Mischievous proliferous: the scoop on bee poop
Okay, Mischievous proliferous is not an official name for anything, but it’s the name given to honey bees by my husband. It is loosely translated as “many troublemakers.” The problem he sees with honey bees in not the stinging or the intimidating flybys, but the prolific drops of feces that cover just about everything for six months of the year.
The hardest hit objects of male affection, of course, are vehicles. The second is skylights. As I explained in an earlier post, he believes that bees are like birds. They don’t just drop a load whenever they please but seek shiny objects as targets—like a game. Shiny objects include newly washed cars, shimmering swimming pools, snow white lawn furniture, and freshly painted fences.
Living under bees
Even I have to admit it can get pretty bad around here. When the skylights no longer admit sunlight—and you can no longer see the hood of the car from the driver’s seat—you are more or less forced to do something. Last month we had a guest from Seattle who suddenly looked into the sky, then thrust his hand in front of me. “Is that bee stuff?” he asked, amazed. “I thought it was raining.”
I winced when I saw the sticky yellow splotch of the back of his hand. It was time to smile and offer honey.
After years of experience, my husband is now the self-proclaimed world authority on removing bee poop from cars and skylights. After trying high-end car washes and pressure washers that didn’t work, he settled on the “pre-soak” as the very best method.
The bee poop pre-soak
You can hose down the objects a few minutes before you plan to wash them or—if you want to skip this step—you can commence the wash after a rainstorm or early in the day after a heavy morning dew. After they have soaked, it is possible to remove them with soap and water or a pressure washer.
To make the job easier next time, keep the vehicles waxed. While the pollen stains yellow, it eventually comes off. But other bio-chemicals from the honey bee digestive tract may damage the surface of certain objects if they are not cleaned regularly.
Oh, yes . . . there’s one more thing. By the time you get completely around your car, it will be time to start over again. If you want your work to last more than about ten minutes, do it in the dead of night or the dead of winter.
Honey Bee Suite