Why do bees fly into the snow? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Hill View Post
    Some races of bees can hold it in better than others....
    OMTCW
    Sorry, just couldn't resist! If you are having "hundreds" leave in this manner, it could be for a myriad of reasons. IE. mites, AHB trait, some critter in there, etc. In fact, we are fortunate in our area in that hives with africanized traits (imported pollinating hives on the bogs during the summer) have difficulty living here for this reason, they fly out and don't know when to return. OMTCW

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  3. #22
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Hill View Post
    Some races of bees can hold it in better than others....
    OMTCW
    Maybe some races of bees make less of it than others.

  4. #23
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Hill View Post
    In fact, we are fortunate in our area in that hives with africanized traits (imported pollinating hives on the bogs during the summer) have difficulty living here for this reason, they fly out and don't know when to return. OMTCW
    On what evidence do you base your assurtion that "imported pollinating hives on the bogs" are "hives with africanized traits"? Or are you making assumptions?
    Mark Berninghausen

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Many years of pollinating experience on those bogs.... and you? OMTCW
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-05-2011 at 05:53 PM. Reason: UNQ

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    I was making no assurtions, you were. What makes you say they are africanized? It seems like an outrageous claim.

    And what does OMTCW mean? Speak English won't ya please?
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #26
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    Aug 2010
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    North Babylon,NewYork,USA
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    28

    Smile Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Only My Two Cents Worth.
    Jeeze the snow is making everyone a tad cranky.
    I think the theory of snow on the ground confusing the girls as to which way is up makes sense. An old beekeeper told me to put hay on the ground, it may give them a chance to make it back to the hive if they land.

  8. #27
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    Aug 2009
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    Pownal, Maine, USA
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    The timing of this question was interesting to me.....I just read about this phenomenon in Winter World by Bernt Heinrich. He's a scientist (biologist) who wondered about this very question in regard to his own hives. He set out to find a plausible answer.

    He suspected the snow did disorient the girls, so he spread wood shavings in front of his hives and found fewer bees getting confused. But he found this didn't account for all of the behavior. Were they trying to cleanse? He found too many of them had chosen to fly but wouldn't bother to void even though they were out long enough to do so. After dissecting some dead bees, many indeed still had feces in their gut. So that wasn't the whole answer, either.

    He finally concluded that since bees have no sense of calendar dates and are likely interested in the absolute earliest pollen sources of the season, they routinely send out scouts to check things out. While they get it wrong on many occasions and end up diving into the snow from the cold or snow blindness, eventually they will get it right and find that wonderful first pollen of earliest blooming trees. I find this very plausible and it explains this behavior to my satisfaction.
    Don't be afraid your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin.

  9. #28
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    Medford, Oregon
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    Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Now that is the sort of answer I was looking for. Thank you!

    Perhaps the extent of the hive mentality is even deeper that we have imagined. If this is true, that means individual bees are routinely sacrificed for even a small benefit for the hive at large. That could suggest a deeper collective intelligence. That means that there definitely is a minimum cluster size needed to overwinter because it's basically a war of attrition against the cold. That's why clusters die of small size with plenty of stores.

  10. #29
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    May 2009
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    Covington, Ga, USA
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    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredForStereo View Post
    Now that is the sort of answer I was looking for. Thank you!

    Perhaps the extent of the hive mentality is even deeper that we have imagined. If this is true, that means individual bees are routinely sacrificed for even a small benefit for the hive at large. That could suggest a deeper collective intelligence. That means that there definitely is a minimum cluster size needed to overwinter because it's basically a war of attrition against the cold. That's why clusters die of small size with plenty of stores.
    While in training to earn my stripes as a Marine, we studied WW1 and WW2. Many times, a very young Marine, usually a pvt, would be forced to remove his gas mask to test for mustard gas etc....and if he didn't he was shot, onsite for disobeying a direct order. I didn't believe it until I graduated bootcamp and got to see my Grandfather about a week later. It was then he opened up about some things, and he did verify they did do that. He did it with a 9mm pointed at his head in Germany!

    with that in mind, It doesn't seem far fetched for me to imagine these little critters with that sort of intelligence. They are truly a wonder of nature and at times, i believe we have barely scratched the surface of what we "think" we know about them!
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  11. #30
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    Sep 2010
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    Stone City, Iowa
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    273

    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    On the "turning upside down and crashing" bit - you will see the same behavior from fish at night when you are diving. If you shine your light on them from the side they will flip so their dorsal fin is towards the light. Then they will keep bouncing off the bottom as they try to swim. It's pretty funny - of course they aren't dying while doing it!

    JC

  12. #31
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    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
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    702

    Default Re: Why do bees fly into the snow?

    [QUOTE
    He found too many of them had chosen to fly but wouldn't bother to void even though they were out long enough to do so. After dissecting some dead bees, many indeed still had feces in their gut. So that wasn't the whole answer, either.
    .[/QUOTE]

    This is hard to believe...
    How do you really know they were out long enough?..In cold weather bathroom may just take a bit
    longer when chilled ...or doesn't work at all.

    When shading the entrance temperature difference is allot and most bees stay inside and not on
    the landing board...thus no flight takes place. To my observation bees flying in freezing temperature
    only happens when sun is out.

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