Bees eating cracked corn - is this OK?

Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

The weather was mild yesterday, but it's still very wintery here and other than a few early bulbs (crocus and iris) I have no flowers open. To my surprise, I noticed small brown bees eating the cracked corn on our bird table. The bees seem to be packing the powdery residue from the corn into their leg "pockets" and taking it away as if it were pollen. Is this good for them? I have no idea what kind of corn is supplied for bird food, and for all I know it might be GM, with insecticide in it.

Thumbnail by June_Ontario
Pickens, SC(Zone 7a)

They are probably looking for pollen. This time of year they will roll in anything that might resemble pollen.

Forestville, NY

I have to agree with Charlotteda, it either that or they have an identity issues and think they are birds. As far as being good for them, it wont harm them they will take it back to the hive and the bee that are clean up the cells will just throw it out.

Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

Thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear that my cracked corn won't be responsible for a hive death! Since the bees are so desperate for food, is there anything useful that I can put on the table for them?

Forestville, NY

Sugar water mix 1lb water to 2 parts sugar place in a humming bird feeder make sure you remove before the nectar flow. You feed the bees an any humming birds its a win to species.

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Interesting... Is there any feedback? Like, does the bee who cleans up have a little pollen dance for "You idiot, that's not food", or do they both just keep burning energy bringing the corn back and throwing the corn out?

Boca Raton, FL

I am trying to find out more about species to grow in desert conditions . We have two species identified which believe will do well tagasaste and neem tree Azadirachta indica and the other a shrub tagasaste Chamaecyticus palmensis( these trees we would like to know how much is the minimum requirement of water for first year growth per plant both for tagasaste and Azadirachta also known as neem). The ground has sandy loom., temperatures are not extreme 400-600 meters above ground sandy soil ph 4-5 very low rain possibly 20- 30 inches per year. We would like to add longer growth trees maybe olea europea ( we would like to know how long before olea blooms or produces fruit) and finally prosopis alba ( we do not know growth rates-will appreciate feedback and if anyone knows if it smells lkie the texas or mexican mesquite) This is a farm near border with Bolivia in Argentina in need of some reforestation. We have also wondered if date palms would grow at such altitudes and bear fruit. Our final question is seeds for the date palms and prosopisalba. I believe that olea are propagated from cuttings and need to find out of possible supplier for this region.
And our big question is will all of the above support BEES?

Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

I suspect my plastic hummingbird feeder may not stand up to being frozen (the temperature dropped to 10F last night). What if I put some brown sugar out on the table? Would the bees be able to eat that?

Forestville, NY

not brown suger use suger cubes.

Pickens, SC(Zone 7a)

Dont feed the bees brown sugar... it is not totally digestible and will give them dysentery. They are looking for pollen and all the sugar water in the world wont take the place of pollen.

If you really wanted to... you could buy a small amt of a dry pollen substitute from a bee supply store and put it in a dry outside place for the bees.... but when your natural pollen sources begin they will concentrate on that. Sugar water is fine when temps will allow . Seeing them in the corn doesnt necessarily mean they are hungry... they are just looking for pollen sources to get ready to feed new babies.

Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

OK, no sugar then. I'll look for some of that pollen substitute. The weather forecast is for a heatwave to arrive here in a few days time, so the pollen shortage will soon be over, I hope.

Thanks for all your advice.

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