The Q&A Archives: Bees Leaving Blcak Residue On Tree

Question: I have bees living or swarming around my Star Magnolia tree. They leave a black residue on the leaves. I am not necessarily bothered by these bees but I don't want them to harm the tree. What do you think? The bees are black with white tips.

Answer: I would suspect that the black residue you are seeing is black mold growing rather than something left by the bees. You may find that there are scales or other insects sucking on the leaves and/or twigs and that mold is growing on the resulting damage and dripping juices. I would suspect that you examine the plant very carefully and possibly consult with your county extension (489-4315) for a more specific diagnosis of the problem, along with suggested remedies if any are required.

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