A friend called me over to her house today after her gardeners complained about a beehive. We both marched around her yard peering at the eaves of her house. All we found were a handful of wasps.
Then I smelled it–that distinctive, slightly sweet but hard to describe smell that beehives put off. I looked up through a bougainvillea bush and found the hive–living in a garage wall next door to my friend’s house.
If you know what this smell is, please leave a comment as I’ve been unable to find a good answer. I’m guessing that it’s a mixture of many smells: fermenting honey, pollen, wax, propolis, pheromones, etc. And I’m sure that the bees can parse out these smells as easily as we skip around the internet. Micheal Thiele describes beehives as, “a giant nose.”
To us this hive smell is a complex mixture of smell notes, like a good bottle of wine. I have a feeling that to the bees it’s their internet: a complex network of information.