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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Gloucester, Virginia
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Going back to OP. I only put an quick puff of smoke at the entrance and across the top of the frames or top bars (depending on which hive). I smoke my hands A LOT! For me the smoker is mostly for the beekeeper not the bees.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    We have been happily using a smoker with our bees for the past year (our first as beekeepers), but a rather unique set of events have forced us to consider not one.

    We have an opportunity to move our bees to a nearby rooftop farm here in East Vancouver. The problem is it is a wood structure with a tar and gravel roof and the insurer (having seen some of the wonderful stories and pictures posted of mis-shaps involving smokers) is not willing to provide insurance unless we let promise to leave this item on the ground. Hard to blame him, really.

    So two questions:

    1. Is there any alternative to a smoker - besides occasionally running in fear??
    2. Is there any such thing a non-combustible smoker? I am laughing at myself as I write this - best oxymoron ever!!

    I feel I already no the answer to these questions (no and no), but knowing for certain would be a big help!

    Thanks much!

    Bryce
    Projects In Place Society

    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

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,887

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    > Is there any such thing a non-combustible smoker?

    Depends on the insurer's perspective. Try this out on them :

    http://www.beezsmoker.com/



    Yes, it uses a rechargable battery to heat an element.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,838

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Is there a product in the US called liquid smoke, or similar, that does not burn?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,665

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Sure.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Much appreciated.

    There were some comments that the liquid smoke affects the color of the honey and can even be hazardous to human health. Is anyone aware if this is the case?

    Thanks again for all help.

    Bryce

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    i don't know about it's effects on honey, but liquid smoke is a food additive that folks consume all the time and they don't seem to be dying at any alarming rate.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Morrison, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    There's one use for a smoker that I don't think sugar water or liquid smoke would duplicate. When you pick up a box to look up inside it (I don't have observation windows on my warres) to see if it's time to nadir your new install yet, there will likely bee some bees on the rim of the box below. You can brush them off, or crush them, but a light puff of smoke across the bars, and they are gone making it safe to set the other box back down.

    Even with minimalist inspections, there will be a time that you have to pick a box up and set it back down. Smoke is very useful here. I also find Warres much easier to work with two people, similar to the beekeeper/assistant setup in beekeeping for all. Particularly when nadiring boxes. My wife gives the bees a puff of smoke in the entrance, we wait a few seconds, then I pick up the stack of boxes, she takes a peek up into the bottom box, puffs some smoke on the bottom board to move the bees out of the way, sets a new box on the bottom board puffs a bit of smoke at the bottom of the stack that I am holding and helps me position the stack as I lower it onto the new box.

    Smoke is pretty critical to not crushing lots of bees in my experience.


  9. #69
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Lakeland, Florida
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: do i need a smoker?

    Been reading thru this and some of the comments are halarious!
    as a newbie.....I think a smoker is a must have tool.

    Got a question regarding the usage tho. Hive is open.....bee's are climbing up on top of the frames either looking or maybe even a few eating on a few drops of honey. When I smoke to get them back down in the box....and you hear that loud "HSSSSSSSSSSSS"

    Does that mean too much smoke or they just dont like it and just too bad??? (seems like if its just a light smoking...they ignore it and it takes a heavier "cloud" to get them moving)

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