Beekeeping forum: Honeybees & peanut hearts???

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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Jan 29, 2017 9:41 AM CST
Last week I saw something really odd. I went outside to check a bird feeder that I had been experimenting with the feeding peanut hearts and saw movement inside. I opened it up and a honey bee flew out. We had abnormally warm weather for about a week and a half prior. I thought it was odd but since the feeder was empty I thought I would refill it.

I went to get the bag of peanut hearts and found that apparently the bag that I had bought just a few days prior was infested with Indian meal moths...caterpillars and webbing everywhere. The store must have a problem. If you've ever had an infestation of these moths you know that it's very difficult to control them and they spread rapidly. So I decided to dump them out on a couple of pavers in the backyard.

After couple of hours of yard work, I went back by the piles and noticed movement. It was a honeybee frantically going through all the grains and big piles of the peanut hearts. I sat down and watched for a while. The bee would rumage, take off heavily laden, and return. Within 20 minutes, there were two honeybees doing this, then three. I added a little water to the side of one pile to see if it was a desire for moisture. It had no effect. Whatever they were getting, only the peanut hearts occupied their efforts. My viewing was cut short by a line of heavy cloud cover and within a half hour of that, light mist.

Has anyone seen similar behavior?

Thumb of 2017-01-28/UrbanWild/f7f9db
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Jan 29, 2017 6:58 PM CST

Moderator

We've not had the bees go after peanuts. But only because they don't make it outside
My guess is they are after the protein in the peanuts. It is getting close to the time for our zone to start seeing brood build up and they need protein for that.
[Last edited by Mindy03 - Jan 30, 2017 9:02 AM (+)]
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