Today I helped a friend clean up his hive. His frames were poorly spaced which lead to a lot of bulging honey comb at the top of every frame. It took some time and a lot of smoke to get the job done. At times the smoke was quite irritating…,
Now I’m sitting at home and all my clothes and me stink of smoke- like when you have sat around a camp fire of an evening.
It started me wondering if that’s just par for the course- part of beekeeping. I once read that Nepal has the highest rate of lung cancer in the world- not from cigarettes but from poorly ventilated wood fires in houses.
I am wondering now if I can minimize the irritation and stench if smoke by using some particular fuel? Do some fuels produce less harmful smoke? Even a pleasant smoke?
I have used dried grass, pine needles, hessian, palm fronds- and whatever is at hand. I’m wondering if it’s worth it to try and source superior fuel?
Any one have a favorite?
Also I recently read this article about ‘smudging’ the use of medicinal herb smoke to purify spaces - apparently it’s actually affective at killing bacteria. Perhaps using the right fuel for a bee smoker could be less irritating to both me and my bees?