beeswax photographs

The best bee butt photo

Honey bee exuding wax from abdomen. Photo by Debbe Krape.

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 from wax glands. Photo by Debbe Krape.


  • Debbe,
    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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • Rusty, I’m writing a book about rooftop beekeeping here in London UK and I’d like to include Debbe’s photo – fully credited of course! Could you forward this message to her?

  • Rusty~
    I saw you forwarded a message to Debbie Krape. Would you mind doing the same for me?

    Love the website.

    Linda Di Gloria
    Glory Bee Farm
    Clearwater, Florida

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