Why do all the bees die by my car?

I live in an apartment building and I park my car into a two-car carport area. It’s covered, but otherwise open to the elements. It sort of looks like this except it just holds two cars.

There are no plants where I park my car except for an occasional weed coming through the asphalt.

Every day I notice one or two bees on my car and they are never flying. They appear to be just wandering aimlessly. And every week there are about 20-30 dead bees in between the two cars in the carport. Someone comes by and cleans up the grounds and then, a week later, there is another buildup of dead bees.

This doesn’t seem to vary by the time of the year. It started in the spring and it’s still going on now.

Dude, time to take the socks out from under the back seat!

cough

Hmm, this sounds like a curious bee-havior.

Is there a light on the ceiling of the carport that might be attracting the bees at night? Maybe they die from repeatedly running into the light. I’ve seen other bugs do this, but I’m not sure about bees.

There is a light, but there are other carports that have light. And the bees are on the ground walking in circles in the daytime. I see many more of them alive during the day than at night, although that is just a factor of them being easier to see in the daytime.

None of the bees has ever tried to sting me.

From the sounds of the behavior, they sound like Carpenter Bees…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpenter_bee

-n

from your cite:
Some are often mistaken for a bumblebee species, as they can be similar in size and coloration, though most carpenter bees have a shiny abdomen, while in bumblebees the abdomen is completely clothed with dense hair.

If They’re dead then you can look them over. However, I think carpenter bees in the numbers described would be drilling holes all over the place.

I’m wondering if bees would be attracted to antifreeze. Is there a puddle under your car?

These don’t look like carpenter bees. They look like regular old honey bees.

My car doesn’t leak anything, although my neighbor’s did at one point. We both have white cars and I don’t know if that makes a difference. On the other side of the small lot where the cars park, there are some plants and there used to be a colony of bees there, maybe five or six years ago. But it was taken out because those bees would go after the people who parked near that plant.

The possibility exists that they are suffering from colony collapse disorder.

What are your night temps? In the fall I find bees on anything that provides some warmth. Your car fits the bill. They also go to white objects. I don’t suppose your car is white?

I have a white car. The guy next to me has a white car.

I live in Southern California, so night-time temps are relatively cool even in the hottest parts of summer. For example, a 100 degree day would still have night time temps in the high 70s.

My son is a beekeeper. He says that colony collapse disorder is a good possibility, given that you’re living in an area which has been badly hit. He says you should look carefully at the dead bees to see whether their wings are folded straight along their bodies, or if the wings are sticking out from the body the way they usually do. If their wings are against the body, it’s something else killing them, but if the wings are extended, it is most likely a mite infestation in their hive.

The mites he is talking about are “tracheal mites” which get in their trachea and prevent them from breathing. If you have any idea where the hives are (it could be a wild colony, but probably not), it would be a kind thing to tell the keeper (or the farmer who has rented the bees) that tracheal mite infestations are easily treated.

I checked the dead bees. They all have their wings sticking out.

I’m pretty sure it’s a wild colony of bees. I don’t think there are any beekeepers in the area as I live in the suburbs and I don’t see that as something that my city would allow.

But that’s interesting to find out.

Maybe your car is the previously unknown cause of CCD!

And I thought I was helping the environment by driving a Prius. Now I’m a bee killer.

propylene glycol?

The question remains, why by the car? If mites are the cause, why aren’t there dead bees all over the area?

Would dead bees be as visible elsewhere, or is the carport the only surface in your area that isn’t covered by foliage, etc? Have you checked other carports nearby?

I can say that neither car has any leaks. I haven’t checked other parts of the building, but I think I’m Dead Bee Central. I am the furthest away from any foliage.