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Author Topic: Buttered Biscuits?  (Read 123 times)

Offline guitarstitch

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Buttered Biscuits?
« on: March 25, 2020, 11:52:20 am »
Ok, here's a new one for me.  I have a hive that literally smells like fresh buttered biscuits.  The hive is currently in the process of making a new queen after a split (capped queen cells in the hive last Thursday) so I don't want to open it up and spook 'em.  However, I have never experienced a buttered biscuit smell before.  None of my other hives have this aroma.

The colony is quite strong, even after the split.  I didn't see many SHB when I was in the hive last week and it appeared that the bees had that well under control.

Any idea what in Northeast Florida could be contributing to the smell?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Buttered Biscuits?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 12:35:09 pm »
I am not referring to your buttered biscuit smell; but to SHB.  It does not take long for SHB  to take over a hive. I learned this the hard way. I am not implying this is your situation but simply warning of the speed and sure destruction by SHB. Some say a strong hive will keep them in check. In my opinion, I would not rely on that for certainty. It seems some years are better or worse than others from what I have gathered here. ?? Good luck with your bees. 

Phillip Hall




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« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 02:45:15 pm by Ben Framed »

Offline guitarstitch

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Re: Buttered Biscuits?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 02:59:53 pm »
I am not referring to your buttered biscuit smell; but to SHB.  It does not take long for SHB  to take over a hive. I learned this the hard way. I am not implying this is your situation but simply warning of the speed and sure destruction by SHB. Some say a strong hive will keep them in check. In my opinion, I would not rely on that for certainty. It seems some years are better or worse than others from what I have gathered here. ?? Good luck with your bees. 

Phillip Hall

Hey Phillip,

Thanks for your reply.  SHB can definitely crop up here in Florida with a vengeance. In my three years of beekeeping, I have found that proper space management has worked well for keeping the beetles under control.  However, three years is not a long time and situations change frequently.  That said, I do monitor for signs of SHB takeover.  I don't run plastic frames and am slowly phasing out foundation in my brood boxes.

I have smelled a couple of hives that were taken over by SHB and am reasonably confident that's not what this is, fortunately.  My next "check date" for this hive is 4/14, so we'll see what happens then.  :)

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Buttered Biscuits?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2020, 03:13:09 pm »



>I have smelled a couple of hives that were taken over by SHB and am reasonably confident that's not what this is,
  fortunately.  My next "check date" for this hive is 4/14, so we'll see what happens then.  :)

Good, you are well educated of SHB. Thank you for your reply. I do not know if I have properly welcomed you here, and in case I did not. I will say WELCOME! Very glad to have you here as a fellow member. Let us know what that good smell is once you pinpoint it.
 :grin:

Phillip Hall

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Buttered Biscuits?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 04:19:14 pm »
The smell is most likely a unique flora.  Maybe that hive is your only hive to visit a particular patch of flower that affords a unique smell.  Rather pleasant I am thinking.  However consider butyric acid, rancid butter, which can form from degradation of many substances besides butter.  This is my only concern.   So, a sweet smell, is Ok, but rancid butter is cause for inspection.

A banana smell is not good, defensive alarm pheromone.  My hives will present a golden rod smell this fall.  I can stand downwind 50 feet and smell the golden rod. 

BTW, lack of smell, is first sign of corvid19 with most, but not all folks.

Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Barhopper

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Re: Buttered Biscuits?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 10:08:09 pm »
Matt,
I know the smell you?re talking about. Mine at the house are smelling the same. I call it a yeasty kinda smell. IMO they?re on a flow and putting up nectar and making bee bread. I smell it every year. I don?t believe you have any thing to worry about.

Offline guitarstitch

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Re: Buttered Biscuits?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2020, 03:55:11 pm »
Thanks all.

The smell is definitely not unpleasant as I would imagine rancid things to be.  The butyric acid as a byproduct of anaerobic fermentation is an interesting concept.  I did have quite an abundance of winter stores in this colony and had some condensation issues in the top box, so there is a possibility that something got wet, then got capped.  It's not what I would expect, but anything is possible.

Based on the hive activity at the entrance and the relatively calm demeanor of the bees, I'm not terribly worried about it at this time.  I'll know a lot more in two weeks when I crack it open to investigate whether or not they successfully re-queened from the split.  :)  I was mostly curious, as I've heard of quite a few scents coming from hives, but buttered biscuits was never mentioned.  lol

-Matt