I’ve never liked smoking my bees. Smoke calms them down all right, but they aren’t quite themselves for a day or two. I figured a few minutes of bee panic is better than several days of befuddlement.
I’ve never smoked when installing a new package of bees. It hasn’t seemed necessary. They’ve been more than happy to get out of that dreadful packing box.
Likewise I haven’t smoked when I’ve opened the hive for only a few seconds to feed or stick in a frame or two.
Today I pushed the envelope. Big mistake!
I wanted to switch out frames in a new hive from one deep box to another. Not for a good reason, mind you, but because I liked the paint color of the second box better. It wasn’t going to take very long.
It turns out that from the bees’ perspective it isn’t so much how long the disruption is but how distressing. Moving a frame with the Queen on it is apparently very distressing!
My gentle hive stung me five times through my bee suit and then went after the landscapers working next door. Thank goodness the landscapers did not get stung!
I quickly closed up the hive and ran inside, followed by a few angry girls. My dog, the Noble Bayard, ate them with gusto. All is quiet now.
I’m going back out shortly to finish the job. Needless to say, I’m going to smoke from now on. It’s better for all of us!!
- Beekeeping Equipment (lostlakegardens.wordpress.com)