If you are a beekeeper, the smoker is a friend to you. Over time it becomes known by the bees as a signal that you're coming and that you mean no harm. Instinctively, bees equate smoke with fire and are prompted to dive deep into their hives to gobble up enough honey to take off if the fire gets worse (Notre Dame's bees were fine during that recent fateful fire). Sometimes I use smoke, sometimes -- feeling greedy about the excess honey 100,000 bees might gobble up -- I opt to 'keep without it.
My beekeeping friends Chris, Chris and Adam, travel around the countryside tending various beehives with the backs of their pickup trucks full of supplies -- supers for when a hive is thriving and has run out of room, electrical fence menders, weed hackers, supplemental sugar water when the stores are down and, yes, smokers oozing swirling streams of smoke. And, it never fails that someone will see the smoke wafting its way from their truck beds while they're stopped at an intersection and a good samaritan will stop them -- a concerned look across their face -- and let them know their truck is, well, smoking. They have even been known to cause a traffic jam or two on Highway 17.
A few years ago, when I was working on the logo for Catskill Mountain Honey, I made them a sign for the tailgate of their trucks. Fast forward to now and voila, I had magnets made to prevent folks from panicking and perhaps to spur them to chuckle and then ask Chris and Chris and Adam about bees and beekeeping instead.
XOXO Farm Girl