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Appearance Of Bees In Cold Weather


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 above. 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.

Next: How Part Of The Swarm Is Frozen

Previous: The Idea Of Bees Not Freezing Has Led To Errors In Practice

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