On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Arp, Texas, USA
    Posts
    98

    Default On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    This particular hive was swarm arrived Easter morning. Always tried to go in at the top of the trap, so I assume feral.
    Any smoke on their hive makes them come boiling out aggressive.
    They are not aggressive at other times - just when the smoke is around them.

    Not my other swarm or other 2 hives.
    Smoke lightly and they are just nice as they can be / should be.
    Smoker not hot - don't smoke heavily.
    Yes, I'm new.

    It is not so important to try to figure out their mindset - bees don't read the books.

    But what are my options to use for inspections or additions to this hive if I can't use smoke ???

    Read sugar syrup + water can help, but I'm in Texas and heat can make it dry fast and mess up wings.
    Besides, if I spray that into the entrance first like wafting smoke, think other bees might want to come "help" them clean up and definitely don't want to start a robbing situation. Also spray might get on outside of boxes too drawing more free-loaders.

    Thank you - this site is really helpful.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    That is how my hives react when they are stressed - usually from being queenless, or robbed, or weak for some other reason.

    But you are in an AHB area and caught a swarm so maybe you caught a swarm of AHB - maybe find someone local with more experience who can inspect the hive and tell you if the behavior is within normal bounds or not
    The bees are good at fixing my mistakes

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    What type of smoker fuel are you using? Some bees don't like certain smoker fuels and some bees only are controlled by one specific type.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    2,232

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    The AHB colonies I encounter react badly to smoke. Trying to smoke them down after popping the lid just recruit more kamikaze killers. Those are the hives you can smell more "banana" than smoke. The alarm odor starts instantly, just as you slip a tool under the lid.

    Heavily smoking the entrance and letting the hive rest for a while (so the bees go to the honey) helps a bit.

    If the hive is unworkable, it is not domesticated, and should be cut down in small sections and each section requeened.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Arp, Texas, USA
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    Thanks All

    Fuel - Am using a couple of small crushed pine cones, oak sticks and oak leaves.

    Yes, Texas, - North East Piney Woods Texas - they say at bee club no AHB around here. Hope they are right.

    Stressed, don't think so - lots of bees, regular orientation flights, 10fr deep with 8fr deep on top. Used to feed them with no problem. No smoke then come to think of it. Maybe there is something in the smoke they don't like. But there sure is a difference in sound when puffed.

    I'll try to find out if that can happen around here.

    From what I read, they don't really act like AHB. Don't chase me out and keep following me or anything.

    JW cut apart and re-queen each section - that is a thought - but would have to get queens. still....... it's a thought if need be.

    Thanks for things to try and look for.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    Smoke might be too hot maybe. Try packing your smoker tight with pine needles works well on most bees. The tossles off of staghorn sumac is my go to for smoker fuel when bees get too defensive works like a charm.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Arp, Texas, USA
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    Oh, so that's what that stuff is called. I've seen it - now to remember where I've seen it. Thanks

    I try to make sure the smoke it not hot, testing it on myself just before I put my gloves on.

    Most of my pine needles are mixed in with poison ivy and other vines. Can't really get any, that's why I have been using the oak leaves. The little pine cones that fall onto the driveway and get run over is the couple I use.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    You might be able to buy a bale of pine straw from a landscaping nursery. Long needle pine is what I use I've got three different species on my property. Rake them up in the fall and I store it in 50 lb. bags.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Mountain Home,Arkansas
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    Probably a dumb question but have you tried working them without any smoke at all and see if that helps maybe? I have several hives that I have never used smoke in and they have been very gentle during inspections.

    Now that I think about it, I haven't lit my smoker at all this spring. At this rate I'll never run out of smoker fuel.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: On 1 hive smoker makes aggressive - options ?

    Don't smoke them

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