Do Frogs Eat Bees? Yes but …

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022

Frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and are known to feed on invertebrates such as flies, beetles, ants, and crickets. 

While the majority of a frog’s diet consists of insects that are smaller than itself, some folks have been wondering whether frogs can eat bees.

Frogs do eat insects, but they generally don’t go after bees because they’re not a part of their natural diet. When a frog’s usual food source becomes scarce, they’ll consume whatever edibles they find, however, when eating bees, if the frog doesn’t roll its tongue correctly, it can get stung.

Can a frog get stung by a bee while swallowing it whole?

A frog rarely gets stung by a bee while swallowing it, but it is not unheard of.

In many cases, if the frog does not roll its tongue correctly, it can get stung by a bee. However, in most cases, the sting is not fatal.

Frogs can immobilize the bee before swallowing it whole but if the frog cannot immobilize the bee, then there is a chance of it getting stung.

How do frogs avoid getting stung by bees?

Frogs eat the bees like other insects. The saliva on the tongue of the frog is sticky, and this allows them to capture any insect that comes within the range that their tongue can reach.

You must have seen a frog shoot out its tongue to capture an insect.

In the case of bees, the sticky part of a frog’s tongue protects itself against getting stung by the stingers.

To avoid getting stung by bees, a frog catches a bee at the edge of its tongue and quickly rolls it. The frog will consume the bee whole along with the stinger.

Are frogs stung by bees known to avoid hunting bees?

According to the madisonherps.org website, amphibians, especially frogs, are pretty intelligent creatures.

So, in the event that a frog has been stung by a bee in the past, it can avoid the insect later on.

Usually, you will find that frogs avoid hunting the more giant bees, especially those with brown stripes down their backs.

This is because these bees usually have longer stingers and can cause more harm to a frog if it is not careful about hunting.

common tree frog on gray color wall 27082022

Do bees provide any nutrition to frogs?

Absolutely yes! Frogs depend on insects to meet most of their nutritional requirements.

Just as insects like flies and grasshoppers can provide minerals, proteins, and vitamins to frogs, so can bees.

Bees are also full of fat and several micronutrients essential for the amphibian’s robust immune system.

Therefore, bees provide frogs with several nutrients that other insects might not.

Do toads eat bees?

Like frogs, toads too can eat bees. The primary difference between frogs and toads is that a frog’s legs are longer than a toad’s.

Similarly, a toad prefers to crawl rather than hop. But the eating habits of a toad are similar to that of a frog.

Therefore, toads can eat bees, and these amphibians do not get stung easily by bees’ stingers because they all employ a similar tactic.

Can tadpoles eat bees?

Tadpoles don’t eat bees because they live in the water and survive on the algae there. However, as they grow, they will start eating insects.

One of the significant reasons why tadpoles do not eat bees is that they are much larger than their sizes.

Moreover, they cannot capture the bees as they do not have tongues like a grown frog. Hence, tadpoles cannot hunt bees.

Can frogs prove to be dangerous pests for beekeepers?

If you ask a beekeeper if a frog can prove to be a pest for his bee hives, his answer will be yes.

Frogs enjoy hunting bees, and giant frogs like the gray frog, common frog, American bullfrog, and the Red-eyed tree frog are all dangerous amphibian predators of bees.

They are often known to stay near bee hives to hunt bees.

As frogs are opportunistic feeders, they will hunt and eat almost all insects.

So, if you suddenly find that your bee hive is under attack and the number of bees in the hive has reduced, check the surroundings for frogs.

Can frogs come and sit near hives in search of food?

The answer to this question is yes. You would normally associate a frog sitting quietly for its prey at the pond’s edge or in moist places.

But when food becomes scarce, frogs are known to venture out of their known hunting grounds and explore other hunting grounds like bee hives.

But if you are a beekeeper and find frogs in front of the hives, it can prove dangerous as the amphibians can completely destroy a hive.

Can a frog pond be detrimental to the bees visiting your garden?

Frog ponds are attractive features in a garden, but remember that gardens also need pollinators like bees and other insects.

If you cannot control the number of frogs in the pond, it can be dangerous for the pollinators.

Since frogs can quickly reduce the number of bees visiting your garden, you need to think well before you build a frog pond in your garden.

Can frogs climb trees to reach honey bee nests?

The common notion is that frogs will stay in a pond and wait for their unsuspecting prey.

But in some instances, like red-eyed tree frogs, the amphibian is known to hop up the branches of a tree to reach the nest of honey bees.

The frog can easily catch the insect when the bees leave the nest searching for nectar.

Other than the eyed tree frogs, the Gray tree frog and the wood frogs can also climb trees to reach the nests of honey bees.

Can frogs eat wasps?

Frogs are known to avoid eating wasps as these insects can sting several times before dying.

Bees can sting once before dying and convey the venom into the frog’s body. But that too in rare cases and only if the frog does not capture its prey correctly.

Compared to bees, wasps can be dangerous prey as they can continue stinging several times, and this can prove to be a potential risk for a frog.

Hence, you will find that frogs avoid eating wasps even if these insects fly close to the amphibians.

Further reading:
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/03/what-do-frogs-eat/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_frog

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