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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:scratch: 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.
 

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Neither a stinker nor a smeller bee!!

[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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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 !







.
 

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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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