White Backed Bees

Has anyone else noticed bees returning to the hive with white backs? I was very confused wondering if it was an invasion of outsider bees or a huge mite or what- but having searched the internet I think it must Himalayan Balsam pollen. (Huge sigh of relief.) We have it growing near by though I do pull it up whenever I see it in my patch but I am pleased my bees profit from the invasion further up stream.

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3 Responses to White Backed Bees

  1. Chester hazell says:

    Just gone to search for white backed hornets and seen your post. There’s loads down by the river and I thought i was seeing things. Not sure if wasp, bee or hornets as no expert but completely white backed. What causes this?

  2. Clare says:

    Strangely enough I was going to post something similar. I noticed the exact same thing last week at about the time that my hive was being robbed. I managed to catch one of the bees to take a closer look as I was convinced of some strange genetic type of robber!!! By the time I managed to look at it properly all the white had gone, so concluded that it must have been pollen that had rubbed off as the poor bee tried to escape the jar. I then also noticed that there was a little of the white stuff packed on to her legs and so was assured that it was one of my bees. I then released her back by the hive. So since then I have managed to stop the robbing and have been on the look out for what the pollen could be. Today when I took the dog for a walk I spotted a big clump of Himmalyan Balsam about a mile away as the crow flies down by a stream. I wonder why they dont seem to pack it like other pollen and prefer rolling about in it!

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