Winter Time in the Bee Yard

02122012

Where are the honey bees in the winter? What happens inside the hive?  What effect does the snow and cold have on them? Will they be alive in spring? Honey bees cluster in the winter.  As the days get short and colder the bees snuggle down into the hive to keep warm and keep close to their store of honey.  We wrap the hives with plumber’s insulation to help keep the hive temperature steady and not fluctuating on warm or very cold days.  Bees with an adequate supply of honey and a strong Queen Bee, and no evidence of disease or mites will weather the winter well.  Snow can help to insulate the hive but the entrances should be cleaned of snow and ice as well as any dead bees or debris.  Yes, during the winter the older worker bees will perish and the younger stronger bees will move them to the entrance in order to get them out of the hive. The bees will become active when the day time temperatures increase and the sun shine returns.

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