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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Randolph Co., NC
    Posts
    46

    Default ** What Smells Do Bees Stay Away From? **

    Are there things that bees try to stay away from like certain smells etc? I guess once I get my spring bees I won't be using deoderent, colonge and such in my yard any more.

    I was thinking if they don't like, say teatree oil or moth balls I would splash some teatree on myself or put a couple mothballs in my pocket. I'm sure you long time keepers have stories. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Neither a stinker nor a smeller bee!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blossom View Post
    [DO]...bees try to stay away from...certain smells ...I guess once I get my...bees I won't be using deoderent, colonge and such in my yard any more...I was thinking if they don't like, say teatree oil or moth balls I would splash some teatree on myself or put a couple mothballs in my pocket. I'm sure you long time keepers have stories. Thanks.
    Too Blossom:
    I would not call myself a long time bee keeper only a beekeeper a long long time ago. I think you would bee better served with no foreign (to your bees) scents or smells to either excite, attract, aggravate, or repel your six footed charges.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default

    Bee Quick (smells like benzaldehyde) Bee go (smells like vomit which is butyric acid), smoke...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    St. Clair Co. Missouri
    Posts
    225

    Default

    I wear deodorant to the hives.. I've been known to use perfume around them. Not frequently, but I have.

    Some people have problems with the carbon dioxide from sodas or beer on their breath. I haven't noticed any problems with it.. but then again, I don't go out to the hives with a soda in hand and start messing with the bees.

    I find it far more important to be gentle to the bees/frames/cover/hive than to worry about my scent.
    Charla Hinkle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Randolph Co., NC
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Maybe I didn't make myself clear but I wouldn't wear any scent to keep bees away when I am at the hive just when I want to be out in my yard or pasture/woods etc I'm sure there will be a lot of bees flying around and don't want to draw them to me when I am busy doing work outside.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    St. Clair Co. Missouri
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Lemon pledge,

    Lemon grass essential oil..

    I would not wear these in the yard. Other than that. I havent' noticed anything being and attractant to them.
    Charla Hinkle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blossom View Post
    Maybe I didn't make myself clear but I wouldn't wear any scent to keep bees away when I am at the hive just when I want to be out in my yard or pasture/woods etc I'm sure there will be a lot of bees flying around and don't want to draw them to me when I am busy doing work outside.
    You'll be surprised to find that you don't have bees flying all over the place just cause you have a hive. You'll be able to be out in the yard and not be bothered, unless of course you've been really rough with your bees or have a mean hive. Then, nothing will help you.

    Mosquitos are more of a problem...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Moore County, NC
    Posts
    208
    I think that bees hate the smell of money, especially the paper kind, because my bees make sure that I don't have much in my wallet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Blossom:

    You ask what kind of smell you can put in you pocket to keep your bees away from you.
    I will ask why would you want too?

    I have anywhere for 6 to 10 hive in my 2.5 acre lot, we keep two garden patches within a hundred feet. I have four dogs all black that run outside whenever we are out which is a lot. The only time they had trouble is when they got to close to the entrance (which only happened once for each one) no harm done only lesson learned. I have been in the garden right after church with my old spice on without problems, an I have been in the garden after a long hot day at the power plant I’m sure smelling like a bucket of old wash water, no problem.
    You can stand behind the hives and watch the sun shine off their bodies as they fly in and out from foraging and realize that when you walk threw the yard thousands of honeybees were flying within feet of you No Problem.
    As you get to know your honeybees you will look forward to being around them, sometimes I think they also get use to you. And once you take that first sting you will realize it wasn’t so bad and will move around them differently which will result in less stings. I am an Electrician by trade but beekeeping is my passion I find the sound of thousands of honeybees buzzing there bee song soothing, I hope you will to.

    Honeybees only sting for two reasons

    1) You offend them.
    2) You frighten them.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Bean View Post
    Honeybees only sting for two reasons

    1) You offend them.
    2) You frighten them.

    Or
    3) They're pissed at the world.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blossom View Post
    Maybe I didn't make myself clear but I wouldn't wear any scent to keep bees away when I am at the hive just when I want to be out in my yard or pasture/woods etc I'm sure there will be a lot of bees flying around and don't want to draw them to me when I am busy doing work outside.
    Learn to enjoy their company and don't wear anything to try to get them to stay away from you. Unless you are a flower child you won't draw bees to yourself. Not many anyway. Unless you are working around the hives and they fly out to defend themselves.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Big Grin

    I know for a fact that socks I have worn for three days in a row will drive them away. I have seen them cause buzzards that they attract to faint and fall to their deaths on the ground. I never thought a beaked creature could smile, but I swear there is an ecstatic grin on them all. My County Agent says that I should refrain from using them until my Haz-Mat suit arrives. He cites the danger of brain and liver damage....Until then, I hang them on bamboo poles to dip them in ba big pot of bleach. This is causing problems in that all of my socks are now snow white.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    152

    Smile

    would probably buy one of those red bull energy drinks and splash some on yourself that should turn you into a flower.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Posts
    78

    Default Ex-wife

    Honeybees only sting for two reasons

    1) You offend them.
    2) You frighten them.

    Or
    3) They're pissed at the world.

    Number 1 and 3 sounds like my Ex-wife and I don't worry about 2 because she scares the crap out of me.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Default

    By Jove, I believe you've got it!!!! You have struck the proverbial nail upon the head Bill.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Default

    My son did a science fair experiment a couple years ago to test not what bees stay away from, but what smells make them more defensive. He used small denim patches attached to a very long paint pole. He put some deodorant, perfume, or body splash on a patch (and a bare patch for a control) and waved it in front of a hive for a couple minutes. Response was measured by counting stingers in the denim patches. Most things they ignored. A couple body splashes definitely got their attention and got significantly more stings.

    One interesting thing he found in his research was that a component of the alarm pheromone (isoamyl acetate) is the exact same substance found in artificial flavorings most notably the cheap artificial banana flavor which is found in many common items like some sodas and perfumed items for flavoring and scent.

    Three drops of the artificial banana flavor on a patch incited a huge cloud of bees out of the hive in less than 30 seconds. It was alarming enough he laid down the pole and retrieved it that night. That patch obviously had a lot of stingers.

    Interestingly enough, an actual piece of banana smeared on a patch was totally ignored by the bees.

    So I think the specific odor or even the intensity of the odor isn't near as important as the actual chemical makeup.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Randolph Co., NC
    Posts
    46

    Default

    That was very interesting Steve and I appreciate the results. Wasn't it interesting that they don't like artifical smells? (the imatation banana flavor). Thanks so much for your input !







    .

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lycoming New York
    Posts
    193

    Default

    I have been working hives when banana smell started. I put them back together and ran for my truck still got hammered . Tony

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default

    beekeeping is my passion I find the sound of thousands of honeybees buzzing there bee song soothing, I hope you will to.
    Exactly!! I love to just sit near the entrance and watch, listen, and smell the bees on a warm spring day!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Default

    I have never smelled the banana smell while working hives, but I've smelled it many times when doing cutouts.

    I have thought about designing a vandal/critter deterrent system around that principle. Disturb the hive too much and the offender gets blasted with the artificial banana flavoring. I'm sure it would be a personal injury lawyer's dream.

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