Winter Cleansing Flights of Honeybees

February 3, 2013

Like all living things, even honeybees use the “bathroom”.  However, during the wintertime, they are confined to their cluster without the ability to leave.  In the cluster, their main goal is to keep the queen and any existing brood very warm.  This cluster only breaks on warmer winter days.  During the break, the bees move the cluster closer to available food sources and also exit the hive to quickly take cleansing flights.  Have you ever had a little splash of bright yellow dots on your windshield and wondered what bird did that?  That was not a bird, it was the mark of a honeybee.

Video Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

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14 thoughts on “Winter Cleansing Flights of Honeybees”

  1. How cool! We are getting bees this spring and I can't wait. I'm almost done reading "Beekeeping for Dummies" and I'm so fascinated and amazed with bees! I never knew how intricate and sophisticated their behavior and communication really is.

  2. Question for you about hens and bees… Today, being 65*-70*, when I was checking on my hens, noticed about 10-15 bees swarming around the hens' feeder. A couple were just burying themselves in the feed. Pieces of apple were lying in the coop but had no bees on them, just in the feed. I emptied the feeder and filled it again, the bees came right back to the feeder. What is drawing them to the feed?

    • Hi Bunny! They might be after the protein would be my guess. Their protein source in the wild is pollen. If their stores are low, I guess it would be possible for them to look for an alternative source. On another note, honeybees are also very attracted to apple cider vinegar.

    • Thanks Tilly! Guess it shouldn't be too long now for them to find other sources in north Texas. I am allergic to stings, but they seem to be too busy to notice me! Would love to have hives if I could get over my anxiety.

  3. We had an unusual 60-degree day last week, and yes, the bees were out! It was good to see them. Now, temps are at 13 degrees…we're a long way from spring, but I'm crossing my fingers all is well inside the hive. I'm attending a beekeeping class this weekend,and I hope to learn even more. Thanks for all your information…it's much appreciated!

    • Hi Daisy, there are a great deal of books out there on keeping bees. The three that I would recommend would be Homegrown Honeybees by Alethea Morrison, Storey's Guide to Raising Honeybees, and Raising Honeybees for Dummies.

  4. Most enjoyable! I came upon your Facebook page this morning and made sure I would further investigate before the day was over. Your information is unique and your blog is charming, for lack of a better word. I am not surprised by the award. Clearly earned. This is a work of love. It shows. I look forward to introducing you to our readers! Have a great week and salutations to Tilly!

  5. That's so interesting! I just found your blog a few days ago and I've read through tons of it! We have 12 chickens and we're planning on getting a beehive set up this summer. I'm sure I'll be checking this blog frequently for tips and tricks!

    • Welcome Meredith. I am so happy that you are here and enjoying yourself. I love that you keep chickens and the bees are coming this summer. Thank you for such a lovely comment.

  6. hi just popping in through granny's pages. Both my hives died this year, after 5 years of great work, the winter was just too hard on them with all its ups and downs, i am so glad all your guys are busy and healthy.. well done. Beekeeping is awesome.. c


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.