Anyone using a fan rather than a smoker?

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GingerNut 

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Hi All,

I'm interested in a discussion about using a fan (or whatever) to move the bees rather than a smoker...........

Anyone here using something other than a smoker?

What is it?

Is it battery powered?

Yours Roy
 

Poly Hive 

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In a word NO. Sorry but it is not the best of ideas and some reading on the theory of how smoking works may well assist you.
PH
 

GingerNut 

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Thanx PH, but I know why we use smoke.......................but I'm interested in the views of someone who doesn't use smoke?

Yours Roy
 

biggles 

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If it helps, I use a leaf blower to clear supers. Not seen any signs that it hurts them at all. They get blown off and fly straight back in the front door.

Not tried any other form of fan though.

Pete
 

GingerNut 

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If it helps, I use a leaf blower to clear supers. Not seen any signs that it hurts them at all. They get blown off and fly straight back in the front door.

Not tried any other form of fan though.

Pete
Hi Pete,

I've just been reading about that...............and you find it works ok?

Yours Roy
 

Heather 

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Just a heavy towel to keep bees down when going through a hive- rarely smoke-and a Rhombus clears a super in 24 hrs leaving only about 8-10 bees still on-
Leaf blower- sounds ok, but I need 2 hands to use that anyway - can see a mess ensuing for me:willy_nilly:
 

GingerNut 

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Just a heavy towel to keep bees down when going through a hive- rarely smoke-and a Rhombus clears a super in 24 hrs leaving only about 8-10 bees still on-
Leaf blower- sounds ok, but I need 2 hands to use that anyway - can see a mess ensuing for me:willy_nilly:
I was wondering if a battery powered hair dryer might do the trick?

Yours Roy
 

Poly Hive 

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NO. Bees can cling on in a strong wind if you think about it..... no way a battery would have the oomph to move them.

Which is why people use leaf blowers, it is not for fun but for the power.

PH
 

Heather 

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I was wondering if a battery powered hair dryer might do the trick?

On a cool setting I hope - or instant extraction :p - No I doubt strong enough
 

Onge 

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You defiantly need a leaf blower if your thinking of blowing the bees out for extraction.

It's no substitute for a smoker during an inspection though. :)
 

RoseCottage 

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When removing supers we find a bee brush is more than adequate. We did use porter escapes but discovered how easy a bee brush was and just do this now.

As for not using smoke...do you have a specific reason why not?

People always repeat that bees are woodland creatures, fear smoke means that the hive is at risk, flee down to feed on honey and get ready to leave. I do too but have never actually seen any empirical evidence or a detailed study for this. It may be a lot of unproven old tosh to explain a reaction from them. They could just be choking or their 5 eyes stinging...;)

All the best,
Sam
 

GingerNut 

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When removing supers we find a bee brush is more than adequate. We did use porter escapes but discovered how easy a bee brush was and just do this now.

As for not using smoke...do you have a specific reason why not?

People always repeat that bees are woodland creatures, fear smoke means that the hive is at risk, flee down to feed on honey and get ready to leave. I do too but have never actually seen any empirical evidence or a detailed study for this. It may be a lot of unproven old tosh to explain a reaction from them. They could just be choking or their 5 eyes stinging...;)

All the best,
Sam
The main reason is that I find it better to move bees by blowing them away (with my mouth) rather than using smoke.

So I was wondering if there was anyone using some method?

I had also heard (I might be wrong) that commercial beekeepers use some form of fan system to blow the bees down into the hive while doing inspections as it's quicker and you don't have to keep a smoker alight.

Yours Roy
 

susbees 

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Smoke causes bees to stop work. Bees stuff themselves on honey then sit around doing not very much "sleeping it off". Loss of productivity significant?

We use weak syrup spray in summer and/or a water spray with a little peppermint (wasp issues, any persistent guard bees) and a few rushes or a crow feather for a bee brush. Straight back to work(ish). Smoke used this year on three occasions on one hive each time.

Do leaf blowers vibrate? And what about tainting honey with all the assorted smoker recipes? If the smoke smell clings to us then surely it clings to the combs and gives them flavour too?
 

oliver90owner 

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Smoke and removing supers is not a good combination.

The thread seems to be wandering between clearing bees from frames to just moving them along or down the frame.

Keep focussed and specific or some of the new beeks will be doing inspections using a leaf blower or a hot air gun!

RAB
 

GingerNut 

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Smoke causes bees to stop work. Bees stuff themselves on honey then sit around doing not very much "sleeping it off". Loss of productivity significant?

We use weak syrup spray in summer and/or a water spray with a little peppermint (wasp issues, any persistent guard bees) and a few rushes or a crow feather for a bee brush. Straight back to work(ish). Smoke used this year on three occasions on one hive each time.

Do leaf blowers vibrate? And what about tainting honey with all the assorted smoker recipes? If the smoke smell clings to us then surely it clings to the combs and gives them flavour too?
Now this sounds better................can you give some more info on the sprays you use and how if effects the bees for getting in there and inspecting them please?

Yours Roy
 

GingerNut 

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Smoke and removing supers is not a good combination.

The thread seems to be wandering between clearing bees from frames to just moving them along or down the frame.

Keep focussed and specific or some of the new beeks will be doing inspections using a leaf blower or a hot air gun!

RAB
TeeHee :)

It's inspections that I was predominately interested in, but the clearing of supers has been useful as well :)

Yours Roy
 

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So I was wondering if there was anyone using some method?
If you want to move the bees from an area of comb, just gently guide them out of the way with your finger. You are also less likely to get out of puff during an inspection.
 

Greenbeast 

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For inspections i don't use anything while i'm going through the hive (i've got a TBH) when i'm ready to close up i use a spray bottle of water (with a little cider vinegar), they think it's raining and quickly shift back down between the combs so i don't crush any.
 

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