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Bee-eaters are colourful slender birds with long curved bills and pointed wings. There are 26 different species of bee-eaters, all typical birds of the warm regions. A single species occurs in Europe, the European Bee-eater. But the species that is depicted in the model is the Little Bee-eater which is resident in much of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the smallest African bee-eater. Sexes are alike.

The diet of all bee-eaters consists mostly of bees and other insects which are caught in flight or by sorties from an exposed perch where the bee-eater watches for prey. The stings of the stinging bees are removed to a branch before the bees are swallowed. But bee-eaters are also fairly immune to bee stings. Because of their preference for bees they are certainly not popular with beekeepers. The positive side is that they also eat insects such as wasps and Hornets which are harmful to the bee population. Also they feed on grasshoppers, mainly in Africa.

Most bee-eaters are social birds, living in large groups and nesting in colonies. The nests are burrows dug into the ground, either into the sides of earth cliffs and  river banks or directly into level ground.

Family groups of bee-eaters like to sit together on a branch. Pairs sitting together are often so close together that they touch. Groups may roost together in a row in such a fashion as well. The habit to sit so close against each other undoubtedly helps to keep warm during cold nights.


In the model, there are three  perching side by side, but you can also make six or more. This is a challenging model to make for there is quite a lot of precise cutting to be done. But the assembling process is fun and rewarding, and every part fits perfectly.
I hope you will enjoy making this model!

The model contains 5 sheets in full colour which need to be printed on normal 120 gr paper. The kit also has 7 sheets with instructions which need not be printed. The instructions can also be found here.

Little Bee-eaters

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