No smoke s the way forward!

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Compostcritter 

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After several years of bee keeping I have decided that smoke causes more hassle than is gained. Advantages are that it calms the bees down, disadvantages are that the smoke fires them up an puts them back a week or so. Maybe I m lucky that my bees are very good, but smoke definitely makes them edgey!
 

VEG 

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So you are saying its the smoke that sets them back not the inspection?
 

Compostcritter 

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Yes I am. Obviously inspections do not help, but they do not seem to take so long to start to calm down. Just my opinion and I am sure that others will disagree. But have doing the bee thing for several years and have seen a marked difference.
 

VEG 

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Personally, I've rather taken to using a mist of water.
I always have one with me it works to cool me down when sprayed through the veil, also works on the bees to keep them down as well. Just make sure it is only water if spraying yourself lol.
 

Cazza 

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disadvantages are that the smoke fires them up an puts them back a week or so. !
Can't agree with that myself. No evidence in my apiary. Any studies to support the viewpoint?

If it really "put them back a week or so" and I inspect every week in the season, they would get nowhere!

Cazza
 
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Goran 

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How is often said here by the older and more experienced, "the smoker came from heaven".. But when they are extremely aggressive better avoid them that day..

Also scent ( oil) of Mace-Nutmeg sprayed on your suit ( mostly hands, head..) make them avoid attacking you..
 

Compostcritter 

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Yes I agree veg, I reckon I lost a couple of pints of water today ! My wellies were swimming (not a pleasant thought). I just blew the bees out of the way, but had smoke to just make sure that I was covered in an emergency
 

fiftyjon 

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Yes, I've sometimes inspected a colony without smoke usually when the smoker has gone out and it's the last colony to look at.

You can inspect your bees without smoke but there is probably a good reason it has been used for years.
 

Compostcritter 

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Depends on your bees. There are alternatives. I am pretty sure they would rather be misted or blown away than fumigated. Controversial stuff but it works for, that's all that matters ;)
 

derekm 

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we are finding by using really opaque coverboards, and just closing them completely for about 20 seconds they go down, smoke is more of a backup
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
I've found myself using less and less of the smoker as time goes by - now it's just a puff at the entrance to warn them I'm coming and unless they are a bit feisty the smoker plays no part until it's time to close up and they need shooing out of the way.
 

Vramin 

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This year I found a fallen tree and am using chunks of dry, rotten wood as smoker fuel. It doesn't produce the clouds of acrid smoke like cardboard does, just a diffuse whiff. Might just be coincidence, but my bees are far calmer. It's much more pleasant for humans too!
 

davnig 

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I always have my smoker lit but haven't actually used it this year yet, not even a puff at the entrance, maybe just lucky with my bees.
 

Anduril 

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Misting doesn't work for me only limited success. Certainly not with aggressive bees. Better success with a smoker. Perhaps we need a CO2 gun.:D
 

Teebeeaitch 

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No smoke or water spray for me. Then again, I don't check for queen cells every seven days so I am not disrupting the brood. I think that's more the reason why they remain good tempered. Swarms?? Just don't get obsessed trying to prevent them.
 

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