winter stupid bees science

Is the winter making us stupid?

If we behaved like bees, perhaps

You don’t have to be a great scientist to notice that in the summer there are plenty of honeybees around, but that during winter they all seem to be totally absent. However, they are still there; the only problem is you won’t see any. Closely nestled against each other the bees are confined to their hive in which they try to keep warm by shivering. While the vast majority of all insects survive the inhospitable season as eggs, pupae or larvae inside the soil, wood or leaves and while a small number of insects outlasts the winter as adults in shelters under the bark of trees, under patches of moss, in stacks of straw or in even human dwellings, the honey bees have their own unique strategy. They create warmth through muscle activity. Even at an outdoor temperature of -30°C, the centre of the cluster of shivering bees inside the hive would be a not exactly comfortable but at least tolerable +15°C warm. Continue reading