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Does Not Analogy Prove That Bees Should Be Kept Warm In Winter?


Opposition to this method of wintering will arise with those who have
always thought that bees must be kept cold; "the colder the better." I
would suggest for their consideration the possibility of some analogy
between bees and some of the warm-blooded animals--the horse, ox, and
sheep, for instance, that require a constant supply of food, that they
may generate as much caloric as is thrown off on the cold air. This
seems to be regulated by the degree of cold, else why do they refuse
the large quantity of tempting provender in the warm days of spring,
and greedily devour it in the pelting storm? The fact is pretty well
demonstrated, that the quantity of food needed for the same condition
in spring, is much less when protected from the inclemency of the
weather, than when exposed to the severe cold. The bee, unlike the
wasp, when once penetrated with frost, is dead--_their temperature must
be kept considerably above the freezing point, and to do this, food is
required_. Now if the bees are governed by the same laws, and cold air
carries off more heat than warm, and their source of renewing it is in
the consumption of honey in proportion to the degree of cold, common
sense would say, keep them warm as possible. As a certain degree of
heat is necessary in all stocks, it may take about such a quantity of
honey to produce it, and this may explain why a small family requires
about the same amount of food as others that are very large.

Next: The Next Best Place For Wintering Bees

Previous: Snow Need Not Always Prevent Carrying Out Bees

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