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Frost And Ice Sometimes Smother Bees


Besides freezing, there are other facts to be observed in stocks which
stand in the cold. If we examine the interior of a hive containing a
medium-sized swarm, on the first severely cold morning, except in the
immediate vicinity of the bees, we shall find the combs and sides of
the hive covered with a white frost. In the middle of the day, or as
soon as the temperature is slightly raