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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys/gals,

I don't use smoke very often (was HOT yesterday so I used a bit to calm them some), but I've been wondering something about it. When I used it yesterday and I was inspecting frames I of course noticed a LOT of bee butts staring at me as they were head first in the cells eating honey. Then I wondered, how much honey are the bees eating? I know one bee doesn't eat a lot, but multiply that by thousands (potentially) and it may not be a HUGE amount but it could add up (smoke every hive every visit through the season).

So my question is... do the bees digest all the honey they eat when smoked, or will they re-store it after the danger (smoke) has passed? If they do digest it, how much do you think smoking a hive every visit is consumed?

Another thing that occurred to me is that not all of the bees were busy eating honey. Some seemed to be just running around, either doing normal bee stuff, or looking highly agitated. Do only certain bees (certain age or job title) eat the honey in preparation of evac?
 

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I thought this was a very interesting query. Often wondered the same thing. Unfortunately I don't have the answer. Also hate to see a 0 next to a question.
 

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Bees do not consume honey and rarely store it in their honey crop when smoked. Smoke only masks the alarm pheromone. it is not like you set the hive on fire or something so extreme. If or when you do have a hive on fire ,from careless smoker use, you will find the bees die in the hive not storing the honey to flee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bees do not consume honey and rarely store it in their honey crop when smoked. Smoke only masks the alarm pheromone. it is not like you set the hive on fire or something so extreme. If or when you do have a hive on fire ,from careless smoker use, you will find the bees die in the hive not storing the honey to flee.
So everyone I've heard or seen say that bees will eat honey if smoked are wrong? I've seen/heard that they are more calm because they gorge themselves on honey, and that they have a harder time stinging because they are full of honey and can't sting very well (Along with the alarm masking). I've also seen a lot more bee butts after smoking than when not using smoke. So do they eat honey after being smoked or no? If so, my first question stands.

Thanks
 

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>So everyone I've heard or seen say that bees will eat honey if smoked are wrong?

Yes. They are repeating something originally purported by Langstroth, who was seldom wrong, but in this case I think he was. I've opened hives thousands of times with and without smoke. There are no more bees with their heads in cells with smoke than without. Smoke just interferes with their sense of smell so they can't raise the alarm.
 

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So they do put it back at some point (?)
 
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