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Do bees go bananas?

IMG_2146In theory ripe bananas should have some effect on bees, but there was no apparent reaction from mine so far.

Ripe bananas give off isoplentylacetate, the main component of the honeybee alarm pheromone. (I picked up this factoid in Jurgen Tautz’s wonderful book, The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism.) So, in theory, they might be expected to become a bit stroppy in the vicinity of a nicely blackened banana.

Immediately after a thunderstorm I put one at the entrance to a queen-making nuke, but they didn’t seem to care much at all. Not even the dead bee thrown out before the storm.

Has anyone noticed their bees going bananas?

(By coincidence, I see this topic has just been raised today on Bee_L Listserv)

Turlough, Vita’s Beekeeper Blogger

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