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Author Topic: Useing Smoker is it Organic Beekeeping ?  (Read 6735 times)
Bee-Bop
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« on: January 26, 2008, 03:29:03 PM »

I have wondered if when a organic beekeeper uses a smoker on his bees/hives
are they still classified as organic.

Smoke has many chemicals according to the American Cancer Society everyone I'm sure has heard about cigarette smoke and its secondary smoke.
[ won't mention smog ]

I mentioned this in another post today and just thaught I'd see what the opinion is here on the organic board.

Do organic beekeepers not use a smoker ? Or what is the rational if they do?

Bee-Bop
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 03:49:25 PM »

I guess it would depend on what was used in the smoker. Is fire and smoke not natural? OH! you said organic  rolleyes
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 08:54:53 PM »

If there was a grass fire near your hives is the honey still organic?
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 09:46:46 PM »

Thanks for the replies;

I did a Google on wood smoke. Many chemical listed, some being;

Lead, Acrolein, Carbon monoxide,Formaldehide,Nitrogen oxide, Polynuclear
Aromatic Hydro Carbons {10 of them} Viloate Organic Compounds { eg Benzene}  just to name a few of them.

Actually the chemicals increase with a smoldering fire.

I suppose that useing smoke on Organic Hives is kinda like " just a little bit is ok , its really not That Much chemicals "

Thanks

Bee-Bop
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2008, 11:19:38 PM »

Are you talking about smoke from a house fire   huh

Or is that what you get from any old log lying around/
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2008, 09:55:51 AM »

The chemicals listed in smoke, in the above post are actually from tests of firewood used in fireplaces and wood stoves. So I guess you could say " any old log laying around ".
{ there are many more chemicals listed in the studies } "A Google search will substantiate"

If you like do a search for " Smoke " on Wickipedia, guess what, they even show a picture of a bee smoker.

Also you might check; 1993 EPA Report  " A summary of the emissions characterication and noncancer respiratory effects of wood smoke "

So if we smoke the hives no matter how much or how little we are induceing chemicals to some degree.

Thanks again
Bee-Bop
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2008, 10:24:39 AM »

I don't recall to many bees getting cancer from smoke.

Does smoke introduce a certain amount of chemicals into the hive? Sure.
Would that violate the standards for organic? No
Because the wind can do the same thing and introduce chemicals to a hive. A fire near the hives can do the same thing.
The chemicals in smoke are naturally occuring. Fire is a natural thing. The way it happens in cases may not be. The items it burns may not be natural. But the element of fire itself is a natural item.


Sincerely,
Brendhan



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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2008, 11:32:12 AM »

If you use more than a couple of puffs you're using too much anyway.
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2008, 05:46:49 PM »

I tell ya you can take this organic thing to the nth degree, really, what next, the bottling jars have to be certified organic too, and the lids, and your extractor, etc... etc... etc... No offense to you or your concerns bee bop.

Sincerely, JP
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 06:45:37 PM »

Everything with a molecular structure is a chemical, so it's a matter of where you draw the line. In my opinion, it seems that synthetic chemicals are the rule breakers for "organic" application. I've never seen anyone say OA is an inappropriate organic treatment...and that's as much of a chemical as any of the things in smoke.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 07:04:27 PM »

                                                                                                                                 
YEP still clasified as organic -the rational is that for certan tasks NOTHING else works            
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2008, 07:55:51 PM »

Isn't smoke an organic compound? It consists of ash and released gases.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2008, 08:58:21 PM »

Pyrethrins are organic compounds, too, but not allowed in an organic hive, I think.
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2008, 09:12:28 AM »

have you tried useing vicks vapor rub instead of a smoker.useing it on hands? bees seem to be repeled. useing walnut shaveings will knock down mites.
 only a thought=Don
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Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 09:30:56 AM »

Don, oooh, vicks vapour rub...what a cool thought.  That is also used for the tracheal mite stuff.  I would think that if one were to use vapour rub that it must be put on very sparingly, perhaps on the tops of the hands, otherwise I think that things may get a little slippery, hee, hee, that would be a bummer.  That is some food for some serious thought though.

