A majority of bird species are omnivores who include insects as a substantial part of their diet staple. Insectivores birds get their water quantity from their prey and satisfy their protein needs by depending on seeds or grains for other nutrients.
Do insectivorous birds also feed on bees and wasps, given the prevalence of stingers? A few birds eat wasps and bees, to everyone’s surprise, but it is not an easy meal. Bees are tiny, quick, and always try to attack predators with the sting.
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Mostly Bees and wasps are always in flocks and don’t fly in a straight line. Birds need an intense innate precision to judge their speed and angle in the air to catch them in mid-air.
It is a well-known fact that birds are opportunists and stick to slow-moving insects. They occasionally feed on bees and wraps that are dead, hurt, or stationary on the ground.
Bee-catching expert birds have protection or have thick skin to handle a few stings more than other creatures or withstand sting poison or quick enough to avoid stings altogether. The bright yellow and black striped bees and wasps or hornets fend off potential predators by warning using their most painful stings.
But if someone asks what the birds that feed on bees and wasps are, the answer is particular since not all birds feed on them.
What are the birds that prey on bees and wasps?
Birds who dine on bugs mostly eat bees and wasps. The whole bee-eating birds or bee-eaters species belongs to Meropidae and consists of three genera and 26 species found in Asia and Africa diet on stinging, insects including bees and wasps.
Most bee-eaters prefer plump bees, bumblebees, hornets, flies, dragonflies, and others consuming larvae. The birds that purposely hunt bees and wasps are:
- Summer Tanagers
- Scarlet Tanagers
- Purple martins
- Ruby-throated hummingbirds
- Honey-buzzard, which prefs bees larvae
Birds who eat bees on occasion snack, not as the main staple includes:
- Woodpeckers who enjoy protein-rich beehives.
Many birds hunt solitary wasps more than social bees. They try to avoid disturbing near the bee comb or wasps nest. Solitary wasps are docile and rarely sting or defend their nests from predators, so birds have the freedom to enjoy their larvae without any conflicts.
Do bees and wasps sting birds?
Yes, both wasps and bees sting birds when a life-threatening circumstance occurs or when a conflict arises between them. Single bee stings do not pose a threat to birds because of their protective feathers and thick skin. If a swarm of aggressive bees attacks birds, the high number of numerous venomous stings can be lethal to their life.
Generally, wasps attack other creatures to protect their food and nest. When a predator is stung by a wasp near their nest, then swarms of buzzing wasps strike the victim and protect their delicious larvae.
Naturally, both bees and wasps have self-dense power stings. They will use their poison stings to harm predators whenever they detect any threats to their life or swarm them.
What is the story behind birds with wasps and bees?
Generally, wasps and bees are just nuisances for birds. Birds even build their nests proximately close to wasps or bees to safeguard their babies or eggs from predators like squirrels and raccoons.
Although wasps and bees have toxic stings – they are never afraid or bother about the birds unless it provokes them. Bees and wasps alert nest-mates with an alarm pheromone and trigger the rest of them to attract birds.
Bee-eater species disarm their prey by squeezing or best wasps against trees to expel their venom stings. Birds can even identify bees or wasps gender and eat males without any war or beating. The Bee-eating species repeatedly bombard their prey and make them flee from the nest.
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Can wasps or bees kill birds?
There is a slim possibility of birds being killed by wasps or bees when they come in contact. If birds are caught or attacked by giant hornets, they will lose their lives to wasps’ deadly stings.
Birds have aerobatic designed wings and can shake their attackers, and can escape extremely fast. Some stinging insects will run out of their venom during the attack and make pheromone sound to signal other wasps to attack their predators and eventually kill them with their venomous stings.