Since 1975, our family who began PollenNation has been collecting and processing pure raw Honeybee pollen for the discerning customer from the forests and flowers of their Nelson based apiaries. They believe their bees collect the best pollen you can buy. They ship pure pollen from their sustainably managed hives direct to Health For Life’s door.
What happens to Bees over Winter?
All summer long, worker bees can be seen buzzing between flowers, collecting pollen and nectar and pollinating crops (which we depend) and producing an abundance of honey. As summer draws to a close and the weather starts to cool, one of the questions is, “What happens to bees in the winter?”
People often guess that honeybees hibernate; others presume that colonies die as cold weather approaches. Frost does kill most members of bumblebee and yellow jacket colonies, leaving lonesome queens to establish new nests each spring.
But honeybees are different.
They’ve evolved a strategy for winter survival that is unique, one that relies heavily on frenzied visitation to flowers throughout the summer and a Herculean group effort in the months beyond. Believe it or not, their success in this endeavour depends on choices that you make for your yard and garden.
Honeybees need their calorie-rich, carbohydrate-loaded honey to keep them alive during the winter; it’s the perfect furnace oil for colonies. Worker bees eat this liquid gold and use the energy it provides to fuel rapid contraction of their wing muscles. Pumping these muscles without flying produces heat in the same way that shivering helps us to warm our own bodies.
As the temperature drops, honeybees cluster together within their hive to share the warmth that their “shivering” generates. At the core of this cluster, worker bees keep themselves and their queen at a temperature that is only a few degrees lower than that of a healthy human. The cluster’s outer layer consists of tightly packed, slightly cooler workers that insulate the core—don’t worry, everyone gets to rotate. This remarkable group behaviour allows honeybees to keep the inside of their home virtually tropical while the rest of the natural world remains frozen beyond the hive’s walls.
For us keen bee lovers we might like to build a Bee Hotel and put it on the southern side of our properties – a safe haven for the bees in your area to come together for the winter. You can find some easy build bee hotels on youtube.