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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
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    562

    Default Odd odor in hives

    I have 4 colonies in rather shady location (about 1 hour of morning sun, remainder moderate to deep shade). I have noticed an odor which was somewhat familiar to me, but hard to describe; then I remembered what it smelled like - when I was a kid we played ball in the street, in the city. When the ball rolled down the storm drain at the curb, which was pretty often, we would pull off the manhole cover, and someone would go down to retrieve the ball. The smell of the bee hives is similar to the smell in that storm drain. Not real strong, but of rotting vegetation & stuff that ends up in that drain.

    Any thoughts on what this might be would be welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

    Phil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    543

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Have an experienced beekeeper come and look into this. It could be nothing, but if it is something serious, you'll need to do something quickly.
    No one famous.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Yes, you need to get on this immediately. If it is Foul Brood you risk contaminating all your neighbors stock, bot human neighbors with honey bees as well as local feral populations.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Any bad smell I would investigate. If you get a pesticide kill you will get piles of rotting bees in the hive. Foulbrood is called that because of the smell. Read up on AFB and do a "rope" test. If it's positive, do a holts milk test.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#afb
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Thank you for the replies. I will investigate further.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    I can smell when SHB are in a hive. There is an odor that comes with that. I have a super sensitive nose -- walking down the aisle at the store with soaps and detergents makes me wheeze. I can often smell trouble in a hive before I spot it.

    Trust your instincts and check it out.

    Good luck!
    Summer

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fountain, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    -following-

    Yes do indeed go with your instincts and please keep us informed along the way. As you already know, try to do something to get those hives out in the sun. Trim some limbs, cut a tree down if you have to, move them closer to the residence...heck on the back patio even. lol...Totally understand if you cannot but sunshine is key.

    Summer, that is pretty cool because I can smell select types of nectars that are in open frames sometimes as I walk across the yard and a breeze blows. I know its coming from the hive..a walk over and smell of the entrance verified it was indeed. Happened a few times last year.
    Quacky Calls
    Custom Duck and Turkey Calls - Eastern NC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Today the rain stopped and the sun dried things out a bit. I went into all four colonies (6 boxes) and pulled out brood frames to do the "rope" test for AFB. I checked about 15 to 20 individual capped brood on about 10 frames. All were negative, thankfully. I found out that the odor was from the litter that had been collecting on the concrete pad where the hives are located. I removed the litter from the front of the hives and hosed down the concrete. We could use from dry weather to let things dry out.

    Truefire, I agree with you, this site is really too shady. I will be looking for an outyard nearby where I can put the hives in full sun, and may move most hives there.

    Thanks all for your comments. I appologize for this being a false alarm, but as you can imagine am quite relieved.

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fountain, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Cool deal, Good news....well, Great news actually.. shewww!!! Happy for you. There is nothing anymore disheartening -hardly- than losing your bees.

    As you know already Philip, I understood you knew the importance of sunshine. Wasn't trying to insult anyone's intelligence at all. I was just giving you a little nudge in the posterior if you needed one. That's all.
    Quacky Calls
    Custom Duck and Turkey Calls - Eastern NC

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Truefire View Post
    Cool deal, Good news....well, Great news actually.. shewww!!! Happy for you. There is nothing anymore disheartening -hardly- than losing your bees.

    As you know already Philip, I understood you knew the importance of sunshine. Wasn't trying to insult anyone's intelligence at all. I was just giving you a little nudge in the posterior if you needed one. That's all.
    That banana dancing looks like me yesterday. Each time I go out to the hives I think "too much shade". Anyway, I appreciate your empathy. You seem as relieved as I am.

    Phil

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fountain, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    I am, I would hate to see you lose your girls...we need everyone of these little wonders. Glad you had good news for us. When it comes to bees, it seems so often its 'bad news'...lol, so its certainly good to hear something, WELL--> good!
    Quacky Calls
    Custom Duck and Turkey Calls - Eastern NC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    >Custom Duck and Turkey Calls - Eastern NC

    Just noticed your footnote. When I was real young (about 60-65 years ago) my dad and older brothers used to drive down to coastal North Carolina to go duck hunting. I was just a young toddler, so I never went. Back then the manner of hunting made use of a sunken box that hunters would sit in. The box was sunken in one of the sounds (Albemarle, I guess) where the top edge of the box rested about 3-4 inches above the level of the water. I don't know if the box floated to allow for the tides?

    Does anyone hunt in that manner anymore?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fountain, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Odd odor in hives

    Quote Originally Posted by philip.devos View Post
    >Custom Duck and Turkey Calls - Eastern NC

    Just noticed your footnote. When I was real young (about 60-65 years ago) my dad and older brothers used to drive down to coastal North Carolina to go duck hunting. I was just a young toddler, so I never went. Back then the manner of hunting made use of a sunken box that hunters would sit in. The box was sunken in one of the sounds (Albemarle, I guess) where the top edge of the box rested about 3-4 inches above the level of the water. I don't know if the box floated to allow for the tides?

    Does anyone hunt in that manner anymore?
    Cool Philip. That's super neat. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share that. Yeah, there are still some of those types of 'sink blinds' being used. However, most are located along the Mississippi flyway in Arkansas, Mississippi and other states in that travel corridor and are dug into agricultural fields for hunting both duck and geese. These are used a lot in that region. As far as being used in our coastal sounds, no they are not really used anymore, that I have seen. There are duck blinds on the sound nowadays here in North Carolina but they are built up on pilings and are sitting slightly elevated above the water.

    Most duck hunters of today use duck boats...you know how the young crowd is...its all about moving at mach speed and getting here and getting there yaddda yaddaa. flexibility in moving around is so much more beneficial, I suppose. I like to just sit and enjoy wildlife myself.

    That having been said, there are one man boats called layout boats which create a very low profile on the horizon just as sink boxes do. These are used by duck hunters now in every state a 'duck flies'. I do know 'sink blinds' were the order of the day up in Currituck and around Corolla 60-70 years ago. There were some elite duck hunting clubs during that era that used them.

    Please do send me some scanned pictures to my email, if you ever get a chance. Those would be neat to look at.

    See private message for my email address.

    Take care buddy, Chris
    Quacky Calls
    Custom Duck and Turkey Calls - Eastern NC

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