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Want To Save The Bees? You Don't Need To Put Out Sugar Water

Bees are seen near their beehive in Chaudron-en Mauges, France, June 7, 2020.
Stephane Mahe
Bees are seen near their beehive in Chaudron-en Mauges, France on June 7, 2020.

The icy weather of February affected all sorts of wildlife in Texas and damaged plants across the state, including the ones honeybees rely on for food.

Some on social media have suggested putting sugar water out as a potential food source for the bees. But Dr. Jessica Beckham said that isn't the way to go. Beckham is an entomologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

"You shouldn't try and feed the bees unless you're talking about growing flowers. That's a way to feed the bees. But you don't need to set out sugar water or anything like that. They'll take care of themselves, and they'll be able to find the flowers that are blooming," she said.

Beckham said honeybees are able to withstand colder temperatures.

"Honeybee hives, for the most part, would have been fine. And all of the native bees typically are dormant over the winter. So they weren't really looking for anything," she said.

On the whole, most insects and especially their eggs are very resilient, Beckham said. Many insects have either already died off at the beginning of winter, or will stay dormant until the weather warms up.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.