Do bees sometimes eat meat? I saw a bunch of what could have been honeybees or yellowjackets (I'm not sure, they were not really wasp shaped) feeding on a dead snake the other day. It was super cool to see even though I almost accidentally stepped on it barefoot! They didn't seem to care about me either, which makes me think it wasn't yellowjackets?
It was yellow jackets. Honeybees don’t have the mouth parts to really “bite” or tear in to things like that. Technically wasps don’t either, but they do tear off little bits of the meat and feed it to their larvae who do have the mouth parts to handle hard food. The larvae will then digest the meat and excrete what is basically “wasp honey” that the wasps drink to sustain themselves. Wasps can drink nectar from flowers, but don’t need to if they have enough babies in the nest.
I have, however, been bitten by a honeybee before. I had a chunk of burr comb set aside for a few days getting ready to process a bunch of it, and when I went to grab it I noticed that one of the cells had been completely ignored by the ants and wasn’t cleaned out. I set that cluster of cells aside and I later found a single honeybee standing on it. I picked her up, intent on putting her back in the hive from whence she came, but she bent down and BIT ME. It didn’t hurt at all and was honestly more startling than anything else, but that’s the first time I have ever seen a honey bee bite anything.