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  1. #1

    Default The Barefoot Beekeeper

    I am just learning about natural beeekeeping and top bar hives. I have just read and review The Barefoot Beekeeper. Is that a popular book in the States or just the UK.

    Anyhow ... I am wondering, what would happen if I opened my Langstroth hive without using smoke? Any experience anyone?

    Thanks,

    Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: The Barefoot Beekeeper

    Well, I use TBHs, but have never used a smoker. I would think it depends on the temperament of your bees, your confidence level, your willingness to be stung, how much you suit up, etc. I have very forgiving bees. I was so afraid when I first started, I dropped the queen cage twice, let bars slip out of my hands and crash back down into place, etc. Bees would fly out a bit to put me on notice, but they always went back to their business immediately. One of my hives still revs up like a jet engine when I pull out a few bars, but they always cut me some slack. Just haven't ever felt the need to smoke the bees.

    Sondra

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: The Barefoot Beekeeper

    Sondra, where did you get your bees? Some of mine are from the Weavers and some from Honeybeegenetics and they will not tolerate fooling around, period. If I am smoking, careful and smooth I can work them easily, slam bang a bit and I become VERY unwelcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Wash Co., Ohio
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: The Barefoot Beekeeper

    Depends on the day, the bees, etc.
    I have had to open without smoke before, and most of the time, if you're smooth about it, they're fine and hardly notice you. There are days however that it hasnt worked so well.
    Mind, I usually use a puff or two, but sometimes I'm out, or forgot, or lazy...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: The Barefoot Beekeeper

    Dear July:

    Both of my hives are from B Weaver in Navasota. Really nice hives so far, and great temperaments for a newbee. Just requeened one of the hives (with a B Weaver queen), and hope she's nice. Next time, will try to help the girls raise their own queen, but I was out of time this time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: The Barefoot Beekeeper

    I have langs and I've never used smoke.

    What happens (with my hives) is nothing much. The bees keep doing there thing. Maybe a couple take off and fly away. Thats about it. I understand not all hives are this way but I personally have never used smoke and I haven't worn a veil since the very first day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: The Barefoot Beekeeper

    There are tons of threads here about the use of smoke. From what I can see, most of the people by far who don't use smoke are new to beekeeping. Most of the people with more experience have seen times when the bees get nasty, and know it's good to have on hand and know how to use it.

    My advice is this: First learn how to use it, and give yourself enough time with the bees to learn to read them well. To me, that's a few seasons. Assume that the last couple hundred years of beekeeping with a smoker had a point, and learn to light a smoker and keep it lit through your inspections. Then make your decisions on when to use smoke or not.

    There are just too many examples of people getting a shock when the bees turn nasty and are still stinging them 50 yards from the hive. Really nasty bees can do you some damage in short order. It's easy to be "the bee whisperer" when they're gentle. But are you prepared to handle them when they get really ugly?

    Adam

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