Carnivorous bees do exist, but they are still far from home

If in the collective unconscious bees play a major role in the pollination of flowers, which is the case, there are some exceptions.

In the living world, there are many exceptions within the same species. If we take the example of bees, it is common to think that the latter feed on the flowers that they will pollinate in the process. While this is true 99% of the time, nature is not perfect and there are exceptions to this rule. Species which do not have the same characteristics and which do not feed on flowers, but on meat, real carnivores.

We have all known these birds that turn around our plate in the summer when we are in the middle of a barbecue, but in these cases it is not a question of meat-eating bees, but very often wasps attracted by the sugar.

Indeed, the three known species of carnivorous bees live in South America. They all belong to the Trigona family of species. But then again these bees are unlikely to prey on your rare steak. They prefer carrion and other rotting meats. They should therefore never or almost never cross our path.

Vulture bees that bear their name well

And this absence of predators, due to an unenviable diet, has caused these species to lose their sting as evolution has done its work. These bees, rightly called “vultures” are, apart from that, quite similar to the bees that we know and see every day. They live in colonies, in the form of a beehive and instead of producing honey, these bees produce an equivalent product, but much more protein in view of their diet, which serves as a base to feed the new heads of the hive, not yet able to stand on their own two feet.

A recent study conducted in Central America on these unusual bees revealed that they had acidophilic bacteria, the same that can be found in the juices of a vulture, for example. Further studies should therefore be carried out to understand how these bacteria got into bees.

More generally, bees are threatened with extinction all over the world and a global awareness must take place in order to limit the destruction of beehives or of the fruit trees on which they feed. While their buzzing can sometimes worry us, it’s always a good idea to remember that a bee will only sting in extreme danger, and it won’t be aggressive for no reason, so your best bet is to ignore them as much as possible. Without bees, pollination of flowers is almost impossible, and this task is essential for the development of the plant and animal world as a whole.

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