Happy December first. Today is an unusually beautiful sunny day in the sixties here on Cape Cod. Last week we had some cooler temperatures in the lower forties and high thirties but today is a very good bee day. The honeybees were so happy to have the sun warm their hives. In fact, the activity was bustling by the hives this morning. I took a moment to take a quick video to share.
What are the bees doing out of their hives on December 1st? Most likely a few things.
1. Cleansing Flights. The bees will not “go to the bathroom” in their hives. Instead they will hold it until temperatures warm at least in the 40’s when they can quickly leave the hive. I can only imagine my car windshield dotted with little bits of bee poo.
2. Foraging for water. The bees will also go out and look for water for the hive. Puddles, birdbaths, dewy blades of grass and plants are all fair game.
3. They will break the cluster. For cold days in the fall and winter the bees will cluster in a ball tightly around the queen bee to keep the temperature at 90 degrees. They will not break this formation until temperatures warm above 40 degrees. During this break from the cluster they will take cleansing flights. They will perform hive maintenance such a carrying out dead bees and a bit of cleaning. They will also move the cluster closer to store of honey and nectar in the hive.
They never truly go to sleep. Bees are active all year round twenty-four seven whether in the hive or out.