We’re having a remarkably mild October, which has enabled our wild Honey Bees to continue performing their Summer jobs. Here, in yesterday afternoon’s sun and shadow, worker bees busily mine Yellow Hawkweed for pollen and nectar.
When Winter temperatures finally come, these workers will stay at home and become self-generating space heaters. Initially, when the Queen is not laying eggs, the workers will cluster around her and do a “shiver” that keeps the hive at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit; when she starts laying, they will cluster closer and set the heat to above 90 degrees.
These bees consume prodigious amounts of their stored honey to generate the energy needed for hive heating. (Brooklin, Maine)