Tuesday, January 24, 2023

"Vulture Bees Prefer Rotting Flesh Over Pollen"

From a Smithsonian article aggregating a bunch of other articles:
Most bees also have saddle bag–like structures on their legs for carrying pollen, but vulture bees have much smaller leg baskets, which they use for carrying meat back to their hives. To gather their hauls, vulture bees have a unique set of teeth they use to slice bits of meat. Once in the hive, the vulture bees store the meat chunks in small pods, leave them there for two weeks to cure, and then feed it to their larvae
Wikipedia with a vivid description of the gathering technique:
Vulture bees, much like maggots, usually enter the carcass through the eyes. They will then root around inside gathering the meat suitable for their needs. The vulture bee salivates on the rotting flesh and then consumes it, storing the flesh in its crop

 The image below is from this entry:

And speaking of weird bugs: