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The best bee butt photo

After I complained about bees doing a quick turn-around just as I tried to shoot a portrait, Debbe in Delaware sent me her best bee butt photo which is nothing short of fantastic. It is certainly one of the best photos I have ever seen of wax glands in action. She writes:

I took this photo a couple of years ago with an inexpensive point and shoot camera. The bee was from a recently installed package and was clearly confused about the inside/outside part of the whole deal [the bee was on the outside of the hive]. Nevertheless, I thought it was a cool picture; so for anyone who ever wondered about exactly where the wax glands are, this “butt picture” appears to provide the answer.

Honey bee exuding wax. Photo by Debbe Krape.



That’s so cool!!


Congratulations! A breathtaking (and really educational) image. Can’t wait to share with my insatiably curious young friends and relations who demand to know how bees could possibly MAKE wax!
Shady Grove Farm
Corinth, KY


Omg – who knew! I immediately shared this with my bee club. Awesome!


I managed to get a photo of a bee making wax a few weeks ago, but this butt angle is more revealing, to say the least. Wow.

Have you ever found this clear wax in piles on the bottom board, unused by the bees?

Beatriz Moisset

That is an awful lot of wax! I never imagined that it would look like that.


Very educational picture. Thanks for sharing!

rebecca adimari

Terrific photo. A couple of years ago I had a swarm take up residence in a decorative house pillar. I did a trap out to get them out and combined them with my colony. But during the trapout they’d congregate on some exposed wood and left peculiar pattern of tiny wax ‘droppings.’ Now I see from the photo the why and how of the pattern.



Zach Huang

Nice photo! but this is not a normal situation. The wax scales here have been piled up, probably 4-8 scales together, making it so prominent. A more normal one is here. but I had to sacrifice that bee to make the photo 🙂