delicious, but it causes clumping, and is not effective at all at removing bees from the top bars. In fact, they'll clump up there drinking it. You can bee brush them from there or liquid smoke them. But I always have that smoker lit and ready!
And yes, they eat honey when you smoke them, but it goes in their honey stomach, where it is not automatically digested. They return it to the frame when they discover they don't need it.
4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!