Thursday, September 30, 2010

Honeybees During the Winter

 The most inactive season for honeybees is winter, they will gather tightly together to preserve heat this causes a rise in temperature for the entire hive. The queen bee will remain at the center of the hive to stay warm and lay very few eggs if any at all.

 The queen bee is cared for by the worker bees because the hive contains mainly female bees at this time of year. All the drones have either been killed or driven out of the colony in autumn.

 Ivy is one of the last plants to give in to the cold, so if you live in an area with lots of ivy don't be surprised to see your bees forging on the not so colder days on the ivy to store some extra needed food for the winter.

 The cluster of the bees can be loose or tight, if the temperature is consistently around 68 degrees Fahrenheit the cluster will be loose and the food consumption will increase a little. During the coldest days the cluster will be at its tightest and the food consumption drops as all activity slows down in the hive.

Winter Time Reference

  • 57 degrees F to 110 degrees F- All activity in in the colony such as the gathering of food and the laying of eggs is ongoing.
  • 95 degrees F- Brood nesting still possible.
  • 57 degrees F- Clustering of the hive commences and activity starts to be limited.
  • 50 degrees F- Honeybees are unable to fly outside the hive and the clustering is tight.
  • 45 degrees F- Most species of honeybees become immoble.

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