Where do bees go in the winter?
Bees, without a doubt, are among nature’s most fascinating creatures.
With their distinct colors, amazing nature, and various species, bees fly from one flower to another, spreading pollen, producing honey, and creating wax.
But if this is the case when the weather is all nice and warm, where do the bees go in the winter? How do they adapt to cold weather? And what happens to them when there are no blooming flowers?
Where Do Bees Go In The Winter?
What happens to bees in the winter?
Some bees hibernate, some find a way to work through the cold, and some just have their bee life-cycle completed by that time of the year.
There are even bees in Alaska, of course.
For starters, we have to know that with their numerous species, bees have different ways to deal with the cold.
Between honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, each species goes through a certain cycle in order to survive winter.
1. Honey Bees
Honey bees work super hard through warm months to get enough pollen and nectar (while, importantly, pollinating our plants).
They use these supplies to produce the honey they’d need during the winter.
When temperatures start dropping, honey bees are usually prepared with a well-secured hive and plenty of honey to help them survive.
During this time, the bee workers return to their hives and form a cluster to keep warm, with their queen at the center.
The bees then flutter their wings and shiver to keep the inside of the hive warm.
Also, the honey bee workers take turns moving from the outside to the inside of the cluster, and vice versa. This way, all bees remain sufficiently heated.
Unlike honey bees, bumblebees have an annual life cycle, so they don’t survive as colonies during winter.
Instead, the queen bees mate and search for a nesting spot. In this spot, they hibernate until it’s warm again, while the rest of the worker bees die.
During their hibernation phase, queen bees don’t eat or work. However, due to their super low rate of metabolism, they manage to live through winter with so little energy.
Check out these amazing facts about bumblebees!
3. Solitary Bees
The solitary species is quite diverse, and include, for example, mason bees and carpenter bees.
Some of the solitary female bees gather lots of nectar and pollen.
Afterward, they create a sealed nest in which they lay their eggs. This allows the eggs to consume the collected nectar and pollen in order to grow into young bees through winter.
Some other types of solitary bees develop into adults over the summer. This type hibernates in a cocoon during the cold months and emerges once again in the spring.
Bees In Winter
So that’s what honey bees do in the winter!
Despite their hard-working nature, our buzzing buddies, unfortunately, can’t go through winter without putting in some more work.
So, either by laying eggs, hibernating, protecting the queen, or even losing their lives, bees always find a way.
They always return to their beautiful nature, even after a cold long winter, and that’s how we end up with clover honey on our toast.