Can You Eat Bees?
So you want to nibble on some of our buzzing friends? Me neither, but if you had to for some reason, could you eat a bee?
Bees are edible, but there is a certain risk associated with eating them as they have venom. Bee venom, known as Apitoxin, can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth or throat if swallowed.
You obviously would want to stay far away from bees if you are allergic to them.
Also, you should avoid eating dead bees as they could have possibly died from some poisoning.
In fact, poisoning and the use of strong pesticides on crops is one of the main reasons the bee population is in danger.
It is definitely better to avoid eating them altogether as the bees help us and our environment in many ways.
Here are some examples of the services bees provide:
- Pollination of many plants and fruits.
- They make honey that does not spoil and also has antibacterial and medicinal use.
- Bee venom can be used to help treat some cancerous tumors.
Table of Contents
Other Great "Can You Eat It?" Guides:
What Will Happen if you eat a bee?
When you finally decide to eat a bee, or catch one in the mouth while on your bicycle, what will happen?
If you accidentally eat or swallow a bee, it shouldn't make you sick, but its venom could cause irritation. The main concern is that you may get stung in the mouth or throat while eating it.
Your body can digest a bee, and there isn't enough venom in the bee to really make you sick to your stomach.
However, just knowing you swallowed a bug could make you sick enough without the help of the venom.
Do Humans Eat Bees?
I personally avoid bees because they have little swords on their backsides, but that is apparently not enough to stop some people from eating them.
People do regularly eat bees, though they are consumed mostly in their immature larvae form.
If you think eating insects is totally repulsive, you are not alone, but it is estimated that over 2 Billion people do eat insects as a part of their regular diet.
The fact is they are cheap, often in abundance, and actually nutritious.
Just like eating a butterfly, bees are considered a delicacy in many countries.
Can You Eat Bee Larvae?
We know some people will eat anything, but is bee larvae actually edible?
Bee larvae are commonly eaten in many countries as they are edible, don't taste bad, and are packed with nutrients. It turns out eating the larvae is probably the safest and more nutritious way to eat bees. They are moister, less crunchy, and don't have a stinger!
The larvae are commonly cooked or dried to be added to soups or egg dishes in countries like Thailand, Mexico, and Australia.
You don't even have to separate the larvae from the honeycomb; you can eat it all together. The honeycomb, which is made of wax and honey, is safe to eat but does have a lot of sugar.
Here is a video of some people eating this treat and enjoying it.
WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised as they do eat insects in this video.
What do Bees Taste Like?
You don't actually have to eat a bee and risk yourself a sting in the mouth to find out how they taste.
Bees have a smoky or nutty taste, but older bees are said to be more bitter. An adult bee, when dried or cooked, will have a crunchy texture.
If you are worried about the taste, you can cover them in honey to have the sweet sugar help drown out the other flavors.
What do Fried Bees Taste Like?
The frying makes everything taste better, right? But how would fried bees taste?
Fried bees will have a smokey taste but can also bring out the flavor of whatever you fry them with as they are high in fat.
You can find many videos of people eating fried and unfried bees on YouTube, and most really seem to enjoy it.
The only way I'd ever eat bees is by deep frying them with something like honey. However, I still prefer just taking people's word for it unless times really get tough.
Is it Legal to Kill Bees?
We know that bees are important, and you probably have heard they are dying off rapidly, so one might wonder if it is illegal to kill bees.
It is not illegal to kill bees in the United States normally, but it is generally discouraged. However, there are some laws against using certain pesticides to kill them, as they cause more significant damage to the bee population.
You should definitely not kill bees that you suspect could be the property of a beekeepers' hive.
Something to think about is that even if you poison one bee, they may take it to other bees and kill a lot more.
If you need to get rid of a pest hive for some reason, you may consider trying to do it without killing the bees.
Here are five things you can use to get rid of bees without having to kill them:
- Garlic Spray
If you use one of these methods, you should be aware these can still cause the bees to get aggravated and possibly sting you.
It is best to apply a spray of these chemicals quickly and leave, or in the case of smoke, try to expose them to it from a safe distance.
Can Bees Feel Pain?
There were some fascinating studies done to see if bees feel pain. The studies involved injuring bees and offering them pain medication in their food source.
They were offered normal syrup and then syrup laced with morphine to see if they would eventually prefer the medicated syrup.
It turned out that no matter the injury, they didn't seem to prefer the medicated over the non-medicated food source.
So if you have to eat some bees, at least you can sleep at night knowing they felt no pain.
However, don't sleep too tight because bees have been proven to have some self-awareness and can even remember human faces.
Bees are not a totally uncommon food source, but it is better to eat them in their larvae form.
You don't really want to have to deal with the stinger or the venom, and they may be a little easier to catch.
Before you go feasting on bees, you should remember that the bee population is in a dire state.
Bees are a critical part of our environment and can be a valuable food source to help sustain them.
They are worth saving, except the one that stings you; it may need to die.
On a final, more serious note, here are some ways you can help save the bees:
- Grow Bee Friendly Plants
- Avoid Synthetic Pesticides, Fertilizers, and Herbicides
- Educate Others on The Importance of Bees
- Support Beekeeping and Beekeepers