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Appearance Of Bees In Cold Weather

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

We will first endeavor to examine the condition of a stock left to

nature, without any care, and see if it affords any hints for our

guidance, when to assist and protect with artificial means.

Warmth being the first requisite, a family of bees at the approach of

cold weather crowd together in a globular form, into a compass

corresponding to the degree of cold; when at zero it is much less than

at thirty a
ove. Those on the outside of this cluster are somewhat

stiffened with cold; while those inside are as brisk and lively as in

summer. In severe weather every possible space within their circle is

occupied; even each cell not containing pollen or honey will hold a

bee. Suppose this cluster is sufficiently compact for mutual warmth,

with the mercury at 40, and a sudden change brings it down to zero, in

a few hours, this body of bees, like most other things, speedily

contracts by the cold. The bees on the outside, being already chilled,

a portion of them that does not keep up with the shrinking mass, is

left exposed at a distance from their fellows, and receive but little

benefit of the warmth generated there; they part with their vitality,

and are lost.