This is why you definitely should NOT leave sugar water out for bees
That Facebook post you’ve all been sharing? Yeah, it’s fake.
A Facebook post which claiming to from Sir David Attenborough urging people to leave sugar water out for struggling bees has been revealed as fake.
The advice, which seemingly came from the environmentalist’s page, was unwittingly shared by millions in good faith that the act of kindness will help the insects.
The now deleted post said: “In the last five years the bee population has dropped by 1/3,” the post explains. “If bees were to disappear from the face of the earth, humans would have just four years left to live.
“This time of year bees can often look like they are dying or dead, however, they’re far from it. Bees can become tired and they simply don’t have enough energy to return to the hive which can often result in being swept away.
“If you find a tired bee in your home, a simple solution of sugar and water will help revive an exhausted bee. Simply mix two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and place on a spoon for the bee to reach. You can also help by sharing this post to raise awareness.”
However the BBC have now been forced to step in and confirm the advice did not come from Sir David Attenborough – and it could even cause harm to the already-waning bee population.
Nature-lovers duped by the fake post could end up with thousands of bees descending on their property.
The bees the discover the sugar water are likely to go back to the hive and recruit more bees to come to the source of easy food,
And this quick-fix for the bees can actually be devastating for the hive.
Where a teaspoon of sugar can help revive a single collapsed bee, by leaving a readily available sugar water solution is the equivalent of mass feeding the insects junk food. Its full of carbohydrates which will give them an energy burst, but has no other nutritional value unlike the food they should be having
It will not feed the growing larvae when it is taken back to the hive.
And because the sugar water is easier to get, they will flock to the solution rather than forage for nectar.
Honey bees will end up storing this as honey in the hive.
A trickle-down effect on the supply chain means the beekeeper unknowingly may end up extracting and selling this as honey later in the year.
People don’t want to buy sugar syrup when and there is the potential a beekeeper could be prosecuted for selling a product which isn’t honey.
A spokesperson for the RSPB said: “It’s a nice thing to do and it makes people feel good about themselves, but it’s only a short term solution for a bee. “You’re giving it a sugar buzz, but what they really need is nectar.
“What people can do to help is plant flowers that flower all year round.
“We would not advise leaving out sugar and water as bees will go to this rather than a flower because it is easier and then flowers are not being pollinated.”
How can we help the bees?
By all means if you spot a tired bee give a tired bee a drink of sugar water on a spoon, but don’t leave it out readily for them.
Plant nectar rich plants
Leave out bowls of water with gravel/small pebbles for them to drink
DO NOT FEED BEES HONEY – they don’t eat it and can spead disease which would mean certain death for a bee colony and likely many more hives in the vicinity