Too Early for Goldenrod?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Jamestown, OH USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Several of my hives have a strong peculiar odor and I've been wondering if it's goldenrod. The smell is not a bad smell, like something is dead or rotten, just a strange odor.

    They say when goldenrod nectar is curing it smells like gym socks, and I suppose the odor I am encountering in and around my hives could be described as something like this (I'm only in my second year of beekeeping, so I don't know for sure).

    But I'm wondering if it's too early for goldenrod (I'm in SW Ohio). It has been a relatively cool and wet summer, so goldenrod could be appearing a bit earlier than usual - although I haven't actually seen any around where I live.

    Has anyone else in this part of the country detected the goldenrod smell coming from their hives yet?

    Thanks,
    Rob

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,596

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    My goldenrod is just starting to bloom some is yellow and some is still green , how long has yours been out .Bees aren't working it here yet .

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Jamestown, OH USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Hi Laketrout,

    I haven't actually seen any goldenrod around where I live, which makes me dubious as to whether what I'm smelling is indeed curing goldenrod honey.

    But if it's not goldenrod, what is causing this smell? As I mentioned, it's not a horribly bad smell - like something is dead or rotting. It's just a peculiar smell that's hard to describe.

    I've got a number of new hives as of this spring that I've been feeding sugar syrup. These don't have the smell. It's the established hives that do. I haven't been feeding the established hives, and they've got some supers that have been on since early in the summer. I think it's those supers that are the source of the smell.

    Does curing sugar syrup have a strange smell to it? If goldenrod is not the source, what other things (besides bad stuff like AFB) can cause strange smells?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    3,062

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    No sugar has almost no smell.... depending on where you are in Ohio, you definitely can have some goldenrod coming in. We have it here in Central IL, and bees are draggin it in. we pulled pollen traps last Friday because of it.
    It seems golden rod is a temp sensitive plant, not a daylight sensitive... this really cool weather we are having has triggered it. Low cool shaded spots are blooming.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    What is the color of the pollen they are bringing back? A golden colored pollen is a strong clue that goldenrod is blooming and being gathered.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    We have some blooming in central Ct. It has been for a few weeks already, in pockets. It's starting to pick up more so from what I've seen around me. My Hives have had that smell about them for about 3 weeks now.
    They are also working the Joe Pye weed, but I don't think that has a distinctive smell?!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    4,869

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Goldenrod has been rocking in Central Va. for a week or two.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    2,104

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    My goldenrod started blooming when we got cool weather 2 weeks ago. The bees are still looking robbery minded, but they are bringing in pollen
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    1,028

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    GR is just starting to turn yellow in the ditch banks. Should be in full bloom next week. Time to harvest this weekend

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Winslow, Me
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Foragers started finding it last Saturday on the EasternShore of Va. Steady incoming of pollen.
    Ed
    Winslow, Me.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    My bees are just west of Columbus. It looks like some of the goldenrod jumped the gun, but the most part it is all still a couple weeks away. Although some of the aster is starting to bloom.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Cameron Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    I think you have done a good job of explaining what you are smelling. I have always questioned whether the smell of goldenrod is like dirty socks. I would say like you said that it could be described as wet socks but really it is hard to describe because it's a smell all of its own. Can you smell it if you are downwind from the hives? Even when the hive is closed? I have never heard of any other source of smelly honey other than golden rod. People say the smell goes away after the honey matures. I'm not sure that I agree with this. I try to leave the golden rod honey in the hives for winter stores. In the spring sometimes I can still smell the golden rod smell in the hives. I'm sure it is matured by then?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    2,104

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    I left my last year's goldenrod honey in until about March when I stole it and it was good honey.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    GR has been out for a couple of weeks here in north Jersey.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmdurkin View Post
    Several of my hives have a strong peculiar odor and I've been wondering if it's goldenrod.
    When in doubt...look inside. Probably goldenrod but it can't hurt to give 'em a peek.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Smarr--(central Georgia)
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    hey beemandan im in forsyth and my first yr with 2 hives.....any goldenrod in athens??

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    angola,ny
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    I am 30mi SW of Buffalo, NY and the goldenrod is just starting to bloom.

  19. #18

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Quote Originally Posted by smarrbeeman View Post
    ....any goldenrod in athens??
    Once in the past ten years there was enough that you could smell it in the beeyard....and even at that it was pretty inconsequential. Having said that....this season has bee unusual in so many ways that I think anything is possible.
    None blooming at the moment.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Frankfort, Ohio
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    we pulled pollen traps last Friday because of it.
    Are you pulling pollen traps because you don't want goldenrod pollen?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Frankfort, Ohio
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Too Early for Goldenrod?

    Quote Originally Posted by giant pumpkin peep View Post
    My bees are just west of Columbus. It looks like some of the goldenrod jumped the gun, but the most part it is all still a couple weeks away. Although some of the aster is starting to bloom.

    Ditto here. I have seen a few fields of the shorter variety but the tall stuff is definitely a few weeks out. Hopefully the fall flow is better then the summer!!!

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