2202 Nov 19 – Entrance Bees

Our weather has turned cold this week and the bees are huddled up in their hives. If the temperature tops 40 F (4 C) and the sun is on the entrance then I might see a bee or too checking the outdoors, but otherwise they are quiet. Bees are one of the only insects that do not hibernate through the winter. Somewhere out there, wasp and bumblebee queens are nestled into leaves or a hole in the ground waiting for spring. Not so for honey bees.

Honey bees are clustered into a tight ball within their hives, the colder the weather the tighter the ball. The younger bees are in the center shaking their muscles to generate warmth. As long as there is food to be had, the bees will keep doing this for weeks and months until the warmth of spring arrives.

In Virginia we often have breaks in the weather when the bees can explore a little, empty their rectums, and get ready for the next cold spell. Last week was one of those times, and here are a few bees in front of my top bar hive Saturn stretching their legs.

May you prosper and find honey.

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