Bananas for Bees with Katharina Davitt (S3, E25)


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In this episode, Master Beekeeper, Katharina Davitt reveals the nutritional benefits honey bees derive from bananas. Yes, you read that correctly, bananas!

We all know that bananas are good for people. They are full of carbs, minerals, vitamins, are good for digestion and just taste good. But the one thing all beekeepers learn when they start out is that when bees are threatened, they release alarm pheromone and that smells like bananas. So up to now, wise beekeepers didn’t bring bananas to the bee yard.

But it turns out feeding bananas to honey bees is actually a good way to get good food into a hive. Really. Katharina Davitt tell us why and how. Her University of Montana Master Beekeeper research project explored the nutritional requirements of honey bees and the properties of bananas. Katharina shares data behind this! The conclusions reached from this study found that colonies cannot live on bananas alone, but bananas will help in the spring, during a summer dearth and in the fall.

But who would have thought – bananas for bees?!

Before the talk with Katharina, Kirsten, Kim and Jeff discuss the ongoing debate pitting the honey bee against native bees and pollinators. Why the debate? What’s the issue and what’s the real problem? Kim, Kirsten and Kim explore it all.

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Thank you for listening!

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

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