(Central New York)
My grandfather raised bees and harvested honey and beeswax 55 years ago. When harvesting the honey from the bee hives, he would use the smoke from sumac berries to calm the bees. We used to pick them in early fall. They smoldered in a tool he referred to as a "smoker".
The smoke kept the bees from defending the hive while he took out the honeycombs.
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