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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Verona, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    122

    Default frozen bees back at it

    Hello,
    Does anyone here know much about the tolerance of bees to freezing? I cracked a few of my weak hives this past weekend (concerned about food supply) and of course had a few bees fly out to see what was going on. They would freeze up and nose dive into the snow in less than 15 seconds. Four bees crashed into my pail I had along with me and I assumed they were dead. I was out there for probably 40 minutes at 28 degrees. Came inside and put the bucket downstairs. About an hour later 4 bees were buzzing around the light. Just curious if anyone has some insight about this. Anyone tried putting a bee in the freezer overnight, then warming it back up to see if it "comes back to life"?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    The answer (punch line) to that question(joke) is, "Enough to know better than open a weak hive in the middle of winter. " I swear I'm not being smart. Seriously, what u could do needed to be done before winter, IMHO. Did they have stores ? Hope they make it.
    Cheers,
    Drew

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    People that use bee stings for arthritis, chill the bees and store them in the refrigerator. When they want to take a bee "shot" they pull a bee out, they hold on to it and it wakes up and stings them. So just because you think the bees are dead in snow, if your're quick and chuck them back under the hive top them may recover. Just something to try.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,974

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    they wouldn't survive a freezer overnight. Insects can't be frozen. They can tolerate being cold for awhile and when they warm back up they can move around as they're partly exothermic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    They can appear dead from the cold and not be frozen. I think once they freeze they are dead. Until the freeze, you can warm them up and they will live if it was just cold that was making them torpid.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,583

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    ....when they warm back up they can move around as they're partly exothermic.
    Every creature on earth is exothermic. An exothermic reaction is inherent in utilizing "food" to provide energy to muscles, whatever form that food / muscles is in.

    http://www.unc.edu/~scmannin/avis3.html
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    Bees go into torpor at about 50 degrees. I've actually picked them up, breathed on them to warm them up and herded them back into the hives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    I found a lifeless swarm the size of a tangerine on the ground last Sept/Oct. They fell from a tree after a 39 deg night. Warmed them up inside about 90% came back to life including the queen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    You wouldn't open all your windows when it was 28 outside would you? Leave them bee til spring.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,974

    Default Re: frozen bees back at it

    My bad Rader, ectothermic is the proper term, but exothermic literally means "outside heating", and used to be acceptable calling cold blooded animals exothermic if I recall correctly. Bottom line, they're (Bees) partially dependent on environmental heat to function.

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