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Carnivorous Bees

Where in the world are there bees that couldn't care less about flowers, but sure love to sink their mouths into dead animal carcasses?

Bees that eat meat?

The Trigona hypogea is a type of bee found in  South American. It not only collects meat from animal carcasses, but has more recently been discovered to have a taste for live prey as well.

Scientists have seen the bees swiftly raid recently abandoned wasp nests, carrying off wasp eggs, larvae, and pupae until the nest is empty. They’ve observed the bees collecting toad eggs too.

All developing, young bees need protein. Pollen is actually very rich in protein. The adults of most bee species feed predominantly on nectar and save the pollen for their younger colony members. These South American bees simply require a different source of protein. Their anatomy reflects their different eating habits.

The leg modifications that enable most bee species to transport pollen are largely diminished on these bees. Their mouthparts are sharper, sort of tooth-like.

The bees prepare the meat for later consumption by the younger members of the colony by chewing it and then mixing it with sugary liquids, perhaps collected from fruit. Microbes break the mixture down into a viscous goo, which delivers important nutrients to the young bees.

  • highangel

    i had bees on my deck eating fried chicken ,carrying chuncks away,didnt know there were meat eating BEES

  • highangel

    i had bees on my deck eating fried chicken ,carrying chuncks away,didnt know there were meat eating BEES

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZR2QZKNAIEPXZWW6ICP6YKEH7E Shirley R

    I live in New Mexico and this morning was the first time I have ever seen a been eating raw meat!  I thought only flowers thank you for the insight!  It has been a drier year not much rain.

  • Sapphire01

    I reside in Darlington Maryland and there are bees in my yard eating the flesh off of two baby birds ..they have been feeding off of them for two days now and not much left butn the bones? Should I be alarmed or concerned for my children or pets?

  • magaen

    I am in Buffalo NY and I watched bees dig with their faces pieces off a hot dog my son did not finish and carry the pieces to leaves on the tree above us to eat them. This is why I am seeking info on meat eating bees. I didn’t think they ate meat ever

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