I love these photos. Yesterday my top-bar hive was bursting at the seams. My husband kept urging me to check it for swarm cells and I kept putting it off. But finally, I dug through an egregious number of bees only to find a skeleton!
It is so cool. It was lying on the screened bottom, covered in bees. I gently lifted it out and laid it on the top bars so I could see it better. It was perfectly intact and most of the bones were clean.
I had always heard that bees will coat dead things with propolis to control the spread of bacteria, but this little guy had been neatly parted and carried away. I speculated that during the winter the bees may be more apt to coat something, but in flying weather they may prefer to remove it. I don’t know . . . but it sure was fascinating to see.