A Well-Used Smoker

A seasoned beekeeper can keep a smoker going for hours with just pine needles for fuel. Shown here with a hive tool and a lighter, these are the main tools a beekeeper needs to open a hive.

Smoke moves the bees away from where the beekeeper wants to work and cuases many of them to gorge themselves on nectar so they're not guarding the hive any more and are more easy to work with. Smoke is also used to mask the alarm scent when a bee does inadvertently sting the beekeeper, preventing more bees from responding to the cue.

(Photo by Janet A. Katz)

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