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Author Topic: "Smell" from hve...  (Read 1230 times)
beebiz
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« on: March 04, 2006, 09:09:38 PM »

Hey all,

The last couple of times that I looked in my hive, I noticed a smell coming from it.  At first I thought sure it was fermented honey.  But, it had kind of a lemony-sweet smell about it.  And, we don't have citrus plants here in West TN.

I did a search for fermented honey and found Michael's comment about nasonov phermone having kind of a lemon pledge smell with something else in the background.  Michael's description seems to "hit the nail on the head" in describing the smell.

I've done a little more investigaging in the hive and have found that most of the honey in the upper hive body is a beautiful, light, golden color.  But, there is one frame located at the very end that has rather dark brown honey and rather dark brown comb.  The comb almost looks as if it were made from wax that was mixed with propolis.  There are no signs of mold or anything that way on it.  But, the frame is rather strong with that same smell.  I also noticed that the bees left an empty frame between the rest of the honey stores and the brown  comb.

I have seen some gray colored beetles in the hive that remind me of a lady with a long pointed nose.  And, they're about the same size as a lady bug.  Fearing that they might be SHB, I did a google search for SHB.  But, the pics of the SHB that I have seen don't look quite like the beetles in my hive.

This hive was started from a swarm last year.  In the warm temps that we have been having, its population seems to have almost doubled overnight.  And, they've been taking 1:1 sugar water like it was going out of style.... about 1 1/2 quarts per day.

Here are my questions.

First, anyone have any suggestions as to what might be going on with the smell and the brown comb of honey?

Second, based on what you now know about the hive and the beetles that I've found, do you think there is cause for concern about them?

Third, have you ever known of bees that are kept in zone 6 to swarm in March or early April?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Robert
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2006, 06:35:00 AM »

>First, anyone have any suggestions as to what might be going on with the smell and the brown comb of honey?
The smell is most likely from the nectar they collelected.  I don't know your local plants, but here in NY,  when the bees collect nectar from golden rod and purple loosestrife,  you can smell the hives from 30 feet away.   The dark comb is most likely from brood being reared in the frame or from heavy bee traffic.

Third, have you ever known of bees that are kept in zone 6 to swarm in March or early April?

No experience, but could see it happen if conditions where right.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006, 11:17:32 AM »

>First, anyone have any suggestions as to what might be going on with the smell

No, but lemony wouldn't worry me any.

> and the brown comb of honey?

It's made of old wax they recycled.  That's normal early in the spring.

>Second, based on what you now know about the hive and the beetles that I've found, do you think there is cause for concern about them?

If it doesn't look like the ones online it's probably not a SHB.  If you're really worried send them to Beltsville lab and they will tell you for sure.

>Third, have you ever known of bees that are kept in zone 6 to swarm in March or early April?

Mine are about a month and a half ahead right now and I think they might swarm soon if I don't do something.
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Michael Bush
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beebiz
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 11:12:55 PM »

Thanks for the input.

Michael, I've got a long hive that I built and it's ready for bees.  Keeping in mind that making a massive amount of honey is not my first concern, I have a question.  If the weather and temps hold like they have been for the last couple of weeks, would it hurt anything (other than honey production) to go ahead and make a split in a week or two?

If I make a split and find no queen cells, what I intend to do is to make what you have referred to as a typical split.  I'll go back four days after making the division and destroy all queen cells and let them start new ones.

Thanks again for your input.  And, thanks for turning me on to the long hive idea.  It's the only way that I have a chance at being able to handle more than one or two hives!  So, I'm going to try it.

Robert
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