Do you have rules in your house? I'm willing to bet that you do.
You probably have a rule that says you have to eat all your vegetables and that you have to wash your hands before eating. Those are pretty good rules.
Bees have rules too. One of their very important rules is that their hive, which is their home, must be kept very clean.
The workers in the hive all have to do chores and several of the chores involve cleaning house.
Some workers will be given the job of an undertaker. Their job is to carry the dead bees out of the hive. The worker will drag the heavy dead bee down through the hive and out the front door. They she'll struggle to get it to the edge of the entrance and there she'll drop the body onto the ground.
In this photo and the video below, two female workers are working very hard to drag a dead drone bee away.
Another job is to wash the floors. Bees will use their tongues like brooms to lick everything clean. Often beekeepers will observe bees outside on the front porch of their hive, licking the floor to clean it. They call that 'washboarding'.
How often do you have to take a bath? Bees like to be clean and they keep their bodies clean similar to how a cat does. They lick the tiny hairs on their legs and then reach up with those legs to comb and cleanse their body fur.
Bees have fur just about everywhere, even in their eyes!
When it comes time to poop, they have a really big rule. No one is allowed to poop in the hive. It's a no-no. Bees take what's called a cleansing flight to poop. They fly outside the hive and once they are about 3 or 4 feet away they'll poop in mid-air.
Their pooh is liquid and it's gold in colour. Can you guess what gives it the golden colour? Of course, it's the food they eat--honey. In the photo there's a large male drone bee on my hand - can you see the golden poop on my finger? Yes, he pooped on me (click to make the photo bigger so you can see).
In winter, pooping can be difficult and a bit of a problem. Bees don't hibernate through winter. Instead, they stay awake and shiver their wing muscles to stay warm. They share their body heat with each other in a cluster, just like penguins.
Isn't it funny that bees do the same thing as penguins even though they've never met?
In winter it can be pretty super cold outside and too cold to fly. In that case, the bees must hold their poop until a warmer day. Once a warmer winter day comes along, the bees will all fly out and defecate (which is another fancy word that just means poop) outside the hive.
In winter in Canada you can see the golden bee poop streak marks in the snow. That saying remains true, "Don't eat yellow snow."