What Animals Eat Bees?

Shwetabh Sameer/CC-BY 2.0

According to the San Diego Zoo, one animal that eats bees is the bee-eater bird. These birds live in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Guinea and enjoy eating both bees and wasps. A bee-eater beats the bee against a tree branch to remove the sting before eating its prey.

Some bee predators will break into bee nests, or hives, and eat everything, including stored food, brood, wax and the adult bees. These animals include badgers, skunks, foxes, weasels, bears, mice and shrews. Hedgehogs will even break into nests that are above ground and eat all of the grubs inside.

Crab spiders wait on flowers for bees to come within reach. When the bees get close enough they will catch them as soon as they land on the flowers. Robber flies catch bees by their wings and are well known for catching bumblebees. Other birds besides the bee-eater that eats bees are the spotted flycatcher and the shrike. Beewolves, which are a type of wasp, prey on bumblebees.

A bumblebee usually has a stinger on its tail, which is what it uses to protect itself when it is in danger. However, this is not always the case as some bumblebees do not have stingers. In fact, only the female has a stinger, the male drone does not, which can make it more susceptible to predators.