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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My region of the Norhtern Sierra Nevada, along with much of california, has wild fires. After a huge freak lightning storm ignited fires all over northern California, my town has been dealing with fires, evacuations, and lots of smoke. Luckily, the fire detoured around the field with my bee yard. But there is lots and lots of smoke. For the last two weeks we've had the worst air quality in the United States (nice to be # 1 in something!).

I'm curious more than anything. Does heavy smoke have an effect on bees? Are they stressed and is this a concern? Do they keep the smoke out of the hive? Will honey be smokey? I've noticed that when the wind shifts a bit and the air clears for a while, the bees are out flying as usual. Thanks.
 

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Hi cconnell,

I have no answers to your questions, but I am just a little curious as well and it seems that you are in a good position to let us know how this all works out for you in the not too distant future.

I am glad that the fires seem to have gone around your bee yards.

Happy Home
 

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The bees are not very productive with heavy smoke in the air but since my flow is over, I doubt it is hurting my bees much. I doubt it will affect the flavor of your honey. Not turning a hot knife between uses, that carmalizes a lot of honey On the smoking knife and results in a flavor change.
 

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I had bad, thick smoke for 3 days in Paso Robles, we could only see for 3 blocks at one point. Then, a hurricane off Mexico cleared the air. Since then the winds have been favorable, until yesterday - the smoke is coming back.

With the Air Quality Index at 389, we were the worst air in the world for at least one day. I was planning to head over to Tahoe to get out of it, but was delayed for a weekend, and that Sunday is when the air cleared, so I did not go to Tahoe (yet...)

Seems most everybody's bees survived, only to get temperatures of up to 120 down in San Luis Obispo. That's hot enough to melt the wax in the honeycombs. You have to put a shade tarp or plywood roof over them, provide water, and if possible point a fan at the hives. Pull the corks out of the holes, and drill some if you don't already have cork holes.

One more thing that helps a lot is a landing board that extends out 9 or 10 inches from the entrance. The bees line up and fan the hive with their wings. The larger deck helps a lot. They can get quite an air current going with a deck like that. It is a flat deck, not sloped.
 
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