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Bananas and Bees

 
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:02 am    Post subject: Bananas and Bees Reply with quote

Is it true that if you eat bananas and approach the hive the bees will pick up a scent and attack you or is someone pulling my leg.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jurgen Tautz mentioned that in his book Buzz About Bees (I think) saying that Bananas have the same smell as the bees attack pheromone.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try it and I'm sure you'll find out pretty quickly !
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend was stung on the edge of her nostril and immediately noticed a strong smell of bananas, confirming what I had read from Tautz, mentioned above.
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I am just about to head out to do my first full spring inspection. Today is a nice warm day of about 20 degrees Celsius.
I have placed a "bee cake" in my hives (a thick food for bees during the winter - I don't know what it is called in English), and I still have about 6kg of that bee cake with me.

I don't know should I continue giving them that "Bee cake" or should I start feeding them a sugar syrup? What do you think?
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

agapetos wrote:
I have placed a "bee cake" in my hives (a thick food for bees during the winter - I don't know what it is called in English)


It might be what we call fondant.
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oups - sorry, only now have I noticed that I have placed my question in a wrong topic. should i delete it?
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries - it's fine here!
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1568
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you feel it necessary to feed your bees?

Are they low on honey stores?

Feeding syrup now will stimulate brood rearing, but unless the weather is settled where you are, there is a risk of it getting chilled if there is a cold snap. I prefer to let my bees build up slowly as nectar becomes available naturally. That way, they stay in rhythm with the climate and local flora. To my mind this is an important part of a honey bee colony's existence and survival.

What are the flowers and weather like where you are? If you are clear of winter weather and dandelions are flowering and the temperature in getting up to 15C then they should not need feeding as they will be getting nectar from flowers. I would certainly not give them any more fondant "bee cakes" unless you are still getting winter weather and they have no honey left.

Those are just my thoughts and others will no doubt have other opinions.

Good luck with them whatever you do.

Regards

Barbara
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Barbara, however it is important to mention that Barbara doesnt take much if any honey from the bees (if I understood right), so if you harvested honey and fed foundant only then they sure might be short on stores.

I would any way just remove the follower board gently and look at the last 2 combs. If they have some capped honey there they will be just fine. Be extremely gentle with removing the follower board and the last two top bars because the propolis is very hard at this time still, so when pushing the knife between the top bars always support the top bar/follower board with the other hand so it does not shake the hive/comb. Combs are also very brittle when cold and can easily break if you move them fast. You want to avoid that. Also do not forget to detach the wax comb from the wall before you remove the comb.

I can see in my locality Goat Willow and "normal" Willow beginning to open up. As soon both male and female Willow trees start blooming they will have plenty of fresh food Smile

@ Barbara, dont you think brood raising has already begun? My bees sure have larvae in the brood combs. This was another mild winter and Im sure bees have started raising brood very early this year. But sure I would not go with the sugar syrup because of all the energy needed to evaporate it. Foundant would be a better choice, but I never had to do that because my bees always had more than enough through out the whole winter. I feed my bees in October until I see the last comb being capped (7-10 combs total depending on the colony strength)

My 2 cents
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1568
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dusko

Yes of course brood rearing has started and probably did several weeks if not months ago but in my experience, it is usually at a minimal level until fresh nectar becomes available (or light syrup is fed). Then the brood nest starts to expand rapidly if there is a good flow of nectar or syrup. The nectar of course will only be available whilst the weather is warm enough to work it and can only be brought in during the day, whereas the syrup is available in bulk day and night regardless of the weather. The bees if they have good natural instincts, will limit their brood rearing to the food available which with nectar is of course linked to the weather/climate and if it turns cool, they ease back on brood production. Syrup is not and to my mind that is when things can get out of sync.

You are right that I don't harvest much honey (maybe one super from each of my conventional hives and a couple of bars from the full size TBHs and the others are either conservation hives or first year swarms) but that is mostly because I allow my bees to swarm multiple times each year and then take a long brood break in the summer, which means there are not enough bees to produce a large excess. I personally cannot see the point of buying and feeding sugar to my bees in order to get more honey, especially when I don't sell it. It doesn't make financial sense. I get enough for friends and family from the colonies that I have, existing naturally.
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ShannaRose
House Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 10
Location: USA, Hawaii, Pahoa

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: bananas and bees!? Reply with quote

If that were true all the many bee keepers in Hawaii would not be able to work our bees! We grow and eat lots of bananas here and don't notice more stings than usual, but I will ask around- just for fun... I know my friends will get a good laugh, but I'll report back if there's more evidence.

Shanna Rose
Hawaii Island
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great because i asked a number of people and they said yes bananas cause bees to sting.
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