Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i use oak to smoke with. that being said. i do not allways use smoke. when i do my girls go to guarding right away they take to wing and start buzzing me. i smoke them the way the book said. i start at the entrance with a puff or 2 bout 8" to 10" from the opening. then i lift the lid puff or 2 more there, let it back down for a few seconds 10 or so. and start my inspection. and my bees are mad at this time.

now when i do not use smoke my bees act like im not even there. they are so calm i often go unprotected and do my thing to the hives. when i smoke they make me fill so uncomfortable i go suit up to do my thing.

now for the question is it the oak? should i use pine? or something else?


Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
Don't use it unless you have to. I use pine needles. I am a second yr beek and didn't use smoke at all the first year....i have also been known to use the hardwood mulch, which im sure has some oak in it, no big deal to my bees...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,653 Posts
Yep, if you don't need it then don't use it.
and Yep, different smoker fuels give different results.
I found pine needles to be the best of things I've tried.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
new beek this year, have used smoke everytime, but I've noticed that the bees are very quiet until I smoke, then they start buzzing/flying/guarding as you've described? wondering if I should try inspecting w/o it as well. I've only ever inspected on nice days, when most of them were out. Maybe only need it if it's a bad weather day and they are all there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
You are not waiting long enough after smoking. Smoke entrance, wait two minutes, pop lid and smoke under it, wait two minutes, go in.

If you are new to beekeeping, you might be better off smoking the hives every time. When you come to recognize a situation where no smoke is needed, then hold off on the smoke.

Beekeeping can be a relaxing and fun hobby if you let it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
I use burlap in my smoker. I recently noticed proof of what I have read somewhere concerning use of tobacco smoke by "old timers". So, I light up a cig and go to work. And.... yes the bees react very well to tobacco smoke. Now I'm not encouraging people to smoke, I already do. So, as far as I can tell, my bees like tobacco smoke. They certainly don't get as pissed off!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
Even if you are new to beeking, learn the temperment of your hives...commercial beeks dont have time for this, but i can tell you which of my 12 to leave alone and which ones are fine based on cloud coverage....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
I figure you smoked them to heavy I would run or fly away from it also

I have inexperienced people be standing there when i went into hive using some smoke yes some bees are going to fly. There i was no mask gloves they would cringe up ad say you got them mad now they would walk away and there was not a made bee any where

they misread the bees that were flying for being upset they thought they were mad just because they flew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,692 Posts
What the heck, I'll weigh in,,,,,I used to use the paper lint stuff, read alot about burlap and pine needles. SOOOOO,,,,I roll needles in burlap and make a "plug" of shorts. I use a propane torch to get it goin. I'm still playing with it but I like it so far. Lots of nice cool smoke. I smoke all the hives I plan to work and wait. Pop the top on one, smoke, wait then go in. Still have a few nasties, but that hive will be requeened ASAP. I've also had good results with the sugar water,,lemon grass oil, wintergreen "Liquid smoke". Still playing with that too.

Rick SoMd
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Hot smoke will make bees really mad. Blow a puff of smoke on your wrist - if it feels hot to you, it is too hot for the bees.

Are you in an Africanized bee area? Sometimes AHB react negatively to smoke, and it is easier to work them without smoke.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
I've had a similar experience. Both times I've been stung so far I was using smoke. In the month or so prior to that, I didn't use smoke (or gloves) and was fine. They just have a different mood... I pretty much knew I was gonna get my first sting the day I did.

We were both very happy with me using sugar water, but that brought them all up on top of the frames! Also, in this dearth I've heard people say that will cause robbing. Still, next spring I think I'll be back to sugar water spray.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
840 Posts
I will agree with devog here. watch the hives. Watch the weather. Learn each colony's "personality" as it were and you might find you don't need to smoke as often, especially on nice, clear sunny days.

If and when you do use smoke (I use both burlap or the Brushy Mtn smoker fuel) make sure the smoke is cool, make sure you don't over smoke, only a couple puffs in the entrance, maybe a couple lite puffs over the top of the frames, then let it sit till you hear the hum. Then they are ready.

hot smoke, too much smoke, too often smoke. I find that tends to get the girls riled up.

Big Bear
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I'm just using the chipped wood the tree guys bring me (free mulch!), and they seem okay with it. They definitely get to fanning as soon as I blow any in, but that seems to keep them busy. The only way I can clear the sides of my poly hive is to smoke 'em like mad so I can get them down far enough not to squash them. That thing is wide! I'm sure that's great for insulating, but it's bad for little bee bodies.

I didn't smoke when I replaced the frame I extracted. Just popped it open, took out an empty, and put the wet one in. Some days I can tell it's okay to go without, some days I can't, so I generally do use it. And I have more than a lifetimes supply, so what the heck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Where on earth did you come up with this one?

Advice from an Arizona beekeeper who has experience working with AHB. I obtained an open mated queen from them, and the bees exhibited AHB characteristics. When I cracked boxes apart, bees would be running around everywhere. The moment I blew a puff of smoke across the box, a few bees would go down into the box, but most of the bees would start flying, and just add to the cloud of bees swarming me.

When I use little or no smoke, the bees are EXTREMELY runny on the combs, hanging off the combs in clumps, and over flowing out of the box onto the sides. When they get a good puff of smoke, their temperament gets worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
I never smoke the entrance. It seems to send the bees up to where I want to work. I use Pine or burlap. Both work well for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Last year I used cedar chip pet litter I bought at K Mart. It seemed to work real well, the bees were nice and calm, and the smoke smelled good too.

This year our local grocery store didn't have the cedar chip pet litter so I got some litter made from recycled cardboard. The bees seem a little more agitated, the smoker lid gets gunked up with creosote, and the smoke doesn't smell anywhere near as nice. I think I will be going back to cedar chips.

Some have suggested that cedar smoke isn't good for the bees. I have noticed no ill effects, though.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top