bee feces

Bee poop on flowers: the best in sanitary practices?

Sunshine made an unexpected appearance, so I got my camera and went looking for . . . well, I really didn’t know. Just something. The trees 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 unsuspecting 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.

Bee poop on flowers: a sticky mess for an unsuspecting forager.

A sticky mess for an unsuspecting forager.

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