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Smell of honey = disease?

Hi all,
When hanging out around my hives, I’ve noticed that from one of them, a strong smell of honey emerges. I have a vague recollection of having read somewhere that this might be an indication of disease, but it’s vague… have I made that up? :slight_smile:

They may just be evaporating a lot of water.
Does the hive sound like an air con unit?
Best get in there and look…better than any conjecture from the rest of us.


I second @Dee’s comment. I walked up to one of our hives a few weeks ago, and smelled a very strong aromatic odor. I was worried when I detected it. Opened the hive, and everything looked great. Then I noticed a flowering evergreen Jasmine nearby in full bloom - that was the overpowering smell… :blush:

Hi Olivia, that smell of honey is quite normal. I get it more in colder weather when there’s no wind around. Once, only once I smelt it at the gate of my main bee site. The hives would be about 40 or more meters from the gate. It’s as @Dee said, bees de-watering the honey. Yes, certainly take a look.

PS. It’s a beautiful smell.

??? I took a look!!!

This is my busiest hive, the result of a merger between one strong hive and one weak hive. I found:

2 capped queen cells

4-6 uncapped queen cells with something inside, from mushy white stuff (I’m assuming that was a larva) to a fully formed queen (three of those).

and a dozen “starts”of queen cells where the cell had started to be built but there wasn’t anythign in it.

I saw virtually no uncapped brood. Couldn’t tell if eggs due to veil malfunction. In the bottom box (formerly brood box of the weak hive), I saw a TON of drone comb. I mean, at least two frames of drone comb on both sides.

So, if I understand @Michael_Bush correctly, old queen has probably already swarmed. I destroyed all but the two capped queen cells, crossed my fingers and hoped.

Was that the correct procedure? The various boxes all seemed pretty full (80-90%), should I add another super?

I would have left one open cell that you could see a larva swimming in jelly
It might be an idea to take the frames of drones out

Oh really? I’d never thought of taking the drone frames out- do tell?

Wrong thread…

Based on the time of year, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere, it’s more likely that they superseded and didn’t swarm (though swarming is a possibility). Except you have different age larvae it sounds like, maybe. If so then maybe they already swarmed. Either way there is nothing to do now except make sure they have enough food for winter.

I’m in San Francisco- does that fit the pattern? All the queen cells were at the bottom of frames, that’s why I thought they were swarm cells. Deep box + 3 mediums, the top super was chock-full of honey. I think I saw 3-4 larvae in total (in the entire hive).



Gotcha. Thank you. The other reason I’d assumed it was swarming is that this was an very, very busy hive, the result of merging one already super-busy hive with a weak (possibly queenless) hive. I thought maybe I’d just made them too crowded by merging them.