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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Do you Smoke your bees?

    My installation of two packages last weekend, ended up to be a "real cluster"! The only good thing seemed to be how tame the bees were. When I do my inspections, do you think its necessary to use smoke if they continue to be so calm? With only two hives, it will take me longer to get the smoker going than it will take me to do the inspections and refill the top feeders.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,199

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    the bees will let you know when smoke is needed. as their numbers increase so will their defense nature.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,791

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    As beeware10 implied, listen to your bees. They will tell you what you can get away with. Have your smoker lit and at hand. If you don't have it, when the bees tell you that you should have used it, it will be too late.

    To me, a Beekeeper w/out a smoker is like a Carpenter w/out a hammer. You don't always have to use it, but if you don't have it, and have it lit, you can't use it. You need to learn how to use your smoker. How to light it and keep it lit. How to use smoke when working your bees. How much is too little and too much. It takes practice.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    I agree with sqkcrk. A smoker is an invaluable tool when used properly and I won't open a hive without having one ready. Using your smoker properly is very much a learned skill. A lot of new beekeepers use too much smoke. It does not take much to calm them down. I would advise finding an experienced beekeeper in your area that might be willing to let you work hives with them. A good mentor is one of the best resources a new beekeeper can have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    I've never found it necessary to have a smoker when installing packages. I always have the smoker lit and ready when inspecting hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    I think a beginner is wisest to use smoke consistently for two reasons:

    1 - You have it when you need it, and you learn to recognize those occasions.

    2 - You get good at lighting one and keeping one lit along the way.

    After a while, you really know how to use smoke, and can then make wiser decisions on when it's not necessary. Start by learning to use it well; then decide when not to use it.

    How would you rather run into your first nasty hive? - with a smoker lit, or without one?


    Adam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    Thank you for all the good advice. I have not met any other beekeepers in my area, but will be attending a Bee Equipment Auction on Saturday, so I should be able to find some experienced people there. I bought 5 bags of smoker fuel/cotton from Mann Lake and will practice lighting it on Friday.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    900

    Smile Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    "Do you Smoke your bees? "

    Now that was a new one to me - never tried. Givin' up smoking 25 years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Do you Smoke your bees?

    I figured that comment would be the first one I received.........
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-18-2012 at 09:10 AM.

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