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Alarm pheromone


I wonder if I am the only one that has suddenly and unexpectedly gone into high alert when opening the compost bucket and smelling the banana skin my daughter left there??? Seriously this has happened to me three times now! #Onetoomanystings!


@cathiemac are you saying you’ve smelled the bees’ alarm pheromone when being stung and now your olfactories have linked these together?! That’s very interesting! I haven’t had that happen but I certainly see how it could :confounded::banana::honeybee:


Yes Eva, strange as it is! I have had three stings on my face and the smell of banana was so strong each time that now there’s an association with bees when I get a whiff (suddenly) of an opened banana. We have a kind of candy with an artificial banana flavouring here in Australia that smells exactly like that bee alarm pheromone as well!


that’s odd- to me that bee alarm smell doesn’t remind me of bananas. I find the smell of bananas pleasant- but that bee smell distinctly unpleasant.


I think it is all the same chemical. I think it is in model aircraft “dope” as well…the stuff that you put on the tissue paper…
…to tighten it.


Not the stuff that you put inside wrappers, then burn, to loosen yourself? :smile: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Come on, you know you wanted me to go there… :blush:


Truly…that is what we used to call it…:grinning:


I know, I have used it on my balsa wood model gliders in the past. Each of them flew… at least once. :rofl:


Very interesting @cathiemac. I would say I don’t find bananas disturbing, but over-ripe bananas are definitely unappealing to me from the smell point of view.

When I was in my early 20s, I had an old car which needed to have the transmission changed. My father and I did it together. It was an incredibly difficult, heavy and dirty job. Many bruises and skinned knuckles etc. But the worst part was the transmission fluid. It smelled strongly of over-ripe kiwi fruit. I hardly ever choose eat kiwi fruit now. :blush:

Oh and when we were done, the new transmission wasn’t much better than the old one. I guess that is what happens when you use junkyard scrap! :wink:


Wow Jack, it’s funny how we all experience things differently. When I get a sting or attempted sting it -to me- smells exactly like someone just tore open a bag of banana lollies. It lasts just a second though.


Ahh, but you bonded with your Dad over that junky transmission so it was worth it!


Dawn, this is not the first time you’ve reefered to this activity…


That’s interesting, I’ve been stung on the face, but not smelt bananas.
Even when they were flying around me for hours trying to attack me. Maybe the sound was more overpowering than any smell around.

At least you get an warning sign if they have raised the alarm :slight_smile:


Sounds like you are talking of first hand experience of a wayward youth.:laughing:


Not at all. I have very reactive asthma, and have never been able to smoke anything. However, my brother has tried just about everything short of needles (he is very squeamish, and faints easily).

Also, as a doctor, you get a pretty broad picture of what people do with themselves. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Only ribbing you Dawn, but it must make you wonder why we humans are not already extinct the way some people abuse their bodies. :hushed:


Last year I picked up 2 complete double deep hives from over 2 hours drive away. When I got home after bouncing them down the road in the back of a pickup for 2 hours it was an unmistakably strong smell of banana bread coming from the screened covers on the top of the hive.

Needless to say, I let them settle for a couple hours before opening the screened entrance!


After having been stung a number of times by cranky bees, I also get alarmed when I smell bananas now. I also noticed that I can still detect the alarm pheromone/banana smell on my bee suit after an ugly episode. I now make an effort to be sure to wash the suit after an inspection if I’ve encountered the banana smell or see stingers protruding from the surface of the suit. If I can still smell the pheromone, the bees certainly can, and that may contribute to more unprovoked attacks - maybe my bees weren’t as cranky as I thought they were!


Great idea. I go one step further and use a fabric softener with lavender scent. Lavender is apparently calming for bees. :blush: Not sure that it really works, but they don’t attack my freshly-washed suit, and it make me feel good when I smell it. :wink: