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Author Topic: Smell in hive  (Read 4808 times)
annette
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« on: March 26, 2007, 02:50:44 AM »

Ok my dear beekeeping friends,

I have a smell in my hive. I had a bad mildew problem this winter and the hive is still sitting on top of a very mildewed table. I will replace table asap as soon as my friend finishes the new one. The smell though doesn't really smell mildew. Something else which I cannot describe, but it doesn't smell good. Maybe sort of sour

I did not want to disturb the hive right now, because I just did a split and I know both hives are trying to get the new queens up and running. So I did not want to start pulling frames apart just right now. The hives are looking so strong and healthy though with bees coming and going and bringing in so much pollen. So hard to believe they may have some disease.

I think I am in denial about this odor. What should I be looking for???

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tig
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 04:50:42 AM »

what i know gives off a sour smell is european foulbrood
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 07:51:18 AM »

I'd look at the brood, of course, but most hives have a bread dough, yeasty smell.  There is always sugar tolerant yeast on the surface of the combs.  If it's too strong, you could have fermented honey.  Do you have good ventilation?  You say you have mildew?  Maybe you need to make a top entrance to let the warm moist air out.  Cut a notch in the inner cover or prop it up with popscicle sticks.

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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 01:36:47 PM »

"I'd look at the brood, of course, but most hives have a bread dough, yeasty smell."

Yes, Michael, I believe that is what it smells like. So I need to look for bad smelling honey?? Do I remove the honey that smells off?? What would I do with this frame if this is indeed the problem??

I have improved the ventilation in the past few weeks so the mildew should leave soon.

Thanks for the help
Annette
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Mici
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 02:56:29 PM »

i doubt the yeast smell would come out of the honey, well i'm not saying it isn't possible but bees actually have dough inside the hive and that dough ferments-that is pollen prepared for feeding larvae.
i had some bad smell out of hives last year but later someone comforted me that it was just a mild nectar flow from...i forgot which plant.
anyway what i wanted to say is it could be nothing but in either case check the brood anyway, just to make sure, do a little search around the forum for "AFB symptoms" or anything similar, should come out with a number of hits which will be of a very good use.

might i also add that i have never heard that honey fermented inside the hive, not that it couldn't just that i haven't heard of it as a problem. but still wait for other replies, i'm replying just to,.,..be replying Smiley in a way
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 09:06:30 PM »

>So I need to look for bad smelling honey??

Does it smell like alcohol?  Or just a nice smell?  If it smells bad, I'd check the hive out thoroughly.   Make sure there are no SHB larvae and no fermentation.  Fermented honey is bubbly and smells like alcohol.

>Do I remove the honey that smells off??

If you like.  The bees will clean it up if there are enough of them.
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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 03:12:03 PM »

Have to wait a few days, as we are having a cold spell again, but when I get into the hive to search for that smell, do I just look at the frames of honey and smell them??? How will I know if the honey is fermented??? Will I be able to just smell that odor??

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annette
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 03:14:35 PM »

Sorry,  You already answered that question. It looks bubbly and smells like alcohol you said. After this cold spell ends I will get into the hive and search around.

thank you all the help
Annette
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qa33010
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 02:21:09 AM »

   Is there anything else that may cause this smell?  We have a can recycle bin that is always overloaded and with donations of beer and soda cans that have not been rinsed makes for an odor that at first alarmed me, after my nose fell off, but I now realize is from that and not the hives.  Even so I still look for brood problems.
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2009, 03:40:34 PM »

i have smelled something in two of my hives, too. just for a short moment, while taking of the cover... and it wasn`t pleasant. going to look closer tomorrow. man, and I thought keeping bees is all about honey.
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hardwood
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2009, 07:18:09 PM »

Just today I was doing an exterior inspection of my hives (you know, sitting there just watching them work grin) when I noticed an occasional foul stench. I narrowed it down, or so I thought, to just one hive. Neighbors must of thought I'd gone loony watching me sniff every crack in the hive to determine the source of the odor...flip-flops, beer in hand, nose to the hive, you know the drill. Anyway, I could swear the stink was coming from the top cover so I donned the veil, opened her up, went through every frame, looked for dead critters on the bottom board etc.....nothing.

Turns out my son had cleaned fish last night and thrown the offal into the lake (30 or so feet from the hives). I guess the eyesight might be the second thing to go.

Scott
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2009, 11:31:41 PM »

Do you have golden rod in your area?

This time of year they collect the pollen and nectar and the hives smell real bad. I freaked out last year thinking I had something wrong with my hives. I llearned from this site that it was the Golden Rod.

Good Luck.

Mike.

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bud1
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2009, 10:17:58 AM »

HI LADY; THIS TIME OF YR. MORE THAN LIKELY GOLDENROD AND ASTERS ; SMELLS LIKE OLD SWEATY SOCKS==A PILE OF THEM
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asprince
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2009, 11:00:54 AM »

Smells like money! Some customers love it.


Steve
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