Our Bees Are Waiting For Spring...

February 12, 2020 2 min read

Our Bees Are Waiting For Spring...

The month of February is Spring-in-waiting. Even though it can often be savagely cold with snow and ice, we sometimes get a glimpse of the warm weather to come with the odd calm and sunny day. On these days with the temperature above 5C, we will often see a few Honeybees leaving the hives on a short flight collecting water or depositing any dead bees or mess away from the colony. Unlike other flying insects, Honeybees are active all year round but stay inside the hive in winter feeding off the honey and pollen collected and stored during the previous spring and summer.

The worker bees look after the Queen, keeping her warm, fed and healthy so that she can continue to lay eggs throughout all but the coldestparts of winter, replacing those bees that have died. It takes 21 days for an egg laid in a cell to emerge as an adult worker ready to immediately start various tasks around the hive. It's a further three weeks before workers can begin to fly out and forage, so it's now, in February, that the Queen rapidly increases her rate of egg-laying in anticipation of the start of spring and the emergence of the early spring blooms in March and April. This natural process ensures there is a new generation of workers prepared ready to harvest and replenish the colony's food stores through the spring and summer. 

Later in February, we in the South of England will start to see the first Bumblebee Queens flying close to the ground, looking for a suitable site to create a new nest. These relatively big bees have dense hairs that keep them warm and able to fly in lower temperatures than other insects.

Meanwhile, their solitary bee cousins will remain in hibernation until much later in the spring, starting to emerge when day temperatures reach an average of around 10C, and their primary food sources are in flower.

In the meantime, on behalf of our precious pollinators, let's hope for a short sharp winter and a mild, calm spring.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in BEAUTY AND THE BEES

The Tradition of "Telling the Bees..."
The Tradition of "Telling the Bees..."

March 24, 2021 3 min read

People have revered bees and honey for many thousands of years and they feature in folklore across the world.
Read More
The Bees and the Blossom -  Spring is here!
The Bees and the Blossom - Spring is here!

March 13, 2021 2 min read

Spring is here and the Bee Good bees are emerging from their hives to start foraging for blossom to make wonderful honey.
Read More
The Importance of the Skin's Microbiome.
The Importance of the Skin's Microbiome.

February 12, 2021 2 min read

Why it's so important to use gentle skin products that contain ingredients like honey, that support the skin's natural microbiome.
Read More

Keep in touch