Are Bees Twice As Hungry?

So, some folks may not know that honey bees have two (2), count ’em, TWO stomachs.

There is the Honey Stomach, also known as the “Crop”, AND a “True” or digestive stomach.  The digestive stomach, located in the abdomen, is used to digest food used to fuel the bee.  The Honey Stomach, located in the anterior (frontal) part of the abdomen is really just an expandable little, transparent “bag” that the honey and everything else the bee takes in goes to, or through, first before heading to the digestive stomach, if indeed that’s the intended destination.

The “Crop” or Honey Stomach in the anterior part of the abdomen.

Bees can choose to let whatever they take in go all the way through or to store groceries in the Honey Stomach until they get home.  It’s the ultimate in grocery sack recycling really.

Nectar, water, honey (probably robbed from other hives) and other things destined for the nest get stopped and stored in the Honey Stomach until the bee gets home and disgorges said groceries to give to anther bee or deposit it into a cell, etc…

But, if Honey bees have two stomachs, would they get twice as hungry?

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Author: Big Bear

Owner of BBE-Tech Apiary Services and professional apiarist. Beekeeping instructor at Metro Community College. Exec. Producer, Director and Host of Bee Smart beekeeping project podcast and videos.

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