Nancy Harrison, who lives near Indian River, reports thousands of bees coming in the evening to the maple and elm trees near her house. According to local bee expert Glen McMullen, elms can attract bees by emitting sugar and alcohol compounds when the trees are stressed.

According to, elms produce something known as “slime flux.” It is caused by a bacterial infection inside the trunk. There are actually two types of slime flux: “alcoholic” and “acidic”. The acidic flux smells like vinegar. The alcoholic flux smells like beer. The condition is common on large oaks, poplars, elms and maples. If the lower trunk of a tree is underground, fungi and bacteria attack it and cause great damage. An infection can also be caused by a wound on the trunk surface or it can be deeper inside the trunk. In either case, bacteria ferment the tree

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.