Our new bee team had their first meeting with our bees today... starting with a safety lesson on how to light our smokers, and how to use them in the hives. We smoke our bees to 'calm' them. The bees 'smell' the smoke and basically think their hives are on fire so they prepare to leave by filling their stomachs with honey! This not only preoccupies them, it makes it difficult for them to sting... Smoke also masks any alarm pheromones (smells) The children did brilliantly, with the smokers staying lit for over an hour, a real achievement!