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Do you use a smoker for quick jobs?

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freethorpe bees 

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I'm sorry, but it's me again asking daft questions. I fed my girls on Thursday and want to give them some more tomorrow. I am concious of the fact I am smoking them alot lately with extracting, apiguard etc.

Is it necessary to smoke them tomorrow just to change the feeder bucket? I don't intend looking through the frames or anything. Maybe I should just have the smoker lit 'just in case'?

Oh and another daft question - what ratio sugar to water do you guys give at this time of year?

Thanks and sorry!!!

FB
 

Rosti 

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I would say no smoke. No point disrupting them more than needs be, smoking will increase disruption / distress. If you are just changing feeders and not disturbing frames work at pace rather than in haste and you'll be fine.

In answer to your second point. I am feeding 2:1 at the moment (Sugar to water) and will continue to do so until autumn feeding ends at some point in October. R
 

freethorpe bees 

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Thanks Rosti - I'll take your advice.

FB
 

Black Comb 

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A water spray can be just as effective as a smoker for "quick jobs"
 

johnandyrob 

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surly it all depends on how calm your bees are i try to use as little smoke as possible but have to use more smoke and more often on one of my hives
 

barratt_sab 

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Do you use the spray on the girls coming out of the feeder hole?
What kind of feeder are you using?

We have a miller feeder and several rapid feeders on the go, and I can fill them without a suit, never mind a smoker. With these feeders, the bees cannot escape through the feeder (even if it is empty, in theory...)

Mind you, I'm filling later in the evening and the time I spilled some syrup on the side of a hive by accident gave rise to a fairly rapid exit...
 

Black Comb 

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Do you use the spray on the girls coming out of the feeder hole?
Only needed when I use contact feeders which I only use on nucs.

AS barrat s says rapid feeders (jumbo ones are best) and Miller / Ashworth feeders have the advantage of not letting the bees out so if you carefully top up in the evening you will probably not see a bee.
 

Heather 

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Why smoke if they are calm- cover with a towel and they will retreat below the top bar so you can treat with whatever needed.
feeding bucket - just release the one on- leave for a second or two - then replace. Contact feeders don't need disturbing- just refill.
Every time you smoke them you disturb them more.

Slow and gentle wins with women every time :hurray:
 

Erichalfbee 

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Why smoke if they are calm- cover with a towel and they will retreat below the top bar so you can treat with whatever needed.
feeding bucket - just release the one on- leave for a second or two - then replace. Contact feeders don't need disturbing- just refill.
Every time you smoke them you disturb them more.

Slow and gentle wins with women every time :hurray:
That's exactly what I do, even going into the brood box.
I find that if I cover them and stop for a while all is calm.
 

justme 

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That's exactly what I do, even going into the brood box.
I find that if I cover them and stop for a while all is calm.
Why smoke if they are calm- cover with a towel and they will retreat below the top bar so you can treat with whatever needed.
feeding bucket - just release the one on- leave for a second or two - then replace. Contact feeders don't need disturbing- just refill.
Every time you smoke them you disturb them more.

Slow and gentle wins with women every time :hurray:
Snap. Never even take a smoker to feed, although maybe i should, just in case. Most of my feeders are contact for now.
 

BeeNice 

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I never smoke when I feed, I have rapid feeders on my home hives and tend to top up feed in the mornings, I had a contact feeder on one and it was a hassle to fed as the bees would come out of the feeder hole as soon as it was lifted. Also you couldn't see how much feed was in the feeder, with the rapid you can see. I alway approarch from the back of the hive and the bees don't even know I've been there, takes a few minutes.
I see from another beek that they will fed til October, good idea, my bees are still taking in alot of forage and seeing that they are this years nucs they need all the help I can give them. I smoke as little as possible but if I need to go into the hive I always have the smoker standing by.
 

freethorpe bees 

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Thanks everyone - I have got the bucket feeder - the one with the gauze bit in the top. I think I'll have my smoker on standby just in case but only use in an emergency!
 

SixFooter 

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For what it's worth, I have a hat and veil and some fabispray(just in case) when just topping up feeders.

I'm making Hedgerow Miller feeders and have bought some thymol, so I wont have to top them up as often
 

Michael 365 

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Smoking

I was taught by my mentor to use as little smoke as possible, as it stresses the girls.
He recommended, however, having the smoker lit and 'ready to go' (if you use old hessian sacking, you will find they burn a long time, but have it away from the hive, yet within easy reach (if you follow me!) 'just in case'.
As other people have said, you shouldn't really need smoke if you are not disturbing the brood/removing supers (The girls seem to get upset when you are taking their food stores off them, for some reason!), i.e just changing/refilling feeders.
Would recommend having smoker lit/prepared and 'ready to go', but try to work without using smoke; a sort of 'back up', until you feel comfortable.
Always remember that the key to any good hive manipulation is preparation....if you don't have the smoker prepared, then find you need it, its too late halfway through an inspection!

Regards to all Michael
 

oliver90owner 

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Let's be a bit pedantic here. Everytime I go into the hive it is a 'quick job'. How long it actually takes is another matter.

Smoking may depend on the colony, the 'intrusiveness' of the inspection or job, the time of the year and other factors. It is an individual choice at that particular time, as far as I can see.

No 'set' rules apply and only your experience counts on this one.

All I would say is minimum is better, if possible, than over-smoking them. But it may be better to err a little on the 'smoky' side until you can estimate how little you actually need, rather than start with none and have a panic.

Regards, RAB
 

kazmcc 

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I'm sorry, but it's me again asking daft questions.

FB
I think you'll find that the daft question asker is my role on this forum, so don't get any funny ideas of taking away my crown ;) Do you remember the classic " Can't you just use an umbrella to inspect if it's raining? " lol

We have never smoked our bees. We've done all sorts of things with them, in all situations, and the closest they came to being defensive ( only warning us mind, no attempt to sting ) was when the rain was torrential and thunder was in the air. There was a gap in the rain so we had a quick inspect. Even under wasp attack, they do not need smoking, but then, I suppose it depends on the temperament of the colony. I am very lucky for these girls to be the first colony I am taking care of. That doesn't mean they are a walk over though. They gave our mentor a good stinging the night before he brought them down ( don't know what he did to them? ), and if you are a wasp or a visiting drone, then watch your back. I talk to them though, so maybe because I use my manners, they use theirs lol
 

kazmcc 

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I must say though that we haven't had them long, and we do as our mentor suggests. If I was doing it alone, I would have probably smoked from the beginning. I don't think I will smoke these bees now, even without our mentor ( if that time ever comes lol ) only because I know how they react to intrusion. If it was another colony, then I would have a few smokers on the go...just in case :D lol
 

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