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Bee-Eaters: Meropidae - Bee-eaters And People

Animal Life ResourceBirdsBee-Eaters: Meropidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Bee-eaters And People, Purple-bearded Bee-eater (meropogon Forsteni): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, CONSERVATION STATUS

BEE-EATERS AND PEOPLE

Overall, people do not affect bee-eaters in any significant way. However, bee-eaters are a great source of enjoyment to birdwatchers.

BEE-RUBBING

Because their prey is poisonous, bee-eaters undertake a complicated process to assure poison is removed before eating. After taking caught prey back to the perch, bee-eaters toss it into the air, catching it with its bill tip. They strike it several times against the perch. In an action called bee-rubbing, bee-eaters grab the insect's tail tip, quickly rubbing the body against the perch to squeeze out the bee's fluid. They gradually grab the insect around its abdomen in order to expel leftover venom, eventually tearing out the stinger and poison glands. The food is then safely swallowed whole.


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