Living With “Dirty” Water

Worker Honey Bee

Worker Honey Bee

Honey bees do not prefer their water too clean. Like many herbivorous insects, honey bees do not get enough sodium by eating pollen and nectar. They prefer water that contains sodium over deionized water.  Sodium is commonly found in mud puddles.

Dietary concentrations of calcium, magnesium and potassium are found in pollen. Bees do not seek these minerals when pollen is abundant. However, in autumn when pollen can become scarce, bees will seek these minerals from open water sources.

RACHAEL E. BONOAN, TAYLOR M. TAI, MARLEN TAGLERODRIGUEZ, LAINE FELLER, SALVATORE R. DADDARIO, REBECCA A. CZAJA, LUKE D. O’CONNOR, GEORGIANA BURRUSS & PHILIP T. STARKS. Seasonality of salt foraging in honey bees(Apis mellifera) Ecological Entomology (2016),
DOI: 10.1111/een.12375

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With “Dirty” Water

  1. Pingback: Living With “Dirty” Water – Entomo Planet

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