I'm in Texas where there is a serious drought. Because of the drought and burn ban in effect, a few months ago, I stopped smoking the bees when opening the hive. I normally take out a few frames to check on brood, etc. I was surprised to find that the bees act pretty much the same with or without smoke. When I would smoke them they would go down the frames but not for long. It seems there are the same number in the air and pinging at me whether I smoke them or not. I always wear a full suit and gloves because my skin is pretty sensitive to stings.