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To Smoke or Not to Smoke?

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A simple pole of who smokes their bees and who does not.

Yes or No?
 

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This is a question I've had as well. There are those who suggest that smoking is somehow 'abusive' to the bees, and leads to more difficult interaction.

But I have to wonder how shocking and disruptive it is to spray them with sugar water as well. How often in nature to bees get soaked?

Not to get people arguing, but I do wonder - what is the 'right' method to use?

At this moment, I've only ever used smoke, and with a couple of nucs on the way, I have a smoker prepared for work. But I am open to other methods if they are more effective.
 

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I know several folks who allowed their testosterone to overide common sense. After being chased out of the bee yard several times they now carry and use smoke.
 

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Smoke is the only thing that I know of that lets me "herd" bees. From about now until September the top bars get covered with bees and they flow over the sides of the boxes. I don't know how you get boxes of powerful hives back together without crushing hundreds of bees without smoke.

Have weak hives I guess.
 

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For me it largely depends on the bees themselves, their current "mood" and the type of hive. If I'm going into a horizontal top bar hive I rarely need to smoke, as only a small number of bees are exposed at a time. Warre hives and other vertical hives that expose the entire top of the colony I often need to smoke, as it seems to be more disruptive to manipulate these styles.

Cheers,
Matt
 

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Only time I don’t is when I am adding feed to the top feeder or doing something non invasive. If I am going in. I smoke them.
 

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I have never smoked a bee in my life, but I was in a room where some one else did, but I did not inhale....

Oh, do I use smoke(from pine needles) on my bees? You Betcha!! As much as it takes to make the girls "mind"(as well as girls can "mind").

Roland
 

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:lpf: Too funny Roland!!:lpf:
 

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I put no. But that's not completely accurate. I use smoke very sparingly. If I go into a hive and they are bouncing off my veil and get that angry sound, then if I HAVE to be in that hive I will start the smoker. 95% of the time I can do what I want to do with out smoking. I did a split the other day, 2 hives involved and no smoke. I also don't bother them much anymore. Not like I used to when I first got started. Oh I'd be in there once a week, looking for the queen, Just to be sure. Now I see the queen more often than not and i'm not even looking for her.
 

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If given a choice between a smoker and a veil, I would choose a smoker every time. I normally walk down the line quickly giving all the hives in a yard a couple light puffs in the entrance, then go get tools/equipment ready and give them a chance to really calm down. Usually no more smoke is required, but I keep it handy in case it's needed after opening the hive. I think it's much more effective than opening a hive immediately after smoking. I also see a lot of beginners use way too much smoke.
 

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I put no. But that's not completely accurate. I use smoke very sparingly. If I go into a hive and they are bouncing off my veil and get that angry sound, then if I HAVE to be in that hive I will start the smoker. 95% of the time I can do what I want to do with out smoking. I did a split the other day, 2 hives involved and no smoke. I also don't bother them much anymore. Not like I used to when I first got started. Oh I'd be in there once a week, looking for the queen, Just to be sure. Now I see the queen more often than not and i'm not even looking for her.
I second the last post. When I feed I don't, quick peeks don't. I hived 20 packages and no smoke and that was a disaster. Don't think the smoke would have helped. SW would have though.
 

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If I open the hive and go into the boxes, I smoke them. If I simply pop the lid and add syrup to the hive top feeder, no. And I learn a lot watching the bees at the entrance, without smoke.
 

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The poll options are Yes or No. The poll question does not have a yes or no answer.

I use smoke on my bees. I think folks are foolish if they try to work bees without smoke. (I have heard folks say it is easier to find virgins without smoke, so that is one time I think it is acceptable to do something in a colony without smoke.)
 

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I use smoke if I'm going into the hive to inspect or manipulate, if I just pop the top and inner board to look in and down between the frames or repace the feeder or polen patties then I don't. Jim
 
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