i'm about to get 2 bee hives. my sinuses bother me around smoke. is there anybody out there who has tried methods other than smoke to soothe the bees while inspecting the hives?
Sometimes I don't smoke,..on early spring inspections with a
smaller population. Some people use cold water mister, perhaps with some essential oils, light sugar water etc. you can try this out. Make sure not spray them too much...it can kill them.
Smoke works best, [mask pheromone] ..you can also heard bees very easily, like getting them off the box before placing another box on top.
You might still be able to smoke them, ..by holding your breath, blow a few puffs of smoke and put the smoker away from you? Wait for 3 min. or so, then go into the hive, bees will be much calmer.
You may want to try the smoker. Once you get the hang of it you actually use very little smoke. The bees are extremely sensitive.
And I'm with Konrad, I don't use the smoker for quick inspections, only when I'm opening the hive all the way.
I recommend you join your local beekeeper organization, they will have tremendous experience of trying different things. I was at my local groups meeting and the speaker was explaining hive drapes or cloths that are used instead of smoke. Atttached is a link from beekeeperlinda's blog. She was at the meeting and captured the info.
Here is a link that might be useful: BeekeeperLinda blog
Allergic should not use smoke. Bad for your sinus. Try the HBH and sugar water 1:1 ratio.