Where do queens go to the toilet?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

melon 

House Bee
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
Just reading up on all the bee Body workings for mod 5, and was left wondering about where the queen must defecate. I assume she must defecate, and she doesn't leave the hive, so does anyone know where and whether the workers have to clean up. She can't just keep storing it forever, surely.
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
***
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,240
Reaction score
913
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
One of the many tasks of her attendants is to consume her excretia.
 

Curley 

House Bee
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
364
Reaction score
7
Location
Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
8
and the none flying bees?

Apologies for hijacking the thread but on a related topic.....
I was watching my bees out in the sun on Sunday pm, presumably to stretch their wings and relieve themselves and maybe take a look at the snowdrops and I wondered about what the non flying bees did for their toilet duties.
OK HM has her retinue but my understanding is that typically (perhaps not at this time of year) about half the bees are performing house duties and don't leave the hive. But they are still eating and prosumably producing poo. What happens to that waste?
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,655
Reaction score
6,077
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
my understanding is that typically (perhaps not at this time of year) about half the bees are performing house duties and don't leave the hive. But they are still eating and prosumably producing poo. What happens to that waste?
All the bees at this time of year can fly....they were born in the autumn, remember.
As far as new brood, well I guess they wait till they do fly out.
 

melon 

House Bee
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
MBC-do they actually consume the queen's excreta then, or just carry it out In their mouths?
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
***
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,240
Reaction score
913
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
MBC-do they actually consume the queen's excreta then, or just carry it out In their mouths?
I don't think there's much to carry out, the queen is fed food which is already highly refined and I imagine what she secretes isn't really poo as we think of it but stuff that's laced with all the chemicals/pheromones that keep the colony together. We know the attendants pass these chemicals along through trophilaxis- sharing food- and without them the bees soon know they're queenless.
 
Last edited:

melon 

House Bee
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
Very interesting. Thank you. As regards the young bees, I suppose there is plenty of storage space in their rectum, as they usually go out after 3 weeks, and bees overwintering can store excretion collections for a much longer period. Also, the young bees have orientation flights before they become foragers, don't they.
 

jonnybeegood 

Banned
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
1,373
Reaction score
0
Location
Earth
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
MBC-do they actually consume the queen's excreta then, or just carry it out In their mouths?
Isnt that what the real HM 's butlers do for her & the rest of the clan? Cant see them wiping their own.
 

parkranger 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
272
Reaction score
0
Location
Great Yarmouth
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5 Nats and 1 tbh
Apparently the three weeks much have been up today because according to my wife, the inhabitants of six hives did a bombing run on a full line of washing today and I won't be wearing a white shirt for a while.
 

melon 

House Bee
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
Apparently the three weeks much have been up today because according to my wife, the inhabitants of six hives did a bombing run on a full line of washing today and I won't be wearing a white shirt for a while.
Oh dear. Funny how they like to aim at the washing specifically, or is there that much poo all over everywhere that we can't see.
Been too cold and dull here for any external activity.
 

masterBK 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
2,273
Reaction score
302
Location
S Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
wintering 31
Funny how they like to aim at the washing specifically.

I think it is the optical brightening agent (from the washing powder/liquid) that is left in the material after washing clothes that attracts honey bees (absorbs U.V light and re-emits / fluoresces visible light at the blue end of the spectrum. Bees are attracted to blue light)
 
Last edited:

melon 

House Bee
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
I think it is the optical brightening agent (from the washing powder/liquid) that is left in the material after washing clothes that attracts honey bees (absorbs U.V light and re-emits / fluoresces visible light at the blue end of the spectrum. Bees are attracted to blue light)[/QUOTE]

Are you serious or having a gag?
 

wessexmario 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
1,095
Reaction score
0
Location
North Wiltshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
bee poo on washing is probably like bird poo on your car...

in reality it's randomly spread everywhere, but you notice it more on the things that were clean to start with and that you want to keep clean.
 

BeeJayBee 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
5,200
Reaction score
1
Location
Hants
Hive Type
langstroth
I think it is the optical brightening agent (from the washing powder/liquid) that is left in the material after washing clothes that attracts honey bees (absorbs U.V light and re-emits / fluoresces visible light at the blue end of the spectrum. Bees are attracted to blue light)
Are you serious or having a gag?
Try these links
http://www.visualnews.com/2013/04/hidden-patterns-how-a-bee-sees-the-world-of-flowers/
and
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128261.700-crittervision-see-like-a-bee.html
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
28,506
Reaction score
6,285
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
you notice it more on the things that were clean to start with and that you want to keep clean.
Well, I notice it on my vehicle and nothing in that sentence apples.
I believe it was clean the day I bought it and I did have it valeted when SWMBO graduated
 

Latest posts

Top