Do Bears Eat Honey? It's Not Just Pooh, Real Bears Love Honey Too!

Abhijeet Modi
Feb 29, 2024 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Black Bear Animal Wildlife in Western North Carolina Mountains.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

Do you know that bears love honey?

Bears absolutely like to eat and harvest honey. Apart from pooh, the bear from 'Winnie The Pooh', almost every bear enjoys eating this delicious, sweet, sticky, and warm honey.

We cannot blame them, can we? It isn't just bears, humans love honey too. Honey is a sweet, sugary, sticky, and syrup food substance that can only be produced by honey bees and in some cases, other related insects. The hard work of bees does pay off with this irresistible product. As we know, pure honey is priced quite hefty, but for bears, it is free as they can harvest it in the wild. Animals like honey badgers, raccoons, opossums, and skunks also love to eat honey.

Winnie the Pooh might have loved honey syrup, but in reality, it's not just about the honey. The larvae or immature bees present in the hives attract the bears. They are high in fat and protein, which is great for a bear as they require adding more weight on as winter arrives. Therefore, you must understand that the smell or odor of honey might draw bears, but the real reward or goal is bee larvae. When a bear finds a beehive, they try to eat as much as possible like there's no tomorrow. When they leave, they effortlessly shake off adult bees off their coat, just like how they do with water.

For more similar content, you can also visit these grizzly bear facts and do beagles shed.

How do bears eat honey without getting stung?

A bear can weigh up to 1322.77 lb (600 kg), while most of them are around 44.09 lb (200 kg). They are mammals, belonging to the family Ursidae, with fur on their body. Undoubtedly, bears are attracted to beehives, and they like honey. They can spend their time munching on it the whole day until the beehive is empty. It is a wonder how they do not freak out when angry bees attack them. Black bears and grizzly bears are bear species that like honey the most.

It is a fact that bees do stings bears, especially when they raid their homes for food. However, their thick fur protects them from sting pains and irritation. Bears are quite happy to endure sting pains on their body because of the bigger reward that they get by securing bee larvae or honey. They are more likely to feel pain if they are stung around their nose, mouth, or face in general. Since the honey and larvae that they get from beehives are too good, bears often forget about bee stings. A wildlife scene of nature says that if a bear spots a beehive up a tree, it will find ways to get up there. This is how much they value beehives, well not the hive, but its honey, along with bees and larvae present inside it. Apart from honey, eating bees and larvae act as a good source of protein and also fat for these animals. A bear may roam around a forest to raid beehives on trees and caves. For them, getting honey is considered to be rewarding.

What is the favorite food of a bear?

Bears are omnivores in nature. In natural settings, their diet mainly consists of insects, fish, fruits, roots, and grasses. Often, they are found living off berries, mammals, and fish in the wild for their diet. They can eat anything, even human food. Before winter, they tend to eat more than usual to gain more weight and stay warm to survive and beat the harsh, cold weather.

It is common for animals, like bears, to change their diet every now and then because their diet depends on the availability of food in the wild. These animals have been seen foraging for beehives due to their love for bee larvae and honey. It's like they are aware of its nutritional value. Experts believe that bears really have a sweet tooth, which is why they love the taste of honey. Honey, in general, is one of the favorite food of bears, apart from salmon, berries, and roots. This is one of the reasons many beekeepers in Alaska tend to put an electric fence around their beehives to protect them from bears.

Brown bear walking free in the finnish taiga.

Do grizzly bears really eat honey?

Most bear species are known to love the taste of natural honey. Before the cold season arrives, bears are known to look for beehives even if it means they have to walk for miles. Honey is warm and its sugary taste helps to keep bears warm and gain strength.

Spotting a beehive for bears is quite exciting. Grizzly bears and black bears, in particular, are known to love honey and they spend their time searching for beehives. They are obsessed with the sweet taste and flavor of the larvae present in the hives. Beekeepers, near the wild, must take precautions as bears can smell beehives and they will not hesitate to steal them from you and leave a mess behind. Since honey is not something that is available at ease for polar bears, they prefer other kinds of food over honey.

Why are bears attracted to beehives?

If a bear spots a beehive on a treetop, they will not hesitate to climb up and get it. There are several reasons why a bear is highly attracted to the hives of bees. Bears can live off a diet containing lots of different types of food including fish, plants, and insects. However, if a beehive and these foods are placed in front of them, they are more likely to choose the hive.

It's not the hive that attracts them, but the content of the hive that pulls a bear's interest. Firstly, they like to eat honey which they get from the hive. Secondly, they are mainly interested in the bee and its immature bees, or larvae that are present inside the hive because they are delicious and highly nutritious for them. These are the reasons why beehives are valuable to bears. They are highly nutritious in content and provide proteins, fats, and strength to bears. The stickiness isn't a problem for them as they enjoy its rich taste.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions fordo bears eat honey yes, it is not just pooh, bears love honey too then why not take a look at how do plants grow, curious plant growth facts answered for kids or is a bird an animal, yes amaze-wing kids facts on bird classification?

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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