How Bees Feed

  • Karl von Frisch


Eccentrics with preferences for particular food occur among animals as well as among human beings. But whereas people can indulge a wide range of tastes, animals cannot. Here, nature dictates more strictly to each species what to eat and what to avoid. This is particularly true of insects. We know of a caterpillar, for example, which will not feed on anything but willow leaves, and of these, only on sallow. It would rather starve than feed on the leaves of another willow species, let alone of another plant. There are also caterpillars which can live only on the horns of dead cattle or the antlers of antelope. Some beetles live exclusively on timber, and there are certain fleas that care only for the blood of moles. On the other hand, there are caterpillars which will eat a dozen or so different sorts of leaf, a flea which will suck blood from man, dogs, cats, rats, or even birds, whichever happens to come along, and there are ants which feed on honey, fruit, or meat with equal avidity, wherever they may find it.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1954

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl von Frisch
    • 1
  1. 1.MunichGermany

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