I am going to give this year a whirl with using as little smoke as possible.  I noticed last summer there were several times when I just plain and simply didn't bother with smoke and the girls were still calm.  I think I have very calm bees.  They have always been a pleasure to work with, oops, hold that thought.

There was a swarm that I had caught during my first year of beekeeping.  Now they were not calm.  And I tell you, if the other colonies that I had started out with had a temperament like this nasty swarm, well, then, I think I may have been kind of turned off beekeeping.

This nasty swarm had an aura around it that you could feel several feet away.  It was like they knew you were coming and sent out horrible vibrations, quite an experience I would say.  So the next summer after I had caught this swarm, they swarmed and took off.  I followed them for awhile, along with a whole bunch of my Nephews and Grandsons, they went way way up into a Cottonwood tree.  I could hear them still, but could barely see them they were so high up.  So, I just looked at my Sister and said, well, good riddence to bad rubbish.

I requeened the left over of that swarm hive with a different queen.  Yes, they became somewhat nicer over the period of the summer.  But then perished from varroa mite issues, just like 7 of the other colonies in the apiary.  One colony survived that year, and it was still going great guns this past season, and still is.  That is my Carniolan colony.  They are swarmers and I am going to use this to my advantage this year.  That is my aspiration anways, oh no!!!!  Here we go again, I have this terrible tendency to ramble.....all my forum friends know this, and a'ramblin' I am compelled to go....have a wonderful and beautiful day, lovin' this life we're livin'.  Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2008, 03:57:05 PM »

Organic/Natural is any naturally occurring substance that isn't altered from it's original state. Synthetic materials are man made to mimic or concentrate and or blend naturally occurring materials that produce an effect other than what natures intent was.

Most creatures are well designed and can cope well with about all naturally occurring materials. Aside from some that are poisonous. And of those one creature may be more well adapted than others to deal with the effects of a given material.

Deliberately concentrating  material to use in a hive should not be considered organic, although the base material may be of an organic source, it isn't presented in its original form. Wintergreen for instance can be picked and eaten without any effect, short of some type of allergy. But in it's concentrated form as an EO can land you in the hospital with serious problems. Even when used over several applications, not just in a single dose. So it's effects are accumulative.

Deliberately introducing known poisonous materials into a hive whether naturally occurring or not is simply a matter of common sense.

I personally do see what the confusion is about with the terms of organic beekeeping. It simply means that you don't introduce anything into the hives other than what the bees would come in contact with in their normal course of living.

There are no rules anywhere that I'm aware of that dictate anyone has to keep their bees organically or otherwise. It is a personal choice made by every beekeeper. The problem only is a problem when someone makes a claim to be an organic beekeeper with the intent of asking premium prices for their honey or other hive products, when in truth they are not.

But as I understand the USDA rules for labeling, I tend to think no one east of the Mississippi can make the claim of Organic Honey to begin with.

 
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2008, 04:04:28 PM »


I personally do see what the confusion is about with the terms of organic beekeeping. It simply means that you don't introduce anything into the hives other than what the bees would come in contact with in their normal course of living.



The problem is that the proposed standard differs quite a bit from your definition.

   1. Bees can be treated with antibiotic oxytetracycline (Terramycin)
   2. Bees can be treated with Menthol
   3. Stored comb can be protected with burning sulfur

But yet you can't have any plastic in the hive nor feed sugar to prevent starvation.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2008, 12:39:49 AM »

have you tried using vicks vapor rub instead of a smoker.useing it on hands? bees seem to be repeled. using walnut shavings will knock down mites.
 only a thought=Don
                     mix up some propolis and vodka  Wink-rub a few drops on your hands the bees will not bother you                      RDY-B
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2008, 05:38:40 PM »

Rdy, aren't you supposed to drink it first?? shocked
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2008, 05:49:37 PM »

That was a inside joke for fatbeeman- we where trying to pick up and lay down some humor but went way over every one when we got to the qunine- RDY-B
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