Do Honey Bees Fart? The Stinky Truth

Welcome, fellow beekeepers and bee-lovers!

Today I am tackling one of the bee-world’s greatest mysteries: ‘Do honey bees fart?’ It’s a question I’m asked often, and I’d like to explain what we know about the area of bee flatulence.

A honey bee certainly can fart, as we shall see! But first, let’s discuss what causes a bee to make ‘wind’ in the first place – indigestion and digestion, and how it relates to the bee world.

Digestion and Diet

The food a honey bee consumes dictates how the bee digests and handles waste. In terms of food, bees primarily feed on nectar and pollen, but may occasionally snack on other plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

Bees rely on their diet for energy and nutrition. As such, the food is broken down in the bee’s stomach and intestines, releasing energy and extracting nutrients.

The waste matter of the digestive process is then expelled from the bee’s body in two forms: defecation and flatulence. 

The defecation is your typical bee poo, while the flatulence is gas emitted from the bee’s abdomen.

This gas is composed of the bee’s metabolic byproducts, molecules and chemical compounds produced during the digestion process.

Foraging Requirements 

A bee’s diet is incredibly important not just for digestive purposes, but also to fuel the bee’s other activities, such as foraging.

In order to keep energy levels up, bees must constantly be on the hunt for nectar and pollen, and use the energy gained from their diet to fuel their explorations.

The constant search for food is also essential in order to feed the colony’s larvae. This means that any bee that does not forage for food enough will not be able to forage for food for the colony, or produce enough honey or pollen, which can affect the overall health of the hive.

The Constant Struggle of Eating and Flying

Foraging for food and flying back and forth between the hive and food sources can be taxing on a bee’s body.

As such, bees must constantly be in a state of balance between eating enough food, and expending enough energy to not starve, but not exhaust themselves too much due to foraging-related activities.

As such, flatulence can be observed in bees when their diet provides them more energy than they can use, resulting in the release of digestive byproducts.

This can, however, be supplemented with nectar or pollen in order to keep energy levels balanced and maintain healthy colony numbers.

Flatulence: The Final Stop

So, now that we understand the background of bees and their diet, what sorts of gases are produced during the digestive process?

One of the gases most commonly observed in bees during digestion is hydrogen sulfide, which gives off an unpleasant odor.

This gas is also highly flammable, which has been the cause of some fires in beehives.

Other gases, such as methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor, can also be observed in the presence of indigestible material.

The Final Fart

So there you have it: honey bees do indeed fart!

However, due to the lack of stool in honey bee diets, the farts tend to be shorter and less intense than those of terrestrial mammals – and the gas is expelled from a very different anatomical location. Interestingly, however, flatulence in honey bees serves a purpose: if a bee’s intestine is clogged with indigestible material, flatulence can help the bee to expel it.


So there you have it, honey bees do indeed fart! However, due to their low-stool diets, the farts tend to be short-lived.

Flatulence in bees is however beneficial as it helps to keep the hive clean and the colony’s energy levels balanced. 

So, now that you know the answer to the age-old question of ‘Do Honey Bees Fart?’, I hope this article was helpful and gave you a greater understanding of bees and their digestive processes.

If you have any additional questions regarding bees and their diet, health, and behavior, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask away! Until next time, happy beekeeping!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *