Blog » Bees - where do they go and what do they do in winter

Bees - where do they go and what do they do in winter

Posted by Greg Whyte on 10 July 2017

Ever thought about what honeybees do in winter and what they get up to?

Now we have our own honeybees I have often wondered what they get up to and I have learned heaps.

Honeybees do not hibernate like bears for the winter  - they are tough - well sort of. Nor do they migrate.

Honeybees don’t do wind and rain and on those days most probably don’t leave the hive

Some honeybees have a job to regulate the heat in the hive by getting together and flapping their wings.

Honeybees main job is to keep the queen warm so they gather around here flapping their wings - they rotate in and out of a circle around the queen sharing the workload.They form a cluster, like kids sports teams do at half time, around the queen keeping her safe and warm.The worker bees then flutter their wings and shiver. This constant motion and continuous use of energy is how the bees keep the inside temperature of the hive warm.In order to keep shivering, the bees must have enough honey. This is how they get their energy.

Honeybees rely on honey for energy. Some studies have found that hives of honeybees will consume up to 30 pounds of stored honey over the course of a single winter. On warmer days, honeybees will leave the cluster briefly in order to eliminate body waste outside the hive.

They still gather pollen but they live on honey , which they store for the winter and sometimes sugared water as well. Most beekeepers don’t take all the honey off a hive when they take their honey during the season. They leave enough behind so the bees can survive easily during the winter. On finer days they are out gathering pollen taking it back to the hive to turn into honey.The sugared water is used to supplement the honey in the hive.

NB This info has been  sourced from websites I have read upon regarding bees habits in winter.