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Duct Tape And Beekeeping: Can Bees Really Chew Through It?




Can Bees Chew Through Duct Tape?

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Duct tape is one of the most essential beekeeping-friendly tools for beekeepers. Beekeepers uses duct tape for so many reasons for the maintenance of bees and beehive. It is an important matter of concern, can bees chew through duct tape?

The answer is yes, bees can chew through duct tape using their mandible easily if necessary. But as a beekeeper, I would like to suggest you avoid the use of duct tape for a long period of time. Because it can create a disturbance for the bees.

Throughout the whole post, I will discuss with you why you should avoid the use of duct tape for a long period of time. Also, I will guide you on how to use duct tape to make your beekeeping journey comfortable.



Can Bees Chew Through Duct Tape?

Yes, bees can easily chew and get out through duct tape when they have to. If required they will eat the duct tape quickly and try to tear away the tape and go out across the tape.

They have strong mandibles which they use to cut weak to strong materials like plastic, rubber, tape, etc.

Bee's mandible that they use to chew through the duct tape


In the case of duct tape, it is also possible to tear apart easily with the help of a bee’s strong mandible. It depends on the bee’s mood and the placement of the duct tape. 

If the duct tape tries to create a hindrance for them, they will chew it. Otherwise, they might not do anything. If you are trying to use duct tape to block a ground bee entrance, this might not work.

If you want to get rid of ground bees without killing them you might check this article.



Why Do Bees Chew Through Duct Tape?

If you use duct tape to block a beehive for a long time, this will definitely create a disturbance to their natural colonial life. As a result, they will try to swarm away. So, they will try to get out through the duct tape by chewing it.

Also, if any nutrients of pollen are stuck on the tape, bees will try to eat them. At the same time, they will also chew the duct tape.


Can Bees Sting Through Duct Tape?

As bees can chew and get out through duct tape, they can also sting through duct tape. Duct tape is made from cotton, polyester, nylon, and similar types of materials that can be easily torn apart by the sting of bees. So, they can easily sting you through duct tape.


Beekeepers even get stung by bees after using beekeeping gloves. Because most beekeeping gloves are made with plastic or thin leather, through which bees can easily sting.

So, stinging through duct tape is absolutely not a hard task for them. They will easily stung through duct tape if they find any harmful alert for them.



Why You Should Not Use Duct Tape For Locking Bees?

If you are not a beekeeper, just trying to get rid of bees. So, you want to lock bees with duct tape. Forget it because it won’t work well.

Bee Swarm


Even If you are a beekeeper and try to lock a specific portion of your bees, then it also won’t be an effective way. I wouldn’t like to recommend that. There are several reasons for this.

  • Bees Don’t Like Interference: First of all, bees don’t like any disturbance to their natural life. So, if you create any disturbance to them they will be more aggressive and try to sting you through duct tape.
  • It Can Prevent Them From Going Outside: If you try to lock a fully open beehive with duct tape. This will prevent them from going outside of the hive, thus they will also become angry. They will quickly chew the tape and swarm away.
  • Duct Tape Is Not Suitable For Locking Bees In A Tree: If you try to lock a bee swarm on a tree using duct tape, they will not be happy with this. They probably look for a new home for them and that could be any place even inside your house.
  • Bees Don’t Like Hanging For Long: If you use duct tape for a long time to hang bees, they might swarm away as they don’t like this.
  • Sticky Duct Tape Can Kill Bees: Bees can also be stuck on the sticky sides of the tape if it has enough sticky substances. This can also be deadly for some of your bees.

This is why you shouldn’t use duct tape for a long time to lock bees.



How Can You Use A Duct Tape For Beekeeping?

Using duct tape for a longer period of time can be harmful and your bees might swarm away. But there are also some great ways for you to use duct tape to make your beekeeping quite comfortable.

How To Use Duct Tape In Beekeeping


The following are some of the great uses of duct tape for beekeeping:

  1. Creating Shelter: You can use duct tape to lock the area of the beehive, through which yellowjackets and other predators may attack the beehive and try to steal honey. 
  2. Hanging Queen: If required you can use duct tape to hang the queen cage for a short period of time for up to 2 days.
  3. Use Duct Tape As A Beehive Entrance Reducer: If your beehive entrance is too large you can use duct tape to reduce it. But keep at least 20 to 22 mm open for the entrance as less than that bees can’t go through.
  4. Locking Queen: If you need to keep your queen bee inside the hive for a certain amount of time, you can use duct tape to block the upper entrance of the hive.
  5. Drying Wet Bees: You can also use it to place a screen over wet bees to help them dry out inside the hive.
  6. Duct Tape With A Swarm Trap: You can also use duct tape to attach a swarm catcher to a tree.

There are also some other uses of duct tape for beekeepers. The above-discussed method is my popular usage of duct tape.

So, you can also use this thing to make your beekeeping fun and easy.



What Else Can Bees Chew Through?

Bees can chew almost any thin layer of materials using their mandibles like plastics, wood, cotton, drywall, caulk, and other similar types of things.

Bees have strong mandibles that can be used to demolish anything. Also, their sting helps them to tear any thin layer of materials.



Frequently Asked Questions


Will bees stick to duct tape?

Bees have the practice of moving through sticky substances. So, if it is not too sticky bees might not stuck on it. But there is obviously a chance some bees might accidentally stick to the duct tape or any hard sticky substances.

What can bees not chew through?

Bees won’t be able to chew through metallic substances and other hard materials. This is why usually beehive is made with wooden materials. Bees are only able to chew through soft materials like plastic, duct tape, rubber, etc.

Can wasps eat through duct tape?

Most of the wasps usually can not eat through duct tape. They have mandibles like bees but are unable to tear materials like duct tape. Some species of hornets and yellow jackets may be able to eat through duct tape.




Bees can chew through duct tape and almost any type of thin layer of materials. So, if you are thinking about using duct tape to keep bees away from home it might not be a good choice for you.

If you are a beekeeper, duct tape could be really a useful tool for you like your bee brush and other hive tools. But usage of duct tape in the wrong way can be costly for you.

Because interfering with the natural life of bees won’t be tolerated by bees. So, they will become aggressive and more likely to sting you. Also, there is a high chance of swarming away.

So, be careful about using duct tape use it in an appropriate manner. Always work by following the right way to make a Happy apiary!


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