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A stunning variety of African animals eat beeswax



Honeyguide birds lead people to bees’ nests and get beeswax as a reward, however digicam traps reveal that honey badgers, baboons and mongooses all feed on the leftovers


6 December 2022

A honey badger consuming beeswax

Dominic Cram

Many animals in southern Africa feed on beeswax and, by doing so, they assist keep a novel partnership between people and birds that lead honey-hunters to wild bees’ nests.

Till now, it was thought that only a few animals aside from larger honeyguides (Indicator indicator) may digest beeswax – a high-energy meals that the birds get hold of as a reward from people who break open bees’ nests.

David Lloyd-Jones on the College of Cape City, South Africa, and his colleagues needed to see if bigger animals feeding on …

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