what's that smell

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Joined
May 29, 2018
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Location
East Sussex
Hive Type
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is it bee pheromone or potentially bee venom that you smell when a colony gets feisty and flies out at you

i smell it occasionally with an unfortunately squished bee, but quite strongly when they surround my hood in a rush

anyone experience the same or know what i am picking up?
 
Sounds like the attack pheromone, some says it reminds them of bananas, others think it smells like pear drops, is that acetyl something or other? It can be very strong sometimes, on one occasion my wife could smell it on me as I walked in to the house after taking my bee suit off. Five minutes later a passing bee rushed up and stung me on the nose....o_O
 
i read it smells like bananas....i think that is right
When I managed to knock several hives over like a pack of cards, long story, there was a moment when everything was quiet then there was the most strong smell that just filled the air, a cross between almonds and bananas just before millions of bees lifted off into the air. I won't go onto details but the smell was so strong I nearly gagged. It is like cannabis, once smelt never forgotten!
 
I opened a large queenless colony this week and smelt artificial banana for the first time. It was just like seaside banana rock. Never smelt it before even with feisty bees even though I'd been told alarm pheromone can smell of banana. Isoamyl acetate. I quite liked it even though I knew what it meant! 😄
 
When I managed to knock several hives over like a pack of cards, long story, there was a moment when everything was quiet then there was the most strong smell that just filled the air, a cross between almonds and bananas just before millions of bees lifted off into the air. I won't go onto details but the smell was so strong I nearly gagged. It is like cannabis, once smelt never forgotten!
That was when you found adrenaline is brown, I believe?
 
Peardrops smell is a sign for me to close hive promptly and walk away
 
Roger Patterson has a video of a banana skin laying across the top bars of one of his hives and the bees couldn't care less. He also deliberately didn't remove a sting from his arm while inspecting a colony just to see if it's true that one sting invites more bees to 'have a go'. Result: no other bees were interested.
 
Roger Patterson has a video of a banana skin laying across the top bars of one of his hives and the bees couldn't care less. He also deliberately didn't remove a sting from his arm while inspecting a colony just to see if it's true that one sting invites more bees to 'have a go'. Result: no other bees were interested.
I'd have to disagree with the 2nd half of that - lots of requeening colonies, wandering near got one sting, then was immediately targeted by about 6 more!
 
I'd have to disagree with the 2nd half of that - lots of requeening colonies, wandering near got one sting, then was immediately targeted by about 6 more!

You're right to do so, in my opinion. Just because something doesn't happen on some occasions doesn't mean it's not the norm. There may be any number of reasons why, at that time, other bees weren't interested. It means nothing more than at that time it didn't happen. To insist otherwise suggests very poor reasoning, just as taking your example and claiming as a result that it would always happen would do.

James
 
Roger Patterson ... didn't remove a sting from his arm while inspecting a colony just to see if it's true that one sting invites more bees to 'have a go'. Result: no other bees were interested.
I remember that. The point was NOT well made because the bees were very calm and mostly not flying. I doubt that any if them noticed this solitary sting.
 
I've only smelt a weird sweet smell from a hive once.
Some 40 years ago during a bad storm in Lincs I heard a crash. Outside light went on and I saw one of my hives had been blown off the flat roof where I kept them.
I grabbed a golfing umbrella, leather cycling gloves and went outside.
Stuffed umbrella in the hedge to try and keep it over me and the bees.
I righted the brood box, super etc and began scooping bees into the brood box. Then I smelt a weird smell. Amazingly I did not get stung once ! Maybe they knew I was there to help.
I must have looked a funny sight in my pj's, knelt under an umbrella talking to bees saying its alright I'm helping you. My own moral support I think lol.
I rammed the umbrella further into the hedge. Put the hive back together and kept my fingers crossed.
Next day there were a lot of dead bees but also a colony back in the hive.
No sign of the golfing umbrella, probably in the farmers fields.
Honey bees never cease to amaze me and I love having them again.
 

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