Smoking the bees.......

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by 4hillsfarm, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. 4hillsfarm

    4hillsfarm New Member

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    Hi all. Thanks for all the info on my last question. Looks like I have found a great spot to learn alot.

    Just woundering about smoking the bees. I got a smoker but it seems like every time I go into my hive, the bees are calm and quiet until I smoke them. When I smoke them they all buzz loudly then calm back down. I am using white pine needles for fuel. I have on occassion not smokwed them at all. I had a frame that I pulled that had some drawn comb (not full) and it smells like smoke. Hope that all of them don't. Will smoke get into the honey or wax flavor??

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Will smoke get into the honey or wax flavor??

    tecumseh....
    it depends on what you use for fuel and how much smoke you use.

    another snip...
    I am using white pine needles for fuel.

    tecumseh:
    this may explain something of the mood of the bees right after you apply the smoke. most pine needles, cones and such have a lot of rosin and they burn hot. I tend to think that these two items can slightly irritate the bees.
     

  3. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    No matter what type of smoke it is, smoke is always going to cause the bees to fan. They will always "rev up" when you smoke them. Don't confuse that with them getting irate.

    Adam
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I really like the cotton type smoker fuel from Dadant. Lights fairly easy, burns cool, and for short hive visits, I don't have to fill the smoker with water to put it out. A little bit does it, and it puts itself out.

    I have pine needles, inspector used pine needles. I have wood pellets (too hard to light) but both are good if I have to do all hives.
     
  5. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I got the cotton type smoker fuel from brushy mountain when I last order and used it the other day when I went into the hives to inspect and though it were a little hard to light I had good smoke for an hour and half and still was burning when I got through. Best smoking fuel I have found, going to order more next time I need bee equpiment.

    kebee
     
  6. Walt B

    Walt B Active Member

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    One thing to remember, as in many things, "less is more". A lttle bit of smoke goes a long way. Just a small puff or two...wait a few seconds and many of the girls will have vacated and the rest will be calm.

    Walt
     
  7. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Get your smoker going before you open the hives, get it going with a big flame, then let it settle. Test the smoke on your hand to make sure it is not too hot still- hot smoke is not good on the bees. After a while the smoker will put out some cooler smoke and that's the good smoke to use. Puff a few puffs at the hive and then let it alone while you put on your veil and gloves if you use them. Give the hive 5 min after the first puffs before you open the hive- smoke takes a few min to have effect in calming/distracting the bees.
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    A good smoker fuel:

    I have a fella that sells me hay and he uses hemp twine to bale the hay. I go through a bale a day and just ball up the twine and keep the smoke stuffed with it. Cool thick smoke!
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I agree with Omie except I give them 30 seconds to 1 minute after smoking. I think your mistake is opening first, then smoking.

    Smoke entrance, wait, raise lid and smoke the top. Set the smoker down and work the hive from there.
     
  10. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    bees vary in irritability from hive to hive and from day to day. They are usually calm early in the morning and when the barometer is on the way up. They are grumpy when storms threaten and in the evening. Smoking is not necessary for brief inspections. If you just want to peak at a frame or two and sneak in there slow and calm and quiet, you should not need any smoke. Smoke does not calm the bees, it makes them eat as much honey as they can, in case they have to abandon the colony. That in turn makes them slow and calm. I use cardboard and bits of yard waste for smoker fuel. It usually goes out in 15 or 20 minutes, but I seldom need more than that.
     
  11. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I was using hay and wood chips until I got a nice fire going, then stuffed it full of hay. Good smoke, but didn't last. Started stuffing it with green grass after I go it going and now it lasts at least an hour.
     
  12. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Nearly all baling twine is chemically treated to resist rodents and insects. Years ago, you could tell the difference by color, if it was green or orange it was treated, "plain" was untreated. But nowdays, even the "plain" stuff is treated. I stopped using baling twine because I didn't like the idea of smoking the bees with stuff that had been treated with insecticide.
     
  13. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    We use burlap bags when we pick our sweet corn. Eventually the bags get too many holes to be used for that job. I cut the bags into wide strips, and loosely roll them up. Lights easy, smokes well, and extinguishes when I place the cork in the smoker's nozzle. Works for me.
     
  14. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Very interesting....but my twine rots lol......and I don't sweat the small stuff....
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    """Smoking is not necessary for brief inspections."""

    Pistolpete, I hope this statement doesn't cost anyone their life or a large hospital bill. IMHO, it is like saying you don't need to look before crossing the street. You may be successful a number of times, but eventually you will pay the price.

    ALWAYS smoke a hive before opening
     
  16. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Amen,like iddee said.:grin: Jack
     
  17. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    and another from me, what iddee said.....
    """Smoking is not necessary for brief inspections."""

    "Pistolpete, I hope this statement doesn't cost anyone their life or a large hospital bill. IMHO, it is like saying you don't need to look before crossing the street. You may be successful a number of times, but eventually you will pay the price.

    ALWAYS smoke a hive before opening
    "

    :amen:
     
  18. BCBEES

    BCBEES New Member

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    I pick cotton up on the side of the road during season it works well and it is free.
     
  19. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    you guys certainly have a lot more experience than me. I guess I am blessed with calm bees. I rarely smoke them, and I rarely wear any protective equipment. So far the only time that didn't work out so well was when I had to move about 20 frames well after sundown to separate capped and uncapped ones. I got stung 6 times that night (and 5 of those stings were bees I crushed against my arm when lifting supers). Mostly I pay attention to the bees. If I pop the lid and they pretend that I'm not there, then I'm good to go. If they give me the go away hum, then I light up the smoker or go away.

    I find that the dangers of an anaphylactic reaction are sort of glossed over in bee literature. Perhaps some of you have some good information as to how severe reactions develop and how common they are. Is there a # of stings that the body can't deal with? Is getting repeated stings likely to lead to greater or lesser sensitivity?
     
  20. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Have you been stung on the face yet? Had a bee inside your ear? If you want to work your bees in the buff - fine - but wear a veil!

    Also, some wise advice I received from a 50-year beekeeper: smoking the bees isn't for YOUR benefit, but for the BEE'S benefit.