Sticky, stubborn mystery goo may be bee poo

Cars in one Salem, Ore., neighborhood are getting splattered with a sticky gooey substance. (NBC/KGW)

SALEM, Ore. (NBC/KGW) — Cars in one Salem, Ore., neighborhood are getting splattered with a sticky gooey substance.

You may not believe what some experts think it is, which is creating quite a buzz.

Casondra VanDoren first noticed the problem back in May.

“We came out one day, and it was just splattered,” she said.

Her SUV was covered in this yellow sticky goop.

“It’s all over the place,” said VanDoren. “We’ve tried washing it, and it’s going to take pretty much a power wash to get it off.”

Casondra lives at the Applewood Apartments off Highway 22, where just about every car in the parking lot is covered with the goop.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said neighbor Vern Sahnow.

Frustrated with the mess, Sahnow did some digging and made an interesting conclusion.

“It was bee excrement,” said Sahnow.

That’s right: bee poop.

“It’s sticky and messy, and it’s just a pain,” said Sahnow.

“This is extraordinary, to see this amount on this many vehicles,” said longtime beekeeper Mike Rodia. “It does happen, but nothing to this extent.”

Rodia visited the apartment complex to give his expert opinion. He said the goo does resemble bee droppings.

There’s just one problem.

“This is literally hundreds, if not thousands, of bees involved,” said Rodia.

The question is: Where would all these bees be coming from? KGW looked all around there and did find a bunch of bees flying in some blackberry bushes — even found a small splattering on the news car.

But, they didn’t see anything close to a swarm.

Rodia says it possibly could be that bees living in the bushes and trees around the area are sick.

“There is a disease called nozema that causes the runs in honey bees,” said Rodia.

The good news for all involved: Rodia says bees do recover from the intestinal illness and is asking the residents to simply BEE patient. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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