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What about heavy smoking to kick wax building into gear?

1758 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Nathan Beach
I suspected this for a while but have never had the opportunity to put it to use. It seems that some prolonged smoking of a hive would stimulate the wax glands and I did a little research which supports this. I came up a little lazy in looking further.
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What will they think up next...
Personally I see nothing wrong with this. We are Beekeepers and using methods to help increase bee numbers is what we need to do. Maybe stabilize numbers is better. Smoking bees to help make bee make wax and build queen cells may help queen cell propagation. I'm not for using something that harms bee but in the big picture we are having to fight a hard battle just to stay above water and give colonies a fighting chance.
The bees must retain the nectar in the honey stomach for not less than 24 hours before the wax glans will activate. If it is eaten or returned to the storage cells the crop does not stay full and it does not meet the 24 hour retention requirement. If bees are to be used for a split or to build queen cells they should be heavily fed for several days before and after they are used and the nectar storage cells available should be mostly filled to force retention. The only benefit from smoking before a split would be making the bees "top off their tanks" so those bees shaken from extra frames will be filled for the journey. This would only require normal smoke, not prolonged smoking.
my favorite saying is that "some bees will survive regardless of what the beekeeper does" this is a good example. lol
Heavy smoke in my hives and one cutout I did last year does nothing but aggitate them to AHB status. #23 on my "Do Not Do" list.
I'll clarify by saying that I don't use this method. I'm still curious about the results however. I've not had smoke make bee crazy like some have. I'm also not currently interested in conduction an experiment with smoke and wax gland stimulation. I don't mind making an uneducated guess and saying that I suspect prolonged smoking would invoke wax gland output but I suspect it would take just a small wisp of smoke maybe for a day to get them going. I've done may take outs and, other than my vacuum, smoke was the main "tool" I used. When tying comb into frames and bringing them back they always secure the comb with wax so the wax glands are working group for enough bees to make this happen. This is the case with no flow whatsoever.
Another guess would be just stressing the hive to a small degree would start the bees feeding off the hive honey. Something like vibrating the hives or knocking on it etc.
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my favorite saying is that "some bees will survive regardless of what the beekeeper does". lol
Haha, agreed! :)
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