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Have you seen cars covered in a sticky yellow substance? Welcome to the wonderful world of bees — and their poop. Yes, those little yellow spots, splatters, and worm-like shapes result from a bee’s pollen-heavy diet and the angle the semi-liquid poop happens to land on your car.

The fact that bees consume some nectar along with the pollen accounts for the stickiness that makes those yellow spots difficult to remove. Here is how you can remove that annoying bee poop on cars.

The private life of bees

A group of bees.
A group of bees | Getty Images

Beekeeping Insider explains that bees are tidy around their hive. So they take “cleansing flights” to relieve themselves well away from where they live. That’s a good thing since we would be eating contaminated honey if they did their business inside the hive! Unfortunately, your car may lie along one of their flight paths when the local bees are out looking for relief.

Parking near popular bee hangouts like flowering plants, bushes, gardens, vineyards, orchards, pastures, meadows, or forests will increase the chances of your car being bee-bombed. This is particularly true in the spring and summer when bees are especially busy gathering pollen for the lean months of fall and winter.

Bee poop, or frass as it’s known in the world of beekeeping, should be removed as a part of routine vehicle maintenance. Think of it as a smaller and more colorful version of the acidic bird droppings we know can damage vehicle’s paint. According to Honey Bee Suite, “bio-chemicals from the honey bee digestive tract may damage the surface of certain objects if they are not cleaned regularly.”

How to remove bee poop from your vehicle

Bee poop sticks so well that even pressure washing it with plain water won’t remove it, as shown in a series of experiments by Ryan Hendricks. You could spend hours scraping it off with your fingernails and risk damaging your paint, but this can be tedious and somewhat unsanitary.

The most efficient bee poop removal methods generally involve warmth, moisture, and plenty of patience. Warm soapy water, a car sponge, and plenty of elbow grease will generally remove it. A hot compress made from a soft, clean rag or sponge soaked in very warm distilled water and placed over stubborn spots will help dissolve them so they can be wiped away.

You can also try removing it early in the morning while it’s still wet with the dew that has softened it overnight. A non-toxic spray cleaner like EcoSmart, with a couple of clean microfiber towels, is a good option. A more powerful car-safe cleaner like F-Bomb will generally remove the sticky stuff as a last resort.

Don’t try erasing it

Some YouTube commenters recommend using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove bee poop on cars. They say it works great, but Family Handyman warns that a Magic Eraser is abrasive enough to damage your car’s paint. In fact, car exteriors are number three on their list of 10 surfaces you shouldn’t touch with one of these handy yet remarkably abrasive sponges.

A safer solution is to protect the surface of your ride before the bees start flying. A great wax job or a ceramic coating, like Ceramic Pro, will protect your paint while making the bee poop easier to remove.

You’ll need to wax your car regularly, while a ceramic coating may only need to be reapplied annually.