Do you smoke them when winter feeding?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Stockholm, NJ, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    Today, it was rainy but mild, in the low 60's. I took this opportunity to feed them bee patties. I was relieved that there is a good amount of bees in 3 of my 4 hives. Nevertheless, when I opened the hive, they attacked. They were eating the dry sugar I put on top of the inner cover. I thought winter subdue them, but these girls were kind of vicious.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,050

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    Actually, they are worse when there is no flow (dearth, winter) because they protect the stores. I would smoke them when it's in the low 60s. Smoke pisses them off when it is in the 40s.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,521

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    A lot of people do not use smoke when adding sugar, but I always give them at least one quick shot across the bow when pulling off the cover. It's temporary confusion, until you can finish up with what you are doing. Otherwise the guards bees will fulfill their duty. It doesn't take them long to settle back down after you button things back up. I guess it depends on your bees temperament too. Some bees might be more docile and don't need it, most of mine do.
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    718

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    Seems like I've read here that smoke is useless below 50 or 55 degrees. Haven't tested that. Either way, I use it and it helps clear a bunch of bees from where I want to put a sugar brick. My bees are nice enough that if I'm careful and gentle at opening the lids, they mostly ignore me (unless I decide to take a frame out).
    Try it. What could happen?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    I've smoked in high 40's when feeding, better than getting stung, it works.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    It's still warm inside the hive even though it's winter outside. Winter doesn't slow them down a bit when it comes to guard duty.
    Especially when the have nothing else to do.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    The bees in one of my hives were not happy on Friday when I opened them up to add/replenish sugar block…about 15 or 20 went for my hands and veil…they quickly settled down though once the bricks were down...if they only knew I was there to help…! LOL
    4th year - 8 hives

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,777

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    No

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    5,183

    Default Re: Do you smoke them when winter feeding?

    Odd. I've added pollen sub to the mt camp sugar on all of my hives in the last two days and they are all extremely docile. I do smoke to move them around.

    No loses so far BTW. A few have built a bit of comb under the sugar dome oddly enough. I've seen that before but not this early I think.

    I'm feeding right on the top bars and all hives are using it despite some still being quite heavy - so maybe easy access to feed helps their disposition?
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

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