According to the October 1992 issue of Apis, drunk bees can be a problem. An Australian scientist studying beekeeping practices in Kenya observed strange behavior. Drunk bees had difficulty coordinating their actions. They may die or be unable to return to their hive. When they do make it to the entrance, strange acting drunk bees are rejected by the guard bees. Finally, drunk bees are more vulnerable to predators.
Apparently local beekeepers were feeding hives weak sugar solutions, which often fermented. Fermentation of weak sugar syrup can be avoided by feeding bees stronger solutions and/or ensuring that the sugar water is consumed quickly. “Because many beekeepers do feed sugar syrup during marginal times, this brings into focus another possible reason colonies might suffer either autumn collapse or spring decline in population.”
ECHO Staff 1993. When Honeybees Become Drunk. ECHO Development Notes no. 40