Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
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
I have a smoker, but don't often use it. Most times in my Warre and TBHs the bees don't even notice that I'm there. I occasionally get a bee giving me a head butt. Can't say that it's a reflection of the hive or the bees.

One nice thing about TBHs is that you can inspect them with little interference to the hive, especially if you aren't doing a complete brood inspection. This is mostly due to the fact that you can leave their roof mostly intact. Inspect one bar and slide it over to the other bar and so on. So at any given time you only have so much exposed. In Vertical hives (both Lang and Warre) you lift the cover off and everybody is exposed. This is made worse if you remove a box. Everybody can be airborne in little time.