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Does anyone out there use sugar water spray instead of a smoker or liquid smoke? I've read about this as an alternative. Supposedly the mix should be thin, but not so thin it doesn't keep them from flying. 1:2 sugar to water. And using any of the calming EO blend products can be beneficial. Do you use a spray bottle set to mist? I assume the idea is to distract them and keep them busy with the clean up while you inspect? And cons? Would they get irreversibly sticky during dry or hot weather and not be able to clean the dried sugar off? I'd think during cold weather wetting bees would be an awful idea. But what about when it's mild and calm out during your inspection?

Thoughts...
 

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I sometimes use a sugar spray for minor inspections. Never in cold weather. If I need to do a deep inspection, smoke is the best tool.
Actually, smoke is allows the best tool.
Charlie
 

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I used it yesterday for the first time and was really impressed with the results. I used very little smoke. If I am looking for the queen I think it will be better than smoke. I was doing a light inspection to see what comb had been built in the top of the hive.
 

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You may be opening the proverbial can of worms by asking for an alternative to smoking, but I work my top bar hives with just water and Anise oil in a spray bottle. the sugar was too sticky and unnecessary. I will say I put the anise oil in their feeder as well, so they are well trained to know that it's dinner time when they smell it. Actually, I think it is a strong enough scent to mask their pheromones when they get mad (which isn't too often.)
 

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I tried sugar spray during a dearth...... never again! They were fine until I lifted the first frame out of the box. They lit into me and stung me 7 times. Three even found their way into my veil and stung me in the head. My wife was laughing while she watched me running through the yard trying to escape.
Now I smoke 'em!
Thanks!
 

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My wife was laughing while she watched me running through the yard trying to escape!
Yours too!!!???? Gave my wife a big belly laugh the other day. 3-4 of em were batting and trying to sting my face and I'm running and swattin. She's on the phone with her girlfriend and said she had to go...her husband was gettin attacked by tha bees! but laughing while she's saying it! LMAO!!
 

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Does anyone out there use sugar water spray instead of a smoker or liquid smoke? I've read about this as an alternative. Supposedly the mix should be thin, but not so thin it doesn't keep them from flying. 1:2 sugar to water. And using any of the calming EO blend products can be beneficial. Do you use a spray bottle set to mist? I assume the idea is to distract them and keep them busy with the clean up while you inspect? And cons? Would they get irreversibly sticky during dry or hot weather and not be able to clean the dried sugar off? I'd think during cold weather wetting bees would be an awful idea. But what about when it's mild and calm out during your inspection?

Thoughts...
I use a spray bottle with 5-3 and 6- tsp. each of honey b healthy and amino-b Booster. I squirt a little on landing board and a couple squirts on top.I usually have smoker with me just in case my girls don't want any company. I use it on stream setting.
as far as winter goes I am just taking a quick look under cover to see if I need to add more fondant and don't use anything
 

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I used to use a very light sugar syrup and a few drops (in a quart of liquid) of HBH. Now I just use the HBH and skip the sugar as I didn't like the dried syrup getting on the outside of the hives and attracting ants and I read that sometimes the syrup can dry on the bees' wings before they can get cleaned off successfuly, condeming them to death.

I have also used just plain water in a pinch. I do have my smoker lit and just wafting around the bee yeard, and will use it on a hive, if necessary, particularly when the hive is really full and I am re-stacking the boxes and want to minimize squashing. If I get a sting or too much interest in hands, I spray (or smoke) my own hands and forearms.

Smoke is neither always good or always bad, IMO. I deploy it as needed, but always try to have the smoker already lit unless I'm just doing something very minor like pulling the sticky boards or adding some syrup to the feeder. Once or twice I started in w/o a smoker and really regretted not having it to quell a beginning fuss at the earliest stage.

I don't have it close around the hive I'm working on mostly because I don't like breathing smoke when it's not necessary.

I don't make up more than a quart of spritz-mix at a time and that will last me for a month or more. Light sugar syrup will easily ferment, but I've never had that problem with a simple mix of HBH and water.

Although I am not always successful, I try to be around my bees almost every day doing minor things there. I always wear a jacket and veil because I do not want any stings near my eyes. If I have some protection I can afford to stand still and let the guard bees size me up, which almost never results in a sting the way running or slapping at them will. I think that by me being there a lot they may, in their little bee-brains, become accustomed to my benign intentions and presence and in general they are quite calm. I sometimes nap on a low settee in front of my hives and it seems to me when I have time to do that regularly, the bees are more placid around me, at least for awhile. I've never been stung while napping, even though there are often bees investigating me, walking on my veil and arms, when I wake up. The sound of a busy hive a-buzzing away is the most sleep-inducing noise I know.

I would try the spray w/o sugar and just use a bit of HBH in plain water. That's all you may need.

Enj.
 

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I used to use a very light sugar syrup and a few drops (in a quart of liquid) of HBH. Now I just use the HBH and skip the sugar as I didn't like the dried syrup getting on the outside of the hives and attracting ants and I read that sometimes the syrup can dry on the bees' wings before they can get cleaned off successfuly, condeming them to death.

I have also used just plain water in a pinch. I do have my smoker lit and just wafting around the bee yeard, and will use it on a hive, if necessary, particularly when the hive is really full and I am re-stacking the boxes and want to minimize squashing. If I get a sting or too much interest in hands, I spray (or smoke) my own hands and forearms.

Smoke is neither always good or always bad, IMO. I deploy it as needed, but always try to have the smoker already lit unless I'm just doing something very minor like pulling the sticky boards or adding some syrup to the feeder. Once or twice I started in w/o a smoker and really regretted not having it to quell a beginning fuss at the earliest stage.

I don't have it close around the hive I'm working on mostly because I don't like breathing smoke when it's not necessary.

I don't make up more than a quart of spritz-mix at a time and that will last me for a month or more. Light sugar syrup will easily ferment, but I've never had that problem with a simple mix of HBH and water.

Although I am not always successful, I try to be around my bees almost every day doing minor things there. I always wear a jacket and veil because I do not want any stings near my eyes. If I have some protection I can afford to stand still and let the guard bees size me up, which almost never results in a sting the way running or slapping at them will. I think that by me being there a lot they may, in their little bee-brains, become accustomed to my benign intentions and presence and in general they are quite calm. I sometimes nap on a low settee in front of my hives and it seems to me when I have time to do that regularly, the bees are more placid around me, at least for awhile. I've never been stung while napping, even though there are often bees investigating me, walking on my veil and arms, when I wake up. The sound of a busy hive a-buzzing away is the most sleep-inducing noise I know.

I would try the spray w/o sugar and just use a bit of HBH in plain water. That's all you may need.

Enj.
thanks I will try that without sugar water as ants are getting to be a problem.
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I always use smoke but I also use sugar spray on more hot hives when I am looking for the queen. It helps keep the bees from being so runny. A little drop of some EO helps confuse them but not HBH or any lemon scent. The HBH would be ok with one hive but in my experience it sets off robbing.
 
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