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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    edmonds, WA, USA
    Posts
    348

    Default can bees predict the weather?

    It seems like they know when a day will be really nice, and they get an early and enthusiastic start, and also when showers are likely, as they often wont send out a lot of foragers, even if it doesnt look all that bad to me, but do bees try to guess what the weather will be like in the near future? ( for instance, in a week or two, after swarming, when the new queen will be taking her mating flights.) Do they delay rearing swarm queens if the two week forecast is for cold and damp?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    well it's going to freeze here tonight and my best hive just threw an afterswarm so I vote NO
    I swear they wait till I'm home so I can watch em fly up in a tree

    Dave

    ps: I'll post a pic in a little while, I got a good one
    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/ungrateful_bugs.jpg
    Last edited by drobbins; 04-09-2007 at 05:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Default

    There is a change in air pressure a few hours before it starts to rain, and I THINK that that is why the bees stay in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,136

    Default

    It's all about survival...The smart or lucky ones pick the weather Right!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,131

    Default

    The seem very good at short term. They seem to know when it's going to rain and stay home or when that drizzle is never going to be more than a drizzle and they fly. But they don't do wall at long range. Mine were rearing brood like crazy in December in the 50's F just before it dropped to -12 F for a few weeks...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default

    I know when I used to keep a few hives near the garden they always let me know in no uncertain terms when a thunderstorm was enroute!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    in the dakotas year back we got the very clear idea that they definitely knew when a storm was rolling in on more than one occasion. lucky for us the old bee keeper who I worked for knew that they knew...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The seem very good at short term... But they don't do wall at long range.
    I was going to say the same thing. It's hard predicting what chaotic systems will do. With the stories I've heard lately about swarms being caught uh.. swarming in snow storms and freezing temperatures, you gotta figure they just didn't see it coming.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Hanson, MA & Lebanon, ME
    Posts
    696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The seem very good at short term. They seem to know when it's going to rain and stay home or when that drizzle is never going to be more than a drizzle and they fly. But they don't do wall at long range. Mine were rearing brood like crazy in December in the 50's F just before it dropped to -12 F for a few weeks...
    Quote Originally Posted by George Fergusson View Post
    I was going to say the same thing. It's hard predicting what chaotic systems will do. With the stories I've heard lately about swarms being caught uh.. swarming in snow storms and freezing temperatures, you gotta figure they just didn't see it coming.
    Well, it's not like they learn, it's more like they react to short term indicators. Then again some weathermen should just look out the window
    - Ann, a Gardening Beek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    Hello,

    I ran accross this searching another topic, thought I'd pass it on.

    ========
    From the book
    "Weather folk-lore and local weather signs" .. (1903)
    Author: Garriott, Edward Bennett, 1853-1910

    Bees will not swarm before a near storm.
    When bees remain in their hives or fly but a short distance, expect rain.


    A bee was never caught in a shower.

    When bees to distance wing their flight,
    Days are warm and skies are bright;
    But when their flight ends near at home,
    Stormy weather is sure to come.

    ========

    Joe Waggle ~ Derry, PA
    ‘Bees Gone Wild Apiaries'
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/H...neybeeArticles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default

    I think they do quite well for the short term, like MB says. Couple times this year I decided whether or not to bother putting some paint on the house late in the day based on how the bees were flying. Seemed to work.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,131

    Default

    >Well, it's not like they learn, it's more like they react to short term indicators. Then again some weathermen should just look out the window

    But many a time I've looked out the window at a nice day and thought I could do something that I didn't want to get rained on only to find I was wrong. The bees are seldom wrong on how it will be during the next few hours or so and I often am.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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