November bee update
Winter is here! What does this weather mean for the bees?
The Second Story Honey bees are tucked up nice and cozy in their hives. In each hive is the queen, secure in the center of a cluster of 60,000 worker bees to keep her warm. The worker bees flex their wing muscles hundreds of times per minute to generate heat and keep Her Majesty a toasty 75F no matter the weather outside the hive.
To generate nice, steady heat throughout the winter, the bees will be eating the 80-100 pounds of honey I've left inside each hive. These winter stores as they're called, should be enough to keep the colony fed until flowers begin to bloom next spring.
While the queen stays nice and toasty, the worker bees on the outside of the basketball sized cluster are quite chilly. So the bees on the outside take turns trading places with the bees in the core so they can rotate deeper inside the cluster to warm up and reconnect with their queen. When the bees in the core rotate to the edge of the cluster they can feed from the honey in their winter stores.
Over the next couple of months we'll get a sunny warm day here and there. When we do I'll be sure to check on the bees and I will keep you posted on how they are doing.
If you have questions about the bees email me at firstname.lastname@example.org