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