Bees in Winter. Where do they buzz off to?Published
Puffer jackets, warm fires, hot lemon honey ginger drinks, and cozy blankets keep us humans warm and well throughout the cold winter season. Whilst other animals hibernate, where do our bees go?
The preparation for winter begins in the fall, when the bees start storing honey to keep the hive fed until spring. We also see a change in the hive family. Summer bees generally live for 4-6 weeks, whilst winter bees have a longer lifespan of 4-6 months. They are born in the fall and are a bit plumper than the summer bees.
When the temperature drops below 10° C, winter worker bees head to the hive and create a tight cluster around the Queen to keep her and themselves warm. The worker bees flutter their wings continuously to create heat, a bit like how us humans shiver. The Queen is in the center of the cluster, where the temperate reaches as high as 32°C-37°C.
The stores of honey the bees have produced in the warmer months are essential energy boosters to keep them healthy and buzzing.
Our beekeepers know the importance of keeping a good supply of honey for the health of our bees in the winter time.