We humans love sugar. Even if too much of it is dangerous to our health, we simply can’t get enough of it. We crave it.
But what about bees? Do they have the same cravings as we do? Sure, honey bees live off the sweet stuff because of their honey. But we’re talking about non-honey making bees like carpenter bees. Are carpenter bees attracted to sugar? And can you use sugar to get rid of them?
Bee diets are a formed around sugar. It gives them tons of energy for their daily functions. CC Image courtesy of Julia Wilkins on Wikipedia
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Generally, all bees thrive on sugar, not the table sugar that we put on our food but the less refined version of it. Sugar is found in everything they eat.
Nectar, the flower’s life-giving liquid, is literally sugary. This bee diet staple is, in fact, 100% made from three kinds of sugars. A study done back in 2012 estimated it to have 24% glucose (simple sugar), 21% fructose (fruit sugar), and 55% sucrose (a combination of fructose and glucose).
Other bee foods include honey and royal jelly. Since they’re both made from nectar, they, too, have a lot of sugar in them. Sugar is part of the royal jelly’s dry matter, which makes up 1/3 of its total composition. And honey reportedly has 82 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of it. Many even argue that overconsumption of this golden syrup is as dangerous as eating too much table sugar.
As for carpenter bees, they make their own kind of rudimentary honey from the nectar and pollen that they collect. These bees temporarily put the pollen in their bee baskets and drink the nectar from the flowers they land on. When they get back into their burrows, they regurgitate the nectar and uses it to mold the pollen into little pellets. The regurgitated nectar is their honey. And yes, it’s still full of sugar.
Building bee traps with sugar
Since carpenter bees love to eat sugar, it’s easy to trap them using the sweetener as bait.
One thing you can do is to take a 1-liter plastic bottle and drill a small hole on its side. Plug Fatal Funnels into that hole, and seal the bottle with a bottle cap. Then pour some sugar water and vinegar into it. This trap acts like a flower and invites bees inside with its sweet lure. And once the insects are in, they won’t be able to get out.
Another trap involves cutting the bottle’s neck out. The neck is then positioned upside-down, on top of the bottle. With this, you’ll have a funnel-like structure at the top of the bottle. The plan is to let the bees enter through this funnel and trap them. Lure them with a mixture of vinegar, water, dish soap and sugar, and you’ll have a contraption that will work for any kind of bee.
This is what you should do to the plastic bottle.
For more info on these traps, head to our detailed guide here. But for now, we hope that this post has given you enough info to answer to the question, “ Are carpenter bees attracted to sugar? ”
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