What do bees need to survive?

Bees, like all other living beings, require basic essentials like food, water, and shelter.

Bees consume pollen, nectar, and honey as sustenance. Even though they don’t hoard water as much as they store food, they still store it when they need it. Bees use water to produce royal jelly, a food source for both the larvae and the queen bee. Moreover, a colony’s most basic need is shelter, since it provides them with safety and a place to nurture their young. In the wild, bees construct their own shelters, known as nests, and a beehive is a shelter that a beekeeper makes and provides for bees. 

What do bees eat?

Bees, like all living things, require nutrition to prevent starvation and death. Bees follow a strict diet that only includes organic foods.

A bee’s primary food sources are pollen, nectar, and honey. Bees consume anything with a natural sweetness.

Beekeepers feed colonies sugar syrup when the food in their storage is limited.

Bees consume a variety of fruits, including pears, apples, figs, plums, peaches, and grapes.

Nectar supplies the bees with the carbohydrates they need to execute daily tasks like flying and keeping the colony warm during the winter, in addition to meeting their energy requirements.

On the other hand, pollen has macronutrients like proteins and lipids. 

How do bees collect food?

There are specialized bees in each colony that go foraging for food. These bees are known as foragers, and they are muscular bees because they must be able to leave their nest or hive and search for food sources.

Foragers who collect nectar store it in a stomach-based elastic pouch known as a “honey stomach.” They store pollen grains in built-in baskets on their rear legs when harvesting them.

They return to the colony and distribute the nectar to the receiver bees, allowing them to store the nectar after their honey stomachs and baskets are fully loaded.

In the hive, pollen is kept in cells that are also referred to as “bee bread.”

Nurse bees nourish the colony using the honey that worker bees produce and the pollen that forager bees gather. Additionally, they convert the pollen into royal jelly, which they use to feed the queen, drones, and senior bees. 

Do bees drink water?

Yes, water sources are necessary for bee health. In addition to using it to stay hydrated, bees use it to stay cool in the summer.

In order to cool the hive during hot days, bees will pour a thin layer of water over the baby bee cells.

Royal jelly is produced by nurse bees from water and pollen that is fed to larvae or brood. Water makes up roughly 80% of the composition of royal jelly.

Bees consume their own honey, and when it becomes dense or hard, they add water to soften or dissolve it.

How do bees collect water?

Bees are able to locate their own sources of water in the environment.

In order to do this, they drink the water and then store it in a “crop”, a specific compartment inside their bodies, before flying back to their nest or hive.

They immediately transmit it to another worker bee upon returning to their colony; this transfer is known as a trophallaxis.

Bees can use their primary sense of smell to search for water.

They decide whether the water is sustainable and what its quality is. 

Additionally, fresh water does not attract bees.

As opposed to a clean source of water provided by their beekeeper, Butler (J. Experimental Biology, 1940) claims that bees prefer to collect water from filthy sources such as rainwater gutters and puddles on top of cow dung.

Since it appeals to their sense of smell more and indicates a lot of nutrition for them, bees choose water sources with a variety of chemical components.

However, certain fluids can be harmful to bees because they may contain parasites or toxic substances that might infect them.

Beekeepers can make their own water source and add an attractant, such as sugar, oyster shells, or salt, to draw bees to it.

Where do bees live?

Bees either dwell in hives or nests. Bees build nests as a form of protection in the wild, whereas beekeepers construct hives for their personal bee colonies.

Furthermore, it depends on whether the bees are solitary or cohabit in a colony. Solitary bees inhabit hollow structures.

You’ll observe that nests for social bees are constructed in trees or building crevices. They construct their nests outside, where food and water are easily accessible.

A hive is something manufactured by people. A beekeeper provides a beehive to ensure the safety and habitat of the bees.

Movable frames are used in modern beehives so that the bees can construct their comb efficiently.

What is the purpose of a shelter for bees?

In general, shelter keeps bees protected and shields them from freezing temperatures.

The survival of the brood depends on shelter. A colony of bees needs enough room to raise its young in order to prosper. However, most bees will leave and swarm in open areas if a colony becomes overpopulated.

Shelters offer protection from the rain as well. To protect the brood and food reserves, it’s critical that the hive’s interior remain dry.

Mold can spread all around a hive if there is too much moisture within.

A hive is constructed with a roof, and some beekeepers additionally keep their hives slanted to let excess water out of the hive.

Bees also need ventilation; otherwise, they risk suffocating to death. Natural ventilation is provided in modern beehives.


For bees to survive, they need access to food, water, and shelter. Food gives bees all the nutrition they need, so food is something that is vitally important to them. Bees can seek out their own natural water sources, but these waters may be contaminated with poisonous pesticides or other dangerous substances. To ensure that the bees remain healthy, beekeepers should be in charge of supplying a clean source of water for them and sweetening it with an attractant. Bees need shelter to keep them safe from environmental hazards and direct harm.