Carnivorous Bees Discovered in Columbian Rain Forest
Ecologists in June made a fascinating discovery deep in the rain forests of Columbia; bees that kill, and consume, animal tissue. Ecologists say that in an environment populated by an increasing amount of animals that feed on flowers and their nectar, this genus of bees had to adapt to a different source of nutrients. Bees will actually make their combs inside the deceased flesh of large mammals, use the energy to create a new generation of the bees, and move onto a new host. The entire process from attack to complete consumption is thought to take as little as three weeks.
Pictured here is a hive made from the remaining flesh of a threatened species of red brocket deer native to Columbia. The neck and head is clearly visible. The deadly bees are thought to overwhelm large mammals until they perish, then construct a hive in the animal’s corpse, using it as a reservoir of nutrients. There are no reports of the bees attacking humans, but Patrick P. Howard, expert of tropical insects, says not to rule anything out.
The most frightening aspect of this discovery however, is that these bees may be on the move. Howard says there may be some cause for concern, “We haven’t found any direct evidence of the killer bees migrating north, but the reports that lead to this discovery came out of not South America, but Mexico.” Howard explained that climate change may be responsible for the alleged migration of the bees, “If something isn’t done to reverse climate change in the next few years, we may see these bees as far north as Seattle Washington in under a decade.”