Bee poop?

Isn’t “propolis (plant resin, which can contain antimicrobial chemicals) and in small mites that make their living feeding on the hive’s residue, including fecal material and mold” what is sold as “Royal Jelly”? It costs a fortune and it’s full of bee shit???

Royal Jelly is not poop, and its composition is not what you suggest. It is secreted from the hypopharyngeal glands in the heads of worker bees.

Anyway, I thought bee poop was a type of jazz. :smiley:


So it’s bee snot?

It’s not

Sorry, Propolis is not the same as Royal Jelly, but it is sold here in Germany as a wonder drug, a natural antibiotic, and is rather expensive for bee feces.

Cecil didn’t write this, SDSTAFF Doug did – it’s a Staff Report for Tuesday.

Thread moved accordingly.

Propolis is a sticky substance (made from wax, sap and who knows what - maybe bee spit) that the bees use to plug holes and glue things together. Why anyone would eat it I don’t know but there is a market. Royal Jelly is the food bees feed to the queen and to larvae when they want to make a new queen. Totally separate things.

I don’t know of any mites that eat bee poop. Perhaps Doug is thinking of hive beetles or bee louse? There are some parasitic mites, Varroa and tracheal for example, but they aren’t interested in poop.

In any case, the bees hold their poop until they can get outside as much as possible. On a warm day in mid-winter they will make a trip out just to void and the droppings can be seen all over the front of a hive. Of course, honey has all kinds of stuff in it from pollen to bee parts depending upon how it is extracted and filtered. Once you get past the idea of eating something that thousands of insects spit up a little foreign matter shouldn’t be a big issue

Very good staff report - well done, Doug. I would suggest the following changes in the next-to-last paragraph:

Most organisms carry microbes (including parasites and diseases) in their systems which are specific to themselves, so consuming feces produced by members of one’s own species is generally unwise. But eating the feces of some other, very distantly related animal is not nearly so risky; pathogens [lower case] rarely cross large taxonomic boundaries.

Do bees poop per se? I thought that they only had one way in and out.


No, pretty much everything higher on the evolutionary scale than jellyfish is built on the mouth-stomach-gut-anus plan, or at least had it once but lost it. However, there are two distinct groups, one where the original mouth/anus became the mouth, and a new opening became the anus, and one where it became the anus, and a new opening became the mouth. (We are in the latter group.)

That sounds interesting.

I was going to ask you to elaborate, as I thought it’d be difficult to find information, but as it turns out “mouth anus linages[sic]” was a search good enough to get this as the second hit: Embryological origins of the mouth and anus - Wikipedia