Why Bees Smell Like Lemon


Being that this is Easter season, I went on an egg hunt of sorts today, checking to see if my new queen bee is laying eggs. Huzzah! Look in the cells between the four bees on the left-hand side of this photo. You might need to click on the photo to enlarge it. See some small white pins that look like rice? Bee eggs! Proof Her Majesty is going to work, laying up to 1,500 eggs a day.

When I closed the hives, I spotted a handful of bees fanning their wings madly at the entrance. Bees can flap their wings more than 200 times per SECOND. Watch it on slo-mo video, where you can see the bees bend the tips of their abdomens to expose their Nasanov glands. The gland releases a lemon-scented attraction pheromone that helps foraging bees smell their way home. Think of it as sprinkling lemongrass on your doorstep to ensure that your family members remember which house is theirs.

Now if you smell bananas, you’ve got an entirely different problem. More on that in a later post …

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