These pictures are of Honey Bees on a holly plant infested with Florida Wax Scale.

Scale is a small insect that attaches itself to a host plant to feed. After finding a suitable spot, the scale secrets a white waxy covering that make the bug immobile and nearly impervious to many forms of danger, including many insecticides.

Once securely attached to a leaf or a stem, the scale insect begins to feed on the plant’s juices. Honey Dew is secreted as a byproduct. Infected plants will often become coated in the sticky residue.

Bees and Wasps find the Honey Dew a powerful attractant, and are drawn to the infected plants.

Honey Bee - Honey Dew

Honey Bee - Honey Dew

Honey Bee - Honey Dew

Honey Bee - Honey Dew

Honey Bee - Honey Dew

Observations Details

County Denton Carrollton - East
City Carrollton
Date Aug 11, 2005
Time of Day Midmorning
Temperature Hot (greater than 89°F/32°C)
Weather Partly Cloudy
Habitat Residential-Single Family
Type of Behavior Feeding
Gender Female
Maturity Adult
Observer Chris Jackson
Main Article Honey Bee Observation Location

2 Replies to “Honey Bee – Honey Dew”

  1. Great post! I had observed a mini-swarm of bees in a very discrete area at the edge of the old stock pond at Arbor Hills and couldn’t determine what it was about that spot that kept those bees so interested (for many weeks). Your post was the “aha!” moment–sure enough, there were scale insects on the plant growing in that spot. Thanks for solving the mystery of the “bee catnip”.

    1. Yeah, Rick, I think this is an interesting dynamic. I’ve never witnessed it in the wild though! Only in my front yard! Glad to hear the post help out.

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