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Thread: Smoke vs Water (or other alternatives)

  1. #11
    Senior Member chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    If you consider a natural situation, it never rains inside a hollow tree .
    No, but when a dinosaur used to cock its back leg...........................

  2. #12
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    I base my choice not on "natural beekeeping" methods - a contradiction in terms in my view - but based on convenience and effectiveness coupled with need.

    Bees tend to dislike cold rain... dinosaur pee was probably lukewarm :-)

  3. #13
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I was actually paraphrasing one of my favourite sayings.
    When people start complaining about the rain I often point out that it never rains in a bar.

  4. #14

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    actually it is not unknown ..... been paddling before now amongst the beer barrels

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    If you consider a natural situation, it never rains inside a hollow tree but it is quite possible that smoke could drift into the nest during a forest fire.
    Reacting quickly to the presence of smoke is likely to be an evolutionary strategy to enable a colony to tank up and abscond when their nest is under threat from fire.
    Using smoke is taking advantage of a behaviour which has evolved in the honeybee over millions of years.

    Itís a good job that evolution goes back millions of years because my bees have never seen a forest let alone one on fire; maybe a heath fire might jog their memories.
    Seriously though I have often wondered about the effect of smoke on unsealed honey and the risk of it being tainted. I use cardboard and clean hessian in my smoker but maybe thereís someone out there burning pretty toxic stuff.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindsay s View Post
    I use cardboard and clean hessian in my smoker but maybe there’s someone out there burning pretty toxic stuff.
    Are you sure your cardboard isn't toxic? I use hay these days and hope it's not full of pesticides.

    Rosie

  7. #17
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Oops, Careful. You mentioned that 'P' word again.

    I collect bags of leaves and store them in a shed until they are well dried.
    You get a great smell of forest fire from the smoker.
    I use a bit of paper and cardboard to start it off.

  8. #18
    Senior Member chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Oops, Careful. You mentioned that 'P' word again.
    I use hay from our fields, so no *p*, though perhaps a little sheep and goat pee
    And I also add a little propolis to purify it all, though I think that's where someone will step in and direct me to the *myths* thread.

  9. #19

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    I'm still working my way through a bag of bee tobacco my mother in law bought me from Thornes 3 years ago. Odd Christmas present, esp as she also bought me 2 jars honey.

  10. #20
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    I smoke my bees. I tried using water spray, but then felt guilty because I know they don't like getting wet.

    There are a things about the pheromone blocking effects of smoke that I don't fully understand. I've read an extract from a study that seems to show that smoke (and 'floral odor') stops bees from communicating, with the effects wearing off in about 20 minutes. http://www.springerlink.com/content/v172010112682748/

    I've also read, seen pictures http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-...r-pool-part-1/, and also seen for myself that bees go and feed themselves as soon as they get a whiff of smoke, but then they hang around and do nothing much. It seems a bit counter-productive, in evolutionary terms, because it looks as if, if they were surrounded by smoke, that they'd sit there and do nothing instead of making a swift exit to save the colony from being burned.

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