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Friday, April 1, 2016

Common Bee-eater

Photo credit: shyamal
The common bee-eater has a voracious appetite for flying insects. It breeds in southern Europe in summer and migrates in September to spend the winter in Africa.

The common bee-eater eats honeybees as well as other insects. The bird has long been regarded as a pest by beekeepers, but it actually kills and eats many predators of the honeybee, including hornets and bee wolves.

The common bee-eater is a sociable bird that nests in large colonies containing hundreds, sometimes thousands of birds. Within these colonies, the birds form family groups that include one or more young, non-breeding birds called helpers. The group remains together during nest building, incubation, and hatching and often migrates together.

The common bee-eater feeds on flying insects such as bees, wasps, dragonflies, beetles, and butterflies. Still, the bee-eater prefers to eat honeybees when they are available.

Did you know? 
  • The common bee-eater is also known as the European bee-eater. 
  • A single common bee-eater must catch the equivalent of 225 bee-sized insects every day to feed itself and its young. 
  • Tropical species of bee-eater, such as the white-fronted and red-throated bee-eaters of Africa, have some of the most complex bird societies known to man.

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