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Thread: Do Bees Sleep?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Madison county, IL
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    Default Do Bees Sleep?

    Just wondering what goes on in the Hive at night. Are they always working? Do they ever "rest" Just curious.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Galt, CA
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    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    If you only lived 6 weeks, would you take a nap? Life's too short!
    I don't think they sleep, just go into like a motionless like state to conserve energy. Some bees inside will be working feeders, brood rearing, building comb, and such.

    C2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    Somebody will have to help me with the reference, I had read so many books I don't know where I saw this! But a study by one of the older authorities said that when he studied a particular bee that "the bee never worked more than 6 hours in a 24 hour period." In fact, he said the bee would spend long hours with his head stuck in an empty cell and completely motionless. I don't think he used the word "sleep", but it sounds like the bee equivalence of it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Newnan, GA
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    25

    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    I read something like that as well. Only I thought it was 8 hours. Either way, they spend most of the day NOT working.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Oregon City, Oregon
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    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    Must have been union bees
    Honeydew

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Shoshone County, Idaho
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    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    Not those Alaskan Bees they work 24 hrs. per day!
    Imagine if they were in a warm climate and doing that? Talk about a honey crop!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Tigard, Oregon, USA
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    50

    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    I'm with standman, I don't remember the reference, but they do their version of sleeping. But then, you probably take siestas or chill out in front of the boob tube, so what's the difference? Then you return to work refreshed and clear-headed. So do the bees. Math problem: with 60,000 bees in a hive, how many bee-hours does it take to put up a super of honey?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    The bees don't sleep at night per se, but they do something that looks like sleep.

    "When the workers penetrate the cells, and remain fifteen or twenty minutes motionless, I have reason to believe, it is to repose from their labours. My observations on the subject seem correct. You know, Sir, that a kind of irregular shaped cells, are frequently constructed on the panes of the hive. These, being glass on one side, are exceedingly convenient to the observe, since all that passes within is exposed. I have often seen bees enter these cells when nothing could attract them. The cells contained neither eggs nor honey, nor did they need further completion. Therefore the workers repaired thither only to enjoy some moments of repose. Indeed, they were fifteen or twenty minutes so perfectly motionless, that had not the dilation of the rings, shewed their respiration, we might have concluded them dead. The queen also sometimes penetrates the cells of the males, and continues very long motionless in them. Her position prevents the bees from paying their full homage to her, yet even then the workers do not fail to form a circle around her and brush the part of her belly that remains exposed. "--New Observations on the Natural History Of Bees by François Huber

    http://bushfarms.com/huber.htm#beesinrepose
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South San Ysidro, NM
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    503

    Default Re: Do Bees Sleep?

    There is also discussion of sleeping bees in The Buzz About Bees by Jurgen Tautz with a photo of a sleeping bee. It is atanding lower than awake bees normally stand and the antenae are drooping.

    Having established they sleep, the next question is do they dream? And what do they dream about? Acres of clover, being chased by Kingbirds, clumsy white-suited apes...

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