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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Temp is 63 in southern Indiana and I want to do my first inspection. And this is my first winter and my bees are Alive! Will they be in a good or bad mood after being cooped up all winter. Should I light up my smoker?
 

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Lighting your smoker and keeping it nearby is always a good idea. :)

As to what to do beyond having your smoker lit, I'd say that depends on your confidence in your level of protection, your tolerance for stings, and your beekeeping philosophy.
 

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I'm a newbie, but I was under the impression that it's best to ALWAYS use smoke....Granted, some people get carried away, more is not always better, but a little smoke goes a long way in making life more pleasant for the beekeeper.
 

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I'm a newbie, but I was under the impression that it's best to ALWAYS use smoke....Granted, some people get carried away, more is not always better, but a little smoke goes a long way in making life more pleasant for the beekeeper.
I don't think so. Sometimes bees are gentle as lambs and don't need smoke, so why ruin their day? But definitely a good idea to have smoke available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I did smoke last summer/fall. I just didn't know if the bees were so happy to be out and about I could skip it today. Ok.... here I go. I have a frame of honey I saved in my freezer all winter that I can put in if they are out of stores. I so don't want them to die this close to spring. And I hear lots of stories of that happening this time of the year.
 

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Mine are smokeless bees. Been in the hive 4 times this spring and only had a few let me know that they weren't happy with my moving things around. If your bees are gentle, you may find there are many times that you don't have to smoke 'em at all. (I use anise oil water in a bottle to cover up their pheromone scents, no sugar in there, as it was sticky).
 

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I don't think so. Sometimes bees are gentle as lambs and don't need smoke, so why ruin their day? But definitely a good idea to have smoke available.
What makes you so sure it ruins their day?

If done properly, it calms the bees...I think that's about as universally accepted in the world of beekeeping as anything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I took my smoker and just laid it on it's side near the hive so smoke waifed around ME. Everything looked good, I had a candy board on and they still have some of it so I scooted it more towards the center and closed them up. I am just so Happy they are alive. Thanks again folks!

Ruthiesbees what are the amounts of water/anise oil you put in a bottle. Sounds interesting. Biscotti Bees!
 

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Ruthiesbees what are the amounts of water/anise oil you put in a bottle. Sounds interesting. Biscotti Bees!
Just a drop or two per 1qt spray bottle. I also put it in their syrup. They really suck it down. (I think it also may help keep the mites and beetles away too, but I need to do more testing this year on that).
 

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Most likely you will find them to be a bit defensive since they are still living on winter stores, Lighting up the smoker only takes a few minuets and is well worth the time spent. If you don't want to mess with the smoker then I would at least have a spray bottle on hand as Ruthie suggested. :)
 

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You can smoke all you want to in Colorado.
You can in PA. also if ya don't get caught. kind a like oxalic acid it's illegal but lot's a people are doing it.:D
I use smoke it makes life a lot easier . after 4 years I have learned how to use it the right way and it makes a difference . I'm still working on breeding them gentle bees you all talk about .:eek:
 

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Lit and close by, usually for me a quick light puff in entrance and top cover, then just the smoke drifting around hive works well.
 

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I always light the smoker if I'm going to be moving frames.

Usually a puff in the front door soon as I get there, set my gear down, get the tops off, takes a minute or two while that first knock on the door puff gets them simmered down. Couple of quick puffs along the tops of the frames so I can get my bare fingers down on the top bars. Another puff or two whenever I see them lining back up at the gates.

But yeah, use the smoker. Its early in the year, all hives are going to be extra defensive right now. When the spring flow really kicks off, then they'll chill out.
 

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If I am going to take a frame out of a hive, I use smoke. If I just want to take a peek under the top cover, I don't use smoke. It took me a while to learn to really go slow and smoke lightly as you go. When not smoking, I set my smoker on the ground in front of the entry and let a bit of smoke wisp into the hive. I think in the long run smoking disturbs the bees far less than just working through the hive and letting the bees attack and attack. Smoke makes it easier on one's nerves.
 

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I think that's about as universally accepted in the world of beekeeping as anything!
The world is flat. (despite being able to see a curved horizon).
Pizza and chocolate give you acne.
People were more or less capable based on skin color.

I personally believe all 3 of my examples are a load of bollocks. At one point they were all accepted fact. Now most are considered untrue by the majority, but some people still put stock in some of those statements.

Universally accepted truths aren't always true. Test them yourself, just prepared for what might happen. In this case... thousands of pissed off poison filled insects.

On a side note; I rarely use smoke, but I keep a lit smoker nearby anyway.
 
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