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Author Topic: smokeless  (Read 2178 times)
FRAMEshift
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« on: July 16, 2011, 10:38:23 AM »

I started off using pine needles in my smoker since they are everywhere and tend to stay dry if they are in a deep stack.  But it takes lots of time to get it lit well. 

And lots of folks don't like having to breathe smoke. 

Recently I've been using a dilute mixture of vanilla extract and Liquid Smoke in a spray bottle.  This works as well as smoke, it's quicker to prepare, you use only what you need and the rest is still there for next time.

Vanilla is often used to reduce fighting during a combine.  Liquid Smoke is used by Fatbeeman as a general smoke substitute.  The mixture seems to work in just about any situation.

Has anyone tried this?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 10:48:17 AM »

No but ive entertained the idea. Ive got one of the small, entry level smokers thats virtually impossible to keep lit. How many drops of each to how much water?
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mikecva
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 11:16:48 AM »

I tried it several years ago but it did not work for me except as a calming agent. It did not 'confuse' the bees enough to do work for more then 3-5 min. in the hive.  -Mike
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 11:43:54 AM »

No but ive entertained the idea. Ive got one of the small, entry level smokers thats virtually impossible to keep lit. How many drops of each to how much water?

In a quart bottle I use one or two drops of vanilla extract and 5 drops of liquid smoke.  I just kept adding drops until I got a strong scent with one spritz.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 11:57:30 AM »

I tried it several years ago but it did not work for me except as a calming agent. It did not 'confuse' the bees enough to do work for more then 3-5 min. in the hive.  -Mike
Did you try liquid smoke and vanilla together?  The bees seem pretty confused to me.  The effects of smoke last for at least one day.  You are right that the effects of spray don't last that long, but certainly more than a few minutes.

With smoke you can do a puff in the entrance, wait a while, and a puff as you remove the top.  The smoke penetrates the entire hive.  With the spray you have to spritz as you go, making sure each frame gets some of the scent.  It does not penetrate the entire hive.  On the other hand, it doesn't penetrate your lungs the way smoke does.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 12:20:42 PM by FRAMEshift » Logged

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sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 03:01:09 PM »

I would think liquid smoke would leave a taste in the honey in the supers??
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 04:24:06 PM »

I would think liquid smoke would leave a taste in the honey in the supers??

More than real smoke?  I'm using very dilute solutions, but you could be right.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 04:35:14 PM »

I like your idea FrameShift!  I’m going to give it a try.  Thanks for sharing.

Smoke has all kinds of toxins in it, not good for man nor bee.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 05:18:05 PM »

I would think since the spay is liquid it would penetrate the comb. I have heard of folks getin ash from smoker in honey but not a smell or taste?
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John 3:16
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2011, 05:29:23 PM »

Why use any smoke OR fake smoke at all??
I quit using Smoke last year.
I feel the bees Do Not Like smoke, I know I don't!
As far as stings go I get less stings now.
My bees are almost always calm and pretty much ignore me.
If they are not calm I sometimes put on a Vail or spray with pure water only.
 
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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2011, 07:31:44 PM »

Fireguy, one day you will regret your decision. There will come the day you have 100 plus stings in the face, head, and shoulders within 10 seconds of opening the hive. It's not if, but when, it will happen. Smoke is a safety net and should always be used.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2011, 08:16:10 PM »

Fireguy, one day you will regret your decision. There will come the day you have 100 plus stings in the face, head, and shoulders within 10 seconds of opening the hive. It's not if, but when, it will happen. Smoke is a safety net and should always be used.

If you keep bees long enough it will happen you can bet on it.


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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Yappy
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2011, 08:17:00 PM »

Fireguy, one day you will regret your decision. There will come the day you have 100 plus stings in the face, head, and shoulders within 10 seconds of opening the hive. It's not if, but when, it will happen. Smoke is a safety net and should always be used.
Thanks Iddee,  If Bees are in a "mood" than I do wear a Veil to stop face stings- True!
BUT "Smoke" does not stop stings. It would stop me < retired firefighter with bad lungs >.
I have and everyone I talked to admitted to getting stings while using smoke too!
So where is this "safety-net"
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AllenF
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2011, 08:55:33 PM »

Just a little dab will do with the smoke.   A little works wonders.  Smoke is your friend when working with bees. 
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2011, 09:12:42 PM »

Smoke is a safety net and should always be used.


Smoke is your friend when working with bees. 

iddee and Allen,  do you guys have any thoughts on using Liquid Smoke and/or vanilla in place of smoke?
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AllenF
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2011, 09:22:30 PM »

Never tried it.   Just stick with the good old smoker.  I heard about liquid smoke.   Heard about spraying them with syrup.  Heard about doing nothing and having bees chase them 300 feet.   I just think smoke works just fine. 
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joebrown
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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2011, 10:59:21 PM »

I believe I saw a video of BjornBee trying to rob a hive without smoke and that would be enough for me. I got stung 30 times this week by an ill hive. I would have been stung more without the smoke. Smoke was the only thing that slowed them down. Have fun not using smoke. I personally sit the smoker to the side when not in use. The smoke stays away from me, but I can grab it and give the bees a few puffs if needed. Smoker smoke is not cigarette smoke and I do not think inhaling a little will make a big difference. Does the smokeless society also not burn brush or light a campfire?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2011, 11:23:26 PM »

If you have stoichiometric combustion and perfect mixing of fuel (wood, pine needles, whatever) and air, you can minimize pollutants.  But when you’re burning something solid, you never have perfect mixing and that means you get all kind of compounds out of burning other than just CO2 and H2O.  The basic pollutants are carbon monoxide from burning too lean, nitric-oxides from burning too hot, nasty complex hydrocarbon pollutants, and particulates. 

According to this site, “wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco”, and it kills 30,000 people in the US per year.  http://burningissues.org/car-www/index.html

I take iddees advice when it comes to bees, and I do use a smoker, but I would love an alternative that works. 

I also set my smoker down next to the hive when not in use.  I don’t use much smoke, unless they start coming after me. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2011, 11:40:43 PM »

I've tried about everything that has been touted as being as effective as smoke.  Nothing I tried was as effective as smoke and most were harder on the bees.

The most common smoking mistakes:

•   People have the smoker too hot and burn the bees with the flame thrower they are wielding
•   People use far too much smoke causing a general panic instead of simply interfering with the alarm pheromone. One puff in the door is enough. Another on the top if they look excited is ok and after that having it lit and setting nearby is usually sufficient.
•   People don't light the smoker because they think smoke upsets the bees, probably because of one of the above reasons.
•   People blow the smoke in and immediately open the hive. If you wait a minute the reaction will be completely different. If you’re doing something not too time consuming, like filling frame feeders or something, it’s a good plan to smoke the next hive before you open this one. That way the minute will be up when you open that one.
•   People don’t smoke because they have the idea that it is either bad for the bees or somehow unnatural. Their exposure is only a puff or two once every week or two. People have been smoking bees for at least 8,000 years that we have documented for one very good reason. Nothing does not work at all at calming bees and Smoke works better than anything else at calming them.
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joebrown
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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2011, 11:49:12 PM »

I would rather breathe in a little wood smoke every now and then as opposed to living in some of the cities around the world and breathing in their smog. Personally, I think worrying about breathing in smoke from a smoker is a little crazy, but to each his own!
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BlueBee
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2011, 12:22:03 AM »

Parts of the Appalachian forest gives off a lot of aromatic hydrocarbons (yes Trees do pollute!), mix in thermal inversions in the atmosphere and you have a prescription for some pretty poor air quality out there in the country!  They don’t call them the blue ridge mountains for nothin’.  That haze you see isn’t exactly fresh air  grin
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joebrown
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« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2011, 12:48:31 AM »

Well I will inhale that mountain air any day of the week without hesitation. Nothing feels better on my lungs than a good dose of mountain air on a cool morning. I have two words that I would use to describe someone who worries about the air of the Blue Ridge Mountains 1) hypochondriac  and or 2) germaphobe. evil
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BlueBee
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2011, 01:16:47 AM »

Ha ha, you might be right Joe   Wink  

I have spent some time in those mountains, and I do agree that it is very beautiful down there.
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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2011, 07:03:59 AM »

I've come to the conclusion that getting that smoker lit and cooly puffing is as good for me as it is for the bees. It's good for me to slow down, and lighting the smoker and nurturing a good cloud from it serves as a perfect transition from the rush rush rush of my daily life (well, I'm not really that busy, but you know what I mean) to the calmer behaviors appreciated by the bees.

I wouldn't dream of working bees without a lit smoker...it's part of the whole sensory experience for me (Also, I love the patina taken on by my Rauchboy smoker, and I like to deepen it as often as I possible!).

-Liz



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iddee
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2011, 08:25:32 AM »

No, frameshift, I haven't tried other methods. I am content to have read 30 plus years of other's attempts. As Micheal Bush said, he's tried many and always came back to smoke. He's not the first one I've read about, and I doubt will be the last. As he said above, most problems people have with smoke is, they use toooo much. I smoke lightly in the entrance of 4 or 5 hives, then a light fan of smoke over the top of each one as I open it. That's all that is needed 99% of the time
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
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