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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    276

    Smile Experiment with bees and cold temps

    Hey I'm no Einstein that's shown to me daily, but I had a situation that gave me an opportunity for an experiment. Weather here has been cold and rain, then rain and cold for nearly 3 weeks. When I walk past my hives in the morning or re-fill the syrup jars, I see my girls soaked and laying motionless at the hive entrance, sometimes in little puddles of water. It's near 32. I felt sorry for them thinking they might have been out foraging and didn't get back in time before the rain. I remember reading something about Bee body temperatures (the Bush web site?) and how they literally become paralyzed in low temps, but that they are still alive. I gathered up 10 of the girls, put them into my package delivery box, and took them into the house, covered the syrup can hole of course. The house is maybe 68. I laid them out on a paper towel in the box and within 15 to 20 minutes 9 of the 10 were all up and buzzing about the cage. So I gave them a cap full of syrup, a couple of them took advantage of that. That was last night. This morning 9 of them were still alive so I took them up to the hive and released them back in. Cold again so they were sluggish, but I pushed them back into the hive using a piece of grass.
    So what did we learn (besides the fact that I might be a bit looney ) is that the bees even when you spot them in the colder temps with their little legs folded across their chest (thorax) they may not be dead, simply in a vegetative state. They do reanimate when warmed. I also observed how they were taking care of one another while in the box in the house. Seemed like they were "grooming" and or assisting each other. Very social insects definitely.
    Didn't mean to write a book here, but I'm just fascinated with these guys and trying to learn all I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Experiment with bees and cold temps

    that is not unusual, unfortunatly it doesn't work well with queens, once they get cold they never seem to lay again.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Experiment with bees and cold temps

    Interesting. Then with that in mind, would it not be wise to introduce a package to a hive when temps will be below say 40 for an extended period? Or will the bees cluster around her to protect her from the elements?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-24-2013 at 06:14 PM. Reason: UNQuote

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