Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I did some major manipulations yesterday on my hives, reversing brood chambers, checker boarding stores and after a while and when the girls were really agitated I noticed a burnt almond smell. It did not smell like bananas. Was this an attack pheromone or what else?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
I have found it hard to describe, it sort of has an acid smell and I guess burnt almonds is as close as any description. If I'm around them maybe just casually checking on them and I catch just a hint of that smell I get in my truck and put my veil on, because I know it's the bees way of saying " Get Him "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,313 Posts
Whatever it is, I know it when I smell it! You will too if you stick with bees.
I use to think I could smell the queen but it was alarm pheromones .
Ya sure learn the different smells of your hives after a few years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I've read that the alarm pheromone can smell different from one person to the next, it's a matter of how your brain processes it or something. To me it has a gross medicinal smell, my wife says she smells perfectly ripe banannas. I wish I smelled banannas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Yeah, I wish I could smell them like bananas too. But more of a chemical/medicinal smell like in the
hospital cleaning agents. Strange thing is they all released it at the same time so the air smell
changes suddenly like a big chemical fart. Buzz! All at once. Time to come back in another day.
The gentle bees rarely did this on a hive check though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I wish I could smell them like bananas too. But more of a chemical/medicinal smell like in the
hospital cleaning agents. Strange thing is they all released it at the same time so the air smell
changes suddenly like a big chemical fart. Buzz! All at once. Time to come back in another day.
The gentle bees rarely did this on a hive check though.
That's exactly what happened beepro. All at once it hit me. Also seemed to be coming more from one side of the hive. It def was not bananas but that burnt medicinal smell. Since I was rearranging multiple hives separated by miles apart and I smelled it in both after I had been in them for a while and after I had run out of smoke( I never can keep my smoker lit longer than :30) I figured it was a pheremone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
It seems like the defensive/attack smell will last a day or two after getting on your bee suit or clothes.
I also think it is the same chemical injected into our skin after getting stung to alert other bees
to keep on attacking. But I may be wrong here. Even when we breathe this smell will carry out into the air so other bees
will smell it too. If you immediately went to inspect another hive then the bees instantly recognized
this smell and released some more. A bigger smoker is the best bet or get a second, third as a backup.
I wonder if there is a difference if we take a bath and change into new clothes to inspect the second hive. You think the
smell got stuck inside our lungs for awhile?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
So how many seconds after the detection of the smell do you have before full out attack?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Most of the time when I smell it they just sort of rumble up to the top of the open box, a few puffs of smoke and usually they retreat back down. Every now and then they're pissy enough that the smoke doesn't help and they're intent on attack. That's when I step away for a minute then button them up and call it a day. If I'm almost done with whatever I went in to do then I just grin and bear it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,978 Posts
A little late to the thread, but... :)

I was sitting out at the beeyard the other day, not inspecting but just watching from probably 10-12 feet away from the closest hive. When a bee came at my head and got me on the forehead. It didn't feel like a full-on sting and I either managed to scrape the stinger out before I got back to the house or the bee didn't bury the barbs. It stung, and it was red and itchy later, but relatively no swelling to it. Nothing really abnormal there but one thing....when I felt the sting I instantly got the strongest smell of LEMON that I have smelled coming from bees...the nearest I've come to smelling it that strong was this year when hiving a particular swarm. I thought the lemon smell was associated with queens....? :scratch:

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
ED what you had was the very rare and valuable lemon bee, cousin the the mango bee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
I just came across this interesting thread. I've been "blessed" with an extremely sensitive sense of smell. At least I've been told this many times by many people. Many of these people have been the victims of my FBI class sense of nose and shortly after becoming aware of my "gift" have also become victims of my rather sick and heartless sense of humor. Anyway I am not pleased to admit that I have never associated any smell from my bees with their defensiveness. I am going to try to pay better attention to this now for sure. I have, in the past, sniffed out swarms from my yard and the aroma of a nectar flow in the bee yard is something that cannot be put into words but I have never smelled bananas,almonds or any medicinal smells. I hope I am not loosing my above average sense of smell. It is one of the only things I've got going for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,113 Posts
I would describe the small as "artificial banana flavor" smell. Like "banana" candy which, as we all know, smells nothing like a real banana...
Smells just like this. Y'all probably don't have Blue Bell Ice Cream in many places up north, but it smells just like their banana pops to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,186 Posts
A jackass who will remain nameless, joked about smearing bananas on yourself before tending bees. Well I didn't do that but I was taking a tip on a chalkbrood cure that involves a banana skin on the top bars. Let us say, do not do this, especially with bare hands as they turn bee colored very rapidly! I would say banana smell must be pretty close to the real thing as the smell of banana will bring on an attack.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top