Lowest observed foraging temperature - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    England, UK

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    I don't know if this qualifies as ,'foraging' - but having cut-up a block of fondant I'd left it's cardboard box (onto which the fondant had been weeping some excess sugar syrup) on top of a hive. Next morning, after a sharp frost, I noticed that a handful of bees were licking that cardboard so, just out of curiosity, I placed a small amount of 2:1 out for them. This is what soon resulted:

    I then removed the sugar-soaked cardboard, but not before word of the 'gold-mine' had already reached one or two hives:

    The air temperature at the time was 4.1 deg C (39F), with clear but 'cold' January sunshine.

    The following two days, yesterday and this morning, temperatures have been slightly higher, but the weather has been misty and overcast, without clear sunshine - no bees have been flying.

    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Ojai, California

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    Saw some in the manzanita this morning at 38 degrees F. WOW! Them's good bees.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Hamilton, Alabama

    Default Re: Lowest observed foraging temperature

    As others noted, bees will forage down to about 35F and I have seen them doing so a few times. It is always in bright sunshine with little or no wind.

    I concluded from all of that that bees do not always go home every night.
    This behavior is well documented with some bees spending the night usually near flowers on which they are foraging. Regarding bees foraging by moonlight, this has been observed a few times and appears to be a genetic trait. Even though Russell advertised bees as "moonbeams", I too suspect it was just snake oil. His description stated that they foraged earlier and later than most bees though still during daylight.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

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