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Author Topic: Chewing Bees  (Read 1161 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: January 04, 2008, 10:03:24 AM »

That is bees that are chewing and not someone chewing on bees.... but feel free to do so if you wish.

This thought went through my mind about something that was said a while back. Bees can not chew through the skin of fruit. Then I thought about when one ties comb into frames using string or rubber bands. The bees chew through both of those things. And I then thought about what it must take to chew through the rubber bands. It seems to me that the skin of fruit would be easier to get through.

 huh thoughts huh
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 10:15:05 AM »

Jerry, interesting thoughts you are putting out.  I don't think that the bees have the time to bother to chew through the skin of fruits.  They will sip the juice if the skin is punctured, say by birds.  But I think that bees (unless they are starving or something weird like that) would take the time to find a fruit and bite with their mandibles to open the skin to get the juice, that would be too much work.  They like to use their tongues for obtaining sugars.  My thoughts.  Have a wonderful, great day, Cindi
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bassman1977
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2008, 10:59:42 AM »

Maybe due to the curvature of most fruits, they can't get their mandibles open wide enough to get a hold of the fruit.  Think about if you were to try and take a bite from a large inflated beach ball.  It would be tough to get your chops into it.  An apple or peach could be their beach ball.   huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh
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Dick Allen
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 12:51:17 PM »

Hi Jerry, I'm wondering if it's a question of they "can't" or simply "don't" (for whatever reason) chew through fruit. Could it be a question a chemical vapor or some such thing given off by fruit that deters them from chewing into the skin? Their wasp cousins I've been told are able to chew through the skin of fruit.  When this topic was discussed earlier, I put a few pieces of cut nectarine and peach in front of my hives. This was at the end of the honey flow too, when robbing season was in full swing. The bees didn't bother with those either even though the fruit's skin was no longer a factor.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 06:11:39 PM »

Yeah. I have read a lot of people's accounts of bees liking watermelons. I broke a couple open out in the field back in the fall. Not one bee visited the mess.
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2008, 06:30:28 PM »

i've never seen them actually chew thru the skin of a fruit but i have seen them descend on fruit stands, specially pineapple and "atis" fruit stands.  i was buying some pineapples and i saw this black bits all over the fruits.  at first i thought they were flies but it tuns out they were bees.  the lady who owned the store told me she tries to shoo them away because they can puncture the pineapples and feed on the juice.  to entice them away from the good fruits, she gets some that are not good and slices them open and puts them off to the side of the stall.  most of the bees go there but some remain with the good fruit.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 08:23:59 PM »

I'm in the don't not the can't camp on this.   
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2008, 11:24:04 AM »

I would not recommend chewing bees this time of year, during the winter they just taste like BEE POOP!
Wait until spring when they have some nectar in their honey stomach, then they are a little sweeter.


On the chewing aspect....
Its not even a question IF, but WHEN and WHY they do. 
Chewing skins of fruit is tougher than sipping nectar.
I suppose the bees take the lazy way out.
Lazy? Ok, maybe its the smart way.

I am amazed how littered my yard becomes with rubber bands after a cut out (or several cut-outs side by side by side). But the bands are an obstruction in their house and home. No other choice but to chew away until none remain.   I have also seen this often in house cut-outs, bees love to chew and remove the paper off the back of dry-wall. I've been outside homes where it is almost snowing the paper shreds.

Newspaper combines of weaker hives also results in a remarkable showing of the bee's chewing ability.
It also demonstrates their ability to carry.

Chewing fruit on the other hand, well that is a choice over other calorie sources that I don't think bees are willing to make.   

Perhaps if you can develop some micro-oranges, apples, or pears, then maybe they'd consider packing a few away in the hive??
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 12:22:59 AM »

NWIN Beekeeper.  You speak of the ability of the bees to chew things up and remove them from their hive.  I had bees last summer when I had to do some emergency feeding with a colony that didn't like the grass that I had put inside the frame feeder and were pulling it out and flying away with it like crazy.  I have posted this picture before, but it warrants another look.  Have a great and wonderful day.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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