The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Karen Huwe
The Times 

First beekeeping field class


April 27, 2023

Karen Huwe

Dexter, Verbena, and Reagan listen as Mark discusses the reason for the smoker.

WAITSBURG-Beekeepers Mark and Eleanora Montgomery held the beekeeping club's first field class on Tuesday, April 18. Three school club members were available to witness the release of the queen bee.

Students Reagan Milliman, Dexter Collins, and Verbena McLaughlin donned new bee suits while Mark started the smoker. He said using the smoke makes the bees gorge with honey and masks alarm pheromones. Montgomery discussed smoke temperature; you do not want to shoot flames from the end of the smoker. Grass is used on top of the fire to cool the smoke.

Quick movements alarm bees, and he cautioned the group to move calmly and slowly around them. As they stood around the beehive, Montgomery put the smoker close to it and showed the students the bees inside. The queen bee was still in its cage, so the studenst got a look at the queen before releasing it into the hive.

The queen bee was released carefully into the hive, and the top was quickly closed before she could fly away. Once the queen is in a closed hive, she will stay.

Mark answered questions, and the students got new insight into beekeeping. 


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