why do bees act drunk

Can Bees Get Drunk? (Drunk Bees Explained)

Last updated on January 8th, 2024 at 01:03 pm

Bees are normally calculated foragers with a unified goal and a strict schedule.

So why are some of the hive’s inhabitants bumping into trees, getting lost, walking around in circles or simply unable to fly? Why do bees act drunk?

How Do Bees Get Drunk?

Simply put, they’re plastered, smashed, paralytic or any other word you can think of.

Like humans, these bees have ingested large amounts of alcohol and behave as such.

In the summer heat, nectar will begin to ferment and create ethanol; bees that digest this fermented nectar will fall prey to the same effects we do when we consume alcohol.

Tree sap like that of the Lime tree can also ferment under excessive heat leading to crowds of drunk bees.

Rotting apples are also a regular culprit for bees getting drunk.

Bees will appear lost, dizzy and generally without purpose when consuming too much fermented nectar.

Looking for a safe way to give a tired bee a drink without the booze? Our handy Bee Revival Kit is the perfect way to help exhausted bees in areas with little to no flowers, like busy cities.

What happens to drunk bees?

Boozed-up bees returning to the hive are often met with a vicious response from the colonies’ inhabitants.

Guard bees, normally tasked with protecting the hive or nest entrance from intruders, are also tasked as bouncers for returning bees.

Any signs of a bee consuming alcohol will be met with a quick but violent response.

Guard bees will eject drunk bees from the hive’s entrance, often removing wings and legs in the process.

While this may seem harsh, it is a necessary evil for the greater good of the colony as a whole.

If fermented nectar was allowed to enter the hive and be transformed into honey and eventually mead, it could risk paralysing all of its inhabitants to devastating effect.

Testing anti-alcoholism drugs on bees

Bees are nature’s hardiest drinkers. Unlike us, bees can ingest large amounts of 100% proof alcohol without dying.

This would be the equivalent of a human consuming straight ethanol.

Now scientists from the UK and America use bees to test newanti-alcoholism drugs.

They allow bees to consume alcohol and then trial the drugs’ effects to test their effectiveness.

do bees get drunk on pollen?

No, bees getting drunk is the result of nectar and sugars rather than protein rich pollen.

Can Bees Get Drunk On Alcohol?

Yes, if a bee happens to find a sugary alchoholic drink on a pub table it won’t think twice about slurping it up using it’s proboscis.

If it consumes enough it can and will start to act like any typical drunken bee.

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