What animals eat honey?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What animals eat honey?”. We will further elaborate on which animals attract honey and what is the reason for their attraction.
What animals eat honey?
It is not that only humans love the richness of honey, but there are animals too that love to enjoy munching on honey. Animals that eat honey include:
- Honey Badgers
- Hive beetle
Apart from cats and dogs, there are other animals that love to get their claws on your store of honey. So, even if it is just to better save your trash bins, here are a few animals from the wild that get outside of honey even more than us.
While not necessarily considered a usual consumer of honey, skunks are truly the top predators of honey bees that prefer to feed upon them instead of the bees’ honey stocks. However, they will dine on the honey if presented the opportunity, practically like an extra snack after eating out a hive.
Raccoons are real opportunistic creatures. They eat a vast variety of foodstuffs. Nuts, fruits, eggs, insects, and crayfish are their most typical feasts; however, raccoons will sometimes find some foodstuffs in the closest garbage bins.
Fun fact: Raccoons love honey. They can destroy the beehives for it. And like us humans, they use their claws to lick up on honey. Raccoons are considered pests, they not only eat and destroy beehives, but they can also dig deep into the soil and vandalise the lawn.
Similar to skunks, opossums prefer to feed upon the honeybees themselves and not the honey, but they have been found to drain whole hives and their honey stocks.
Grizzly bears are the first animal that spring to mind when we think about animals who love honey.
Grizzly bears are omnivores. When they discover a hive, they can ruin it completely, eating all the honeycomb, the larvae within it and the honey. At the end of summer, they just ‘pillage’ beehives. Besides consuming all the honey they also eat the larvae and bees present inside.
Their diet is genuinely rapacious since they have to hibernate for the whole winter season. And that is why they have to gain weight faster.
The main diet of honey birds is the nectar yielded by bees. Honey birds are small, with dark feathers, and an extremely delicate short, slim beak.
They are at an advantage as they can easily fly to beehives at any time to dine on honey, larvae and wax. They complement their diet with silkworms, spiders, fruits, and tiny insects.
Honey badgers are voracious eaters. And, as indicated by their name, they love to munch on honey and will devour anything they can unveil in beehives, from honey to the bees.
Honey badgers are famous for the mutual connection they have with birds defined as greater honeyguides, which direct the honey badgers towards the hives, they come in and feast, and then they fly away leaving some chunks for their companions.
Although honey badgers eat carrions, rodents, birds, small antelopes, lizards, frogs, invertebrates, and occasionally even berries and roots, they love the sugary golden honey made by bees. It ruins hives in such a way that is a danger to beekeepers.
Small hive beetles
Small hive beetles are insects that love honey so much that they lay their eggs in beehives for their larvae to feed upon. This is why they are considered pests.
Indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, the small hive beetles have extended to other regions that include the U.S, the Philippines, and Australia.
If a specimen lays its eggs in the territory, and if the bees are not powerful enough, the larvae can feed upon all the reserved honey and pollen, which would completely destroy the hives.
That is why beekeepers try to combat unfailingly against these small, dark-brown, one-quarter-long beetles, which stay alive for a maximum of 6 months, but whose deterioration to produce is irremediable.
Martens are carnivorous mammals. Although they may have attractive faces, they are quite harmful. Martens are medium-sized nocturnal predators that live in southern and central Europe, and also in Southeast Asia and around the Himalayas.
The marten feasts on little mammals and rodents, amphibians, insects, fruit, egg, and of course honey. To get themselves food, they can wander quite a bit within their own habitat. Males limit their area between 1-6 miles in diameter, in which they have a hole among rocks or trees.
In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What animals eat honey?”. We have further elaborated on which animals attract honey and what is the reason for their attraction.