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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple times the next day after an inspection there are dead bees in front of the hive. Maybe a cup full. The other day I pulled the mite strips then added a top feeder. Did not pull any frames.
Did I over smoke them? Ideas? Thanks.
 

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It sounds like typical quantity for a hive. Some hives, the dying bees fly out or the undertaker bees haul the dead away from the hive. Other hives just dump the dead out of the door. Summer bees only live around 45 days so a strong hive is losing hundreds per day.
 

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Ya, you’ll notice the change as the weather cools, the dead will just get pulled beyond the entrance when the nights are below 50 or so. I always try to inspect a few to make sure they’re old foragers. Look for worn wings etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply's. Maybe smoking them is triggering them to haul the dead bees from the bottom board of the hive. Normally very few dead bees in front of the hive. But after inspection with smoke a bunch of dead bees in front of the hive the next morning. ???
 

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Assuming you are using natural ingredients in your smoker, it will not kill bees. I'm pretty sure it is just a coincidence with the dead bees appearing after an inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This spring I was using blue shop towels and a commercial smoker product from Mann Lake. Quit the shop towels. Lately been using brown paper as a starter and Mann's product.Going to try all natural next time.
 

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This spring I was using blue shop towels and a commercial smoker product from Mann Lake. Quit the shop towels. Lately been using brown paper as a starter and Mann's product.Going to try all natural next time.
kadeal, not sure what you have around the place but I would not spend money on Smoker fuel. So here is what I have used, Card board, cut in strip as long as the smoker is tall the way so the air flows up thru the center of the card board, roll it up light the bottom. Leaves, straw, ferns, wood shavings from my planner, pine needles, grass from the lawn mower. The better is leaves or grass. did you ever toss a brown cardboard box in the trash? Viola, smoker fuel. do you bag grass or leaves/ smoker fuel. if none of these are options, find a friend or co-worker, or relative with a lawn or some trees, bag some up and try some different things. Ya all natural if good, save the dime for a better queen one day.
GG
 

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BY far the best smoker fuel we find has been pine needles or pine straw as it is called at our Winter yards in South Carolina. It lights easy, burns a long time and gives a cool aromatic Smoke without sparks and fire which agitates bees. It masks alarm odors well and is pleasing for us. In just a few minutes we can gather it under pine trees and we fill a EZ nuc box and keep it handy as we work. Dried staghorn sumac works well too.
 

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I cut up old blue jeans in strips, about 1.5" x 8," and add that to pine needles, pine cones, dried leaves, after starting the smoker with a torn piece of newspaper (always have newspaper in my bee bucket in case I do a combine). I finally have figured out how to keep my smoker going for several hours after years of it going out in the middle of an inspection.

In the summer, the bees carry their dead further away from the hive to drop them. I think they just push them over the edge when it starts to get cold. They are pulling out drone larvae now and ganging up on the drones, poor guys.
 
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