Looking at some of my bees doing the washboarding thing at the front of the hive entrance, I noticed several of them had either tiny white dots speckled on them (on the thorax of most of them, but I did see one with a couple speckles on its eye) or a grayish smear across the abdomen. I didn’t really see it on any of the returning or leaving foragers, however. It seemed to primarily be on the young bees doing their duty on the front porch.
I can’t really find any information about what it could be except that it might either be tulip poplar or fecal matter from varroa mites. I really hope it’s not the latter. I have not seen any varroa in my hive, and with the intense heat as of lately I would be surprised if any mites could survive. I’m going to have to get into the hive and check things out this weekend, varroa can be devastating to a colony.
The 1st Annual Michigan Honey Festival is this weekend in Imlay City (I know, I know, I’m absolutely bee crazy), and so I’m definitely going to see if anyone there knows what the white spots could be.