The Honey Bee Huddle
As the weather turns cooler and it really starts to feel like fall, we’re experiencing quite the color explosion on the farm. It’s also the last explosions of nectar and pollen for the Currant Farm honey bees until the first frost, which will be any day now.
As we said in our email about Autumn Asters last week, bees must gather a surplus of nectar and pollen to store for the winter. They’ll take it back to their hive and use it for a number of things. It’ll feed the adult bees, of course. But it’s also deposited into honeycomb cells.
fan the honey
filled cells with their wings until the
excess moisture of the
nectar is evaporated which converts it into honey
, which is their winter food source. Honeybees survive the
winter by working hard to create this honey
surplus before it gets cold outside.
cold months, they work as a
team to huddle
queen and immature bees
to keep them warm. As the
temperatures drop, they start to vibrate their flight muscles without moving their wings, which raises their body temperature enough to keep everyone warm. On the
coldest days, the
temperature in the
center of the
mass of bees
can remain at 70°-80° F.
That’s why honey bees don’t have to hibernate! They produce enough honey to hopefully keep them alive all winter.
Right now, our Currant Farm bees are working hard to prepare for the cold winter months that are just around the corner. And they’ve produced enough honey for us to share with you! (An average colony of honey bees can make two to three times more honey than they typically need to survive the winter.)