I live in the mountains of Colorado and am new to beekeeping. I live in a high fire danger area where dropping a smoker could have some serious consequences. So far I have been able to get by without using a smoker while inspecting my hives but I know that will probably not be the case later this summer as the bees become more protective of the hive. Fire restrictions will most likely go into effect later this summer and I will not legally be able nor want to chance using a smoker as embers can come out of the top and bellows area of the smoker.
Are there any alternatives to the conventional smoker? Last weekend I used a spray bottles and sprayed the top of the hive with a light mist of water that encouraged the bees to move down in the hive as I put the feeder back on but it did nothing for the bees buzzing around the hive.
I was hoping there is something that is not harmful to the bees or the environment similar to a smoker but does not have the risk of starting a raging wildfire.
Thanks for any input. -Jack