Caffeinated Bees

Interesting goings-on at the compost heap the other day, with the honeybees frenetically gathering coffee grounds in their pollen baskets. Not sure what was up with that, but the proof is posted below for all to see.
Given the dearth of pollen sources so early in the season up in the Northern Catskills, perhaps the bees were simply "taking what they could get" by gleaning the coffee from our discarded Melitta filters. I wonder what, if any, merit the grounds have from a nutritional perspective.

Or perhaps these bees (and, one can only hope, bees across the world) are hyping themselves up for a long overdue battle with homo sapiens for world dominance. If so, I'm rooting for the bees and will gladly serve as barista to the revolution.

What interesting or unexpected things have you observed honeybees gathering or doing of late?


Kitt said...

Were the grounds wet? Could they be after the moisture?

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Hi Kitt,
No, actually the grounds were real dry. There's plenty of water for the bees in the muddy pools all over the place as "mud season" comes on, and two ponds in the immediate vicinity where they often gather water, so I don't think that was it. Additional theorizing highly welcomed! :)

KathyB. said...

We find it interesting the honeybees seem to prefer getting their water from sheep manure -filled mud puddles to bird baths and other water sources that do have shallow landing places for the bees . Also, we discovered the honeybees gathering in large numbers over our poultry feeders full of layer crumbles, the chickens were reluctant to eat because of the honeybees landing all over the crumbles. I can't say we actually observed bees carrying the crumbles away, and after a week the bees did not bother with the chicken feeders. Have never seen this before or since.This occurred on a warm day in March, nothing else was blooming around here.

Coffee grounds, interesting!

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

That's an interesting accounting, Kathy. Wouldn't it be great if we could ask the bees what they intend with these choices? Perhaps they're simply decisions made in the "variety is the spice of life" spirit!

AP said...

This could be way off, but perhaps the bees have confused the coffee grounds with Propolis?

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Your guess is as good as mine, AP. Interesting mystery. (By the way, I like the boxer in your profile pic...we have a boxer too. Great dogs!)