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
Reply

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

Rusty
Reply

Chris,

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

Bill
Reply

Can’t the bee have no privacy while pooping?

Rusty
Reply

It’s like a peephole in a restroom.

Mark
Reply

Interesting. I’m going to think twice about edible flowers now :)

Julie Lauletta
Reply

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

Royston
Reply

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

Pat
Reply

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

macca
Reply

“Interesting. I’m going to think twice about edible flowers now :)”

Apparently it tastes like honey :)

Lori
Reply

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

Rusty
Reply

Ha! Who’s to say I’m not!

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