Reblog: Using the Smoker – Less is More

Check out this great post from The Honeybee Conservancy on how smoking works and how to use a bee smoker.

My experience with smoking bees is always have it available even if you don’t need it.  Use it judiciously, and sometimes not at all.  In the spring when the bees have “nectar on the brain”,  it may make little difference.  In these instances even a little sprayed on sugar water can be used in place of smoke! (Never use sugar water spray during a dearth – after the main nectar flow is over or robbing will result!) joe with mini smoker This is not the smoker I actually use, but it is a way of saying “Less is more.”

Multiple Apiaries at the Top of the Chesapeake Bay

A large farm near the top of the Chesapeake Bay is the site of multiple apiaries for Harford Honey.  (Harford Honey is now operated by Matt Ponter.)  Having a lot of hives gives you some great options for cross leveling strength, moving queen cells to splits, giving homes to captured swarms, and intensive queen rearing with drone colonies. This site was also the location for Susquehanna Beekeepers’ Sentinel Apiary scale hive.  It was really cool when University of Maryland retested our summer’s bi-weekly pollen samples because they could hardly believe there were no traces of pesticides except for one small trace late in the summer!