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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been keeping bees for a long time. I have always only smoked the " working surface" eg if I work at the top, I smoke at the top. This has worked for me.
In many You-Tube movies I notice that beekeepers often smoke the entrace before they open a hive? I wonder why"
Is this not more likely to drive bees up where you don't want them? I try to use as little smoke as possible and get in and out of the hive with as little distubance as possible.
What is your experience?
 

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I smoke alittle at the entrance and then at the top and then seem to forget about my smoker unless they start to bounce off my veil:D.But so far that works for me. I think a lite smokeing at the bottom is enough to distract the guard bees not drive them,most will tell you to much smoke is not good. So like most things in beekeeping "if it works for you do it"
 

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When you smoke the entrance(any entrance) you will calm the guards that are at that entrance. If during a dearth or poor weather you break a hive(bottom entrance) down only smoking from the top as you go down you will recieve more aggression from the bees than if you would have smoked the entrance first.
 

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Get a big booming hive that has a beard an inch thick covering the brood box and the super above it. Just smoke the top as you get into the hive, and watch the bees pour out the bottom entrance to investigate the disturbance.

You'll understand....especially if you're wearing sandals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, if there is plenty for the bees do eat ( no deart) and the weather is fine and there is no " beard" ( we only get beards in very hot weather here) - only smoking the top should be OK?
 

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Hi i smoke with a couple of puffs in the bottom first as i think this stops them from going into attack mode, also any incomming bees get a taste of smoke and go for a feed instead of doing a u turn and attack. I still add a few puffs in the top but really keep the smoke to a mim, i find recyclyed egg cartons the best in the smoker, good luck - "bee's are cool"
 

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When I started beekeeping I was taught to smoke the entrance as well as the actual working area when opening the hive. I watched the action of the bees and I saw that the entrance guard bees actually ignored my removing the upper supers, they just continued checking the bees entering the entrance. Now I only smoke the area where I am working, and then only if smoke must be used. I use smoke more as a tool to herd the bees away than as a means of calming them.

Each colony has it's own personality, so if the bees are very defensive and very strong colonies usually are, Countryboy's bees may require much more smoke than what I would usually have to use. I think the use of smoke must be tailored to the actions of each colony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
" I use smoke more as a tool to herd the bees away than as a means of calming them."

I do pretty well the same - I use the smoke like a brush. Works great if you want to clean the top frames etc. I always have the smoker handy and ready but use smoke very sparingly.

I use Burlap or Pine Needles but will try egg cartons next.
 

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So, if there is plenty for the bees do eat ( no deart) and the weather is fine and there is no " beard" ( we only get beards in very hot weather here) - only smoking the top should be OK?

Please allow me to rephrase.

Not smoking the entrance when working ANY HIVE is asking to get stung.

The reaction from a big booming hive is more visible. The bees pouring out of the entrance intent on defending the hive is quite clear.

If you don't understand, wear sandals (or shorts) and the bees will explain it to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
" If you don't understand, wear sandals (or shorts) and the bees will explain it to you. "
I never wear sandals - not because of the bees but the snakes ( the " 5 min snakes" - so I should be OK...
 

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Are you trying to be a facetious wiseguy, or are you serious? (Humor can often come across wrong over the internet.)

I'll be blunt.

Whether or not you wear sandals (or if it is a big booming hive) has nothing to do with how painfully stupid it is to not smoke the entrance. Wearing sandals just makes it easier for the bees to remind you of your stupidity. A big booming hive will just increase the pain level when the bees remind you of your painfully stupid decision to not smoke the entrance - in addition to being able to visually see ticked off bees pouring out the entrance of the big booming hive, right before they light you up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
" Are you trying to be a facetious wiseguy, or are you serious? (Humor can often come across wrong over the internet.)"

I'm deadly serious - with the snakes we have around here, sandals are an invite to being bitten. Come and see!
But I will smoke the entrance next time and see if it makes any difference.
 

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Where is the seriousness in your facetious comment about your sandals and snakes?

Do you not understand that your snakes, sandals, or shorts have NOTHING to do with how wise (or unwise) it is to not smoke the entrance of a hive? It's irrelevant.

What is relevant is that if you do not smoke the entrance, you are asking to get stung. Exposing your skin will only make it easier for the bees to sting you.
 
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