Strange Deposits in the Tray

Hi Everyone,
I’m new to beekeeping, started my first flow hive about 3 months ago. I’m located in San Jose, North California. Recently I started noticing strange deposits in the tray. Visually they look like mini goose droppings, however the texture is like wax, with kind of pine type of smell. Any idea what that could be or this is normal? I’m attaching few images from inside of tray compartments.

Kinda looks like propolis to me. Not sure though, I’m new to the art as well. I’m sure someone can give you a solid answer. Welcome to the forum!


It could be propolis if they are trying to seal off a gap between the boxes. If you can access it and break off a little, if it’s propolis it will smell a little piney/resinous. Some bees use a lot of propolis in their hives. It has antiseptic/antibacterial properties as well as effectively sealing the hive from draughts or entry of pests.
Edited to add, now I read your original post again I see that you have smelled it. Yep, I’d say definitely propolis then!

I agree that it’s likely a mixture of typical hive materials (propolis and wax) but I’m not familiar with this set up.

It almost looks like it’s oozing through the metal grate from the bottom of the brood box, which would trigger my interest to thoroughly inspect the brood box for more clues.

Thank you All for your insights. After additional research and inspection, it does look like propolis and wax mixture. Perhaps bees are trying to fill the gaps in the bottom metal rack, but because it is hot and metal, propolis melts and drains through it, and they have to add more seal.

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