We take a break from documenting the yellow jacket wars and attempt a lighter note.
Truly it is written that everyone poops. We mentioned having seen proof on our nice, new, white bee jackets and hats after our first hiving. A few tiny, mustard yellow dots.
On mentioning this to non-beeks the immediate response is almost always a slightly worried inquiry whether bees poop in the honey. In brief, no, they do not. Rather than defecate (formal for ‘poop’) anywhere within the hive (let alone into the honey) a healthy honeybee takes a short flight out of the hive and back, dropping payload as she goes. The queen is the exception. She has attendant bees to care for all her needs, including removing her infrequent poo.
When weather will not permit flying the bees simply wait. For weeks if necessary. During the winter months they take advantage of the odd warming spell to have a ‘cleansing flight’. The lack of such days during this last winter is one of the factors being blamed for the unusually high losses in Michigan. Oh, dear, we hit a serious note again.