Scientists have learned the details about bees that eat animal meat

At the moment, scientists are aware of the existenceabout 21 thousand species of bees. These flying insects, which are relatives of wasps and ants, play a large role in human life. After all, they not only extract honey, but also pollinate plants - without them agriculture would not exist and people were deprived of many food products. In the course of evolution, most of the bees have learned to feed on nectar and pollen from plants. But there is an exception in the form of trigons (Trigona), which live in warm countries and use rotting meat as a source of energy. Scientists recently traveled to Costa Rica to closely examine their lifestyle. It turned out that their digestive system is very similar to that of vultures, hyenas and other scavengers. The researchers also learned about other characteristics of bees.

Trigons - bees that eat animal meat

Features of carnivorous bees

Scientists shared their observations in the scientificmBio magazine. Trigons are the same size as normal bees, but otherwise there are many differences. The most noticeable is the absence of a sting - it exists, but cannot fulfill its main function. As a means of protection, these creatures use strong jaws, which, due to their unusual diet, are covered with pathogenic bacteria. In most cases, trigone bites are not fatal. He does not negate the fact that after a bite in humans and animals, painful inflammation can occur.

These are the only bees in the world that areevolutions got the opportunity not to eat flower nectar. This is a pretty noticeable change in eating habits, - said entomologist Douglas Yanega (Douglas Yanega).

Scavenger bees have no sting, but they have powerful jaws.

Less noticeable, but also the most amazinga feature of trigones is the diet. As I noted above, it is not flower nectar that serves as a source of energy, but the meat of dead animals. Scientists who organized an expedition to Costa Rica lured scavenger bees to pieces of chicken and caught them for study. It turned out that carnobacteria, lactobacilli and other microbes capable of digesting dead flesh are constantly living in their digestive system. In addition to this, bacteria protect bees from the effects of toxic substances that accumulate in the bodies of dead animals.

Scavenger bees live in Costa Rica and other warm places

See also: How bees reproduce without mating

How do bees make honey?

With far from the most pleasant diet,trigones produce delicious honey. And all because they use rotten meat only as a source of energy. To make honey, they, like ordinary bees, collect flower nectar and even fruit juice. Like other species of these insects, there are collectors and receivers in scavenger hives. The former seek and bring nectar to the hive, while the latter suck them in and process them with the enzymes of their saliva to break down complex sugars into simple glucose and fructose. After repeating this process about 240 times, the nectar is transferred between the honeycombs until the water concentration drops to about 21%. After that, the honeycomb is sealed with wax for full maturation.

Costa Rican bees also produce honey

Interesting fact: bees have two stomachs.The first is for food, and the second is for transporting 70 milligrams of flower nectar. To fill it, each bee needs to fly around 1500 flowers. To make 1 kilogram of honey, you need 10 million flower nectar.

Scientists report that scavenger honeycompletely safe for people. The fact is that their hives are designed in such a way that stocks of rotten meat are kept separate from stocks of honey. Like other bees, trigons have depressions on their hind legs for pollen transfer. Only in carnivorous insects, they are improved to be able to drag chunks of meat over long distances.

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Bees have dangerous enemies - hugekiller hornets. I recently talked about the tricks used by honey-producing insects to escape the attacking giants. In particular, we are talking about special signals that were even captured by a video camera. It is possible that bees with powerful jaws can repel hornets, but at the moment this has not been tested by science. It's a pity, I personally would be interested to know which of them is stronger.