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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search on this topic, and read through the one 8 year old thread. One frequent question was why not (smoke them)?, so I'll tell you my thinking. It was passed down from a very knowledgeable beekeeper, and I've read it in reliable literature: Honey and wax absorb odors. Smoked salmon is good, and so is plain salmon, just not in the same way. Almost everyone that tries my honey will say how good it is or "why can't I find honey like this in the store?". The only answer I can come up with is that I almost never smoke my bees. ( or, as a result, my honey)...

I only use smoke to deal with the rare aggressive hive, which is what I'm dealing with right now, and why I've resurrected this topic. The hive didn't become aggressive until a bear cub provocation last fall, and most recently a brood inspection last weekend.
Now I'm looking into alternatives and have thus far found "plain water", "(sugar) syrup mist", "kombucha mist", and "Honey Bee Healthy" - which contains "lemon grass oil and spearmint". I'm looking for some alternative thing or things to ease manipulation of that hive until a re-queening takes effect.

Any other suggestions? (other than smoke, which I will do, if I must)

Thanks in advance for any other workable alternatives.
 

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I don't use enough smoke to make anything in the hive taste like smoke. Do you want combs of honey that smell like lemongrass? Spearmint? Kombucha? I'd rather it smelled like smoke. I have not tried the Kombucha, but I have tried everything else including liquid smoke. Nothing works as well as smoke. There is only one downside I can see to smoke and that is keeping the smoker lit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't use enough smoke to make anything in the hive taste like smoke.
I didn't mean to infer anybody did. Merely that it's the only explanation I can come up with for the oft repeated comment I get about my honey tasting different/"better". It's the ONLY thing I do differently from most. Smoked salmon was the best analogy I could think of, a poor choice, I know.

Thank you both for your comments. Michael - I just ordered your book...
 

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What is your goal? If it is to keep the bees calm, Jeep them from stinging other people and keep them from having a very stressful response, nothing works as well as smoke.
 

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This seems to come up pretty regularly. I don't get it.
 

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I didn't mean to infer anybody did. Merely that it's the only explanation I can come up with for the oft repeated comment I get about my honey tasting different/"better". It's the ONLY thing I do differently from most. Smoked salmon was the best analogy I could think of, a poor choice, I know.

Thank you both for your comments. Michael - I just ordered your book...
Ironically my friends and family I have given small jars to say the same thing so the big question is are they comparing yours to high end organic stuff or the cheap highly processed stuff often found in the store. Even if compared to other beekeepers, unless you are neighbors, there is a good chance your bees might be working different things. Mine may be on persimmon trees, and yours on clover, it could even be in how you process it, since I don't have very many hives and don't really do it for the honey, I personally use the crush and strain method so I don't worry about spinning out fresh new comb. and it seems my honey is a little darker possibly from getting honey out of comb that's had a round or two of brood in it, it sometimes has little bee parts which I'm sure adds to the taste but everyone loves it.
 

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One thing that happens is that new beekeepers, trying to be natural and not hurt the bees with smoke (bee movie) discover that with their new hives (which still have a small population) that they don't need to use smoke...and they tell everyone they know how much better this gs are without the smoke...them the hives grow up and they don't understand why the bees are stinging.
This seems to come up pretty regularly. I don't get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My goal is to get by for the next two weeks before I re-queen a hot hive. Hot hives ( need smoke every time you look at them) have not been tolerated in my back yard for 30 years. If I still had out yards, this hive would already be there. I will smoke this hive for as long as it takes.

I totally understand the value and use of smoke, I just don't subscribe to it's regular use.

As I said originally- alternatives suggestions would be much appreciated. I already know how to smoke them.
 

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> Merely that it's the only explanation I can come up with for the oft repeated comment I get about my honey tasting different/"better".

I smoke the bees most of the time. I get the same comment, consistently. I can't think of a single person who tried my honey, who only had "store" honey before, who did NOT make that comment.

> It's the ONLY thing I do differently from most.

If you don't heat your honey, you do things differently from most of the honey in the supermarket. If you don't "blend" it to make it as homogenous and predictable, you do things differently from most of the store honey. If you don't filter it to the point there is no particle of pollen left in it, you do things differently from most...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You are right, in every respect. I shouldn't have mentioned the "my honey" thing. I was trying to preclude the "Why not smoke them?" responses.

This appears to be spinning hopelessly away from my intended inquiry - alternatives to smoke.

Thank you for your responses, especially you, ruthies...

In the interest of peace, I'll continue to search elsewhere and reserve any further comment.
 

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I use Anise oil in my water bottle to spray the bees. No sugar. Make sure it is Pimpinella anisum, and not star anise. I read about it on honeybeesuite.com
So then, following Colobee's logic, you honey must taste like anise.
 

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When I give my bees a puff of smoke they immediately start the air purification process in the hive. I don't believe that the smoke is in there enough to penetrate the capped cells or even coat the uncapped ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
When I give my bees a puff of smoke they immediately start the air purification process in the hive. I don't believe that the smoke is in there enough to penetrate the capped cells or even coat the uncapped ones.
:sleep::eek:t:
 

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Off topic? Hardly. Didn't you start the thread with a comment about smoke flavored honey?:

It was passed down from a very knowledgeable beekeeper, and I've read it in reliable literature: Honey and wax absorb odors. Smoked salmon is good, and so is plain salmon, just not in the same way. Almost everyone that tries my honey will say how good it is or "why can't I find honey like this in the store?". The only answer I can come up with is that I almost never smoke my bees. ( or, as a result, my honey)...
 
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