Have the gangs settled down long enough to break bread? Well, it’s not the Jets and the Sharks, or the Crips and the Bloods, but close enough: it’s the Honeys and the Jackets sharing a pear.
This interesting photo was sent to me by Manuel, a beekeeper in a drought-stricken area of California. He says the pears have been falling in his yard, and a variety of creatures have been munching on them. But he was surprised to see the honey bees and the yellowjackets peaceably eating side by side. Not only that, he didn’t know that honey bees would eat fruit.
Two months ago I ran a post on that very subject, and the overwhelming consensus of beekeepers is that honey bees will definitely eat fruit, especially in a dearth. The only question remaining was whether they are capable of piercing fruit themselves, or whether they eat it only after the fruit is breached by something else.
Manuel’s pears, like my own up here in Washington, have been opened by any number of creatures including birds and small mammals. So neither the Honey’s nor the Jackets had to breach the skin.
We have all seen yellowjackets attack bees, and we’ve seen honey bees on flowers chase off intruders, so what exactly is happening? I’m not sure, but since neither species is protecting its nest, perhaps they are okay with sharing the windfall—a sweet drink on a hot day.