[CT Birds] Honey bees and bird feeders follow up
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.
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