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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    96

    Default do i need a smoker?

    Just starting this year and will be installing a package into a new warre hive? I have a veil, jacket, hive tool and brush. Do I really need a smoker, or can I get by with just a hand sprayer when working with my warre?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,069

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    There will come a time when you wished you had one. No flow... nothing for the bees to do but hang around and bee grumpy, and you have some serious manipulation to do.....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Smokers are cheap enough and unless I've missed something there arent really any downsides to using one. Well some people have a problem keeping it lit but I've never really had an issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    During my first year I very rarely used a smoker but there were times when I was VERY glad I had it. Get a smoker, it's a good insurance policy to have....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Quote Originally Posted by bnm1000 View Post
    Just starting this year and will be installing a package into a new warre hive? I have a veil, jacket, hive tool and brush. Do I really need a smoker, or can I get by with just a hand sprayer when working with my warre?

    Not if you like running a lot


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Red Bluff, CA, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Buy a smoker. It is a small investment and if you're serious about keeping bees, you'll need it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    It will pay for itself the 1st day they are in a bad mood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Invest in a decent smoker, or in an EXCELLENT veil+suit. I opted for the veil+suit myself, but I also threw together a "tin-can smoker" to use whenever my nerves start getting the better of me & it's time to calm down some bees during a cut-out

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Rocky Point NC
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    It's actually better for the bees even if they are very gentle. The smoke will go away and the bees can return to normal sooner than the alarm pheremone will leave the hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    You don't NEED a smoker. You WANT a smoker.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fayette, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    You don't NEED a smoker. You WANT a smoker.
    Couldn't have said it better. I have made the mistake...once, of not using my smoker. It's the only time I had to run away from the hive. They chased me all the way around to the front of my house, over 250 feet and AROUND it. IMHO, get a smoker.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    As much as I like a smoker (and you should have one) I don't use them for package installs. The bees need to smell the pheromones to get organized and they are basically a swarm with nothing to defend.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 134 View Post
    Not if you like running a lot
    I don't run, but I can walk very smartly!
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    I did a MASSIVE cut-out last night; forgot my smoker in the garage on my way out... Turned out to be a MEAN hive, AND the biggest feral hive I've ever seen! My wife and I are both VERY sore now; should've brought the dang smoker!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,020

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Don't get one. It's much better to let the bees get worked up angry and upset when you open the hive, boil up all over everything so you end up crushing lots of them to death, and get the crap stung out of you.

    That's unless it's a good day, but not every day is a good day.

    I have seen the "I never use a smoker it's so much better for the bees" type statements, although I've never had it explained why this is better for the bees. It's also noticeable that these statements usually come from someone with very little practicle experience, and for obvious reasons. Once they have experienced a smoker they discover how much better it is for the bees.

    Just, as has been said, don't use a smoker when installing a package or a swarm. The rest of the time, use one.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bow, NH, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    When I first started, I had read that you don't need a smoker. That philosophy ended quickly after my first inspection.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Great - Thanks everyone. I will get one. Probably won't use it for the install, but will make sure I will practice with it before the bees arrive!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,020

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Straight up, the "I don't use a smoker" thing started happening a few years ago after a film came out, it was a cartoon about a beehive, and the beekeeper was this big evil guy with a smoker, who took their honey. Can't remember what the film was called maybe someone can.

    Anyway that's where this no smoker stuff came from, a cartoon. Combine that with little experience, and new age philosophies, and you get smoker = bad.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,374

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    it was a cartoon about a beehive, and the beekeeper was this big evil guy with a smoker, who took their honey.
    It sounds like you may be referring to "Bee Movie":
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_Movie
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    I started out back in 1981 with the advice that "smoke only made the bees madder." I had a heavy suit that was hotter than an oven. I had a pair of welding gloves and after opening a hive, the bees kept flying at me pinging my veil and swirling around my entire body. I had to walk around in that hot suit for about fifteen minutes until they finally left me alone.

    Despite this advice coming from a respected mentor, I quietly purchased a smoker and have never regretted it. I've also not forgiven this mentor who has long since died.

    Yes, get a smoker.

    And as an aside, I had a call from someone who wanted to get a top bar hive. When I asked why they wanted a top bar hive, they responded, "Because I was told you don't have to use smoke."

    I gently suggested they get a smoker. I didn't even want to know who filled their heads with such nonsense.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

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