Lowest observed foraging temperature
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    737

    Question Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Hi, all,

    I was just wondering what others have observed as far as lowest foraging temperature? Today the girls were bringing pollen back in around 55 degrees.

    And what kind of pollen this time of year - bright yellow.

    -Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,190

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    I don't see the bees out in force at that temperature this time of year but in the spring, there are a fair amount at 50 degrees. Most of my queens are offspring of queens from Olympic Wilderness Apiaries and they are tough bees. They really get out early in the year when it is still pretty chilly.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hi, all,

    I was just wondering what others have observed as far as lowest foraging temperature?

    -Thomas
    Some of my hives will fly at 41 on a sunny day. Not really to collect pollen but short distances to stretch their wings and cleanse. Other hives won’t fly until its 50. I think the sun has a lot to do with getting out in the lower temps.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    St. Charles, MO, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    I've seen them foraging in the Spring on sunny days when it was 38 degrees.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,876

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Risky condition foraging could be a bit of a red flag for some disease conditions. That said some bee types do clearly work in colder and wet conditions.
    Frank

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by ffrtsaxk View Post
    I've seen them foraging in the Spring on sunny days when it was 38 degrees.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Hey, Frank,

    which diseases are you referring to?

    thanks,
    Thomas
    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Risky condition foraging could be a bit of a red flag for some disease conditions. That said some bee types do clearly work in colder and wet conditions.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    yeah, this morning, just one hive with a few bees coming and going. 43 degrees F.

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    Some of my hives will fly at 41 on a sunny day. Not really to collect pollen but short distances to stretch their wings and cleanse. Other hives won’t fly until its 50. I think the sun has a lot to do with getting out in the lower temps.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,876

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hey, Frank,

    which diseases are you referring to?

    thanks,
    Thomas
    Nosema and associated virus.

    " (Kralj and Fuchs, 2010; Dussaubat et al., 2010, 2013; Wolf et al., 2014). Infected bees are also more likely to engage in riskier behavior, such as increased foraging trips during adverse weather conditions (Woyciechowski and Kozlowski, 1998) and robbing other hives for resources (Kuszewska and Woyciechowski, 2014). Nosema sp. also affects the number of flights taken and the average flight duration (Dussaubat et al., 2013; Alaux et al., 2014; Dosselli et al., 2016)."

    From https://jeb.biologists.org/content/221/4/jeb161489
    Frank

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    I have seen a few flying days this week, sunny and in the 40's. I am pretty sure they were out at 44 one day.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lake Forest Park, WA
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    One of my 3 colonies would fly in upper 40’s and bring back some ivy pollen. The other two would wait until it gets ~50F. We had unusually warm weather last January and the bees foraged on Hazelnut trees nearby in mid 40’s.
    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, near the north end of Lake Washington

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Up here I’ve seen them forage at +5 or 6 C (40F?) in April for Alder and Willow pollen. Still snow on the ground. Snow turns brown
    Brian
    53N, 115W, El.850M

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,136

    Default

    When I read this post it was 43°. No bees flying. I looked again at 47°. Still no bees flying or on the front porch. It’s 51° now and all of my hives have about a dozen bees on the porch and two to three dozen are in the air around the apiary. I watched them and they take off and fly two to five loops out to 30' and then come back in. Cleansing flights. They are not foraging.
    Zone 6B

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Jacksonville, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hi, all,

    I was just wondering what others have observed as far as lowest foraging temperature? Today the girls were bringing pollen back in around 55 degrees.

    And what kind of pollen this time of year - bright yellow.

    -Thomas
    Some of mine were also bringing back the bright yellow pollen yesterday with temps in the high 40s. I'd also like to know what plant it was coming from? Central Illinois.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Upper 40's and bees on the front of hives. Sun came out and was above 50 and bees were flying around hives.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I looked at a hive in a tree trunk that a homeowner wanted removed. It was a big tree and must have been a big hive given the amount of traffic at the entrance. It was actively snowing at the time. Not hard, but flurries.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,913

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Once (only once) I drove by one of my outyards when it was 27 F and the bees had a steady stream of bees going to and from the nearby woods by the creek. I've often wondered what they were working on. It was dead calm (odd for Nebraska) and sunny and they were black bees. I wonder if a colony in the woods died and they were robbing it out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,309

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Working in too cold is not necessarily a good thing.
    It is risky as in - you maybe loosing forager bees over unnecessary risk taking.
    Losing bees over not much payback is a bad trait and would normally be terminated.

    Suppose robbing a nearby colony maybe an OK risk/payback case.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,309

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    dup
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    This is a good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Working in too cold is not necessarily a good thing.
    It is risky as in - you maybe loosing forager bees over unnecessary risk taking.
    Losing bees over not much payback is a bad trait and would normally be terminated.

    Suppose robbing a nearby colony maybe an OK risk/payback case.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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