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The best in sanitary practices?

Sunshine made an unexpected appearance yesterday afternoon, so I got my camera and went looking for . . . well, I really didn’t know. Just something. The big-leaf maples were heavy with blossoms, the bees were soaring, and it seemed like an all-around good day for photos. What I found was completely unexpected.

I started photographing a honey bee on a dandelion. Why I do this, I have no clue. I have hundreds—maybe thousands—of photos of bees on dandelions, but I was shooting even more when I saw something I’d never seen before. She pooped . . . right there on the dandelion while I watched.

I think the photos are instructive because they demonstrate how easy it is for diseases—especially those transmitted through feces like Nosema—to move from bee to bee, hive to hive, or even species to species. For some reason we don’t think of bee feces on flowers, we tend to think of it on cars, porches, bee hives, and bee suits. But as these photos demonstrate, they even leave it on flowers—in a place where the next unsuspected bee may land while she’s looking for food.

Rusty
HoneyBeeSuite

Bee on a dandelion, just hanging out.
Bee on a dandelion, just hanging out.
Suddenly, she poops in the flower.
Suddenly, she poops in the flower.
And then more.
And then more.
A sticky mess for an unsuspecting forager.
A sticky mess for an unsuspecting forager.

Comments

Chris

Huh…. today I learned that bee poop is bright yellow.
I was not expecting this.

Rusty

Chris,

Healthy bee poop is bright yellow. Dysentery is more brown. There is always something to learn, which is why I love them.

Bill

Can’t the bee have no privacy while pooping?

Rusty

It’s like a peephole in a restroom.

Mark

Interesting. I’m going to think twice about edible flowers now šŸ™‚

Julie Lauletta

That’s an enormous poop considering the size of the insect that produced it. Somehow I thought bee piles would be smaller.

Royston

Gosh! There’s more than I thought there would be!

Pat

That is one thing that really surprised me as a first-winter beekeeper – the size of bees’ cleansing-flight poops. šŸ˜‰

macca

“Interesting. Iā€™m going to think twice about edible flowers now :)”

Apparently it tastes like honey šŸ™‚

Lori

Only you Rusty, only you! You should have been a spy!

Rusty

Ha! Who’s to say I’m not!