[CT Birds] Honey bees and bird feeders follow up

Glenn Williams gswilliams9 at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 4 20:04:33 EST 2015

I received a number of private responses about honey bees rummaging through my mixed bird seed which I posted about a week ago.  I also did a little research on the topic.  Here is a brief summary for anyone interested.

- several birders received information from bee keepers and one contacted me directly.  All said the the bees were probably looking for moisture.  The day I had all the bees in the seed, it was very dewy, so it seems unlikely that this would be the case. but I don't know.

- there may be additives in the seed that the bees are seeking.

- bees are seeking protein and sugar sources in the seed.

- bees will forage for food if it is over 50 F and if there are no flowers around, they will turn their industriousness to gathering any dust as a potential food source.  The dust in mixed bird seed is a good pollen substitute, but bees have also been recorded gathering sawdust and coal dust in addition to real but artificial food sources such as flour.

Thanks to all who responded.
Glenn Williams

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