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Can bees get drunk?

#1

So today I found a fair few of the girls hooking into some very ripe grapes. They were flying in a rather haphazard way and there were a lot of them staggering around on the ground below the grapes being attacked by ants (no ants on the grapes), it all left me wondering … Can bees get drunk?

a second question would be does bringing fermented grape juice (wine) back to the hive present any problems? :champagne::wine_glass:

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#2

The bees are getting the juice that is high in sugar. Do you get drunk when you eat grapes? Grapes have no alcohol.
I presume you are asking about you bring fermented grape juice to the hive, if you are like me it does present a problem — Simply a drunk bee keeper is clumsy, wastes time taking extra swigs of wine and not fully aware of what his obligations are to his bees. Better to have a wine after the jobs are done.
Cheers

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#3

:joy: nice one Peter - but did you see the one lassie headfirst into a sunken brown grape in that pic? She’s definitely bringing the wine back to the dorm.

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#4

The answer is yes, they can. :smile:

Probably not, if there are other nectar/food sources around for them. However, if there was a lot of fermenting grape juice, and they didn’t dehydrate it fast enough, it would theoretically be possible that the honey may ferment too. I would definitely do a sniff test on any honey harvested from the hive, but I always do that anyway! :blush:

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#5

Thank you @Dawn_SD I have loved reading your replies on other topics, you have an amazing wealth of knowledge at your fingertips :+1:

Blockquote
Probably not, if there are other nectar/food sources around for them. However, if there was a lot of fermenting grape juice, and they didn’t dehydrate it fast enough, it would theoretically be possible that the honey may ferment too. I would definitely do a sniff test on any honey harvested from the hive, but I always do that anyway! :blush:

This had been my concern, but I feel better about it considering it is only a new hive (brood box only) and some of our gums are finally coming into flower (now that we have had a tiny bit of rain) and will provide a much better food source than some fermenting grapes.

Many thanks

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#6

You can take the words of the respondents to be accurate.
I believe the ladies are quite well qualified to answer questions on wine.image …er er and bees of course. :wink::wink::wink:

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#7

I’ve seen bees get “drunk” when gorging on the nectar from the red flowering gum at the front of my place. I’ve watched them suck up the nectar and then either fall into or out of the flower. They stay like that for a bit and then finally fly away.

(We use absolutely no pesticides or herbicides at home so it’s only the nectar in the flower)

Can’t say if they really do get drunk but it sure looks like it at times.

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#8

Wine is made from crushed grapes and natural yeast from the skin of the grapes. So, I reckon if some of the yeast from the side of the grape got into the middle of the grape mixed with some of the leftover grape juice inside, it would indeed make a fermented alcoholic pit stop for the hard working girls on their way home.
Or it could be an innocent misunderstanding on their behalf…

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#9

Hi @Faroe thanks for the reply and I don’t think they are that innocent :rofl: I think i might have a few party girls on my hands, as long as they keep the music down we should be fine.
The grapes have been pecked by the birds opening them up for the bees to get into and they have definitely acquired a taste as this is the 6th day I’ve seen them coming back, though they seem to handling their liquor better as there are far fewer walking (staggering) around on the ground under the grape vine.

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#10

Can I rethink my previous comment. We all know about mead and its health giving properties. You might be onto a winner with the honey, previously unheard of flavor to your honey. Measure the specific gravity as it ferments. If it is high octane put me down for a bottle - or 12…:joy::smiley:

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