Temps Daytime: 50's F Nights: 40's F
My neighbor had not built one frame when I met her though she was in her fourth season; another had never bought one super or bottom board. Their hive tools were worn, smokers black and bent, and bees happily thriving in fully drawn out dark comb.
So did a veteran beekeeper pass the torch, or should I say, the smoker, to me. It was with some hesitation that I finally bought a new smoker....and this new stainless steel model is a real revelation! SMOKE, SMOKE, SMOKE...!
I got a little lost along my way, forgetting his original instructions on using the smoke to "just let them know you are coming". All the reading and workshops, even the Natural Beekeeper, really smoke the heck out of their hives! I can see that in the south with the African bee influence; but my routine became scattered and I failed to see any good coming of smoking my bees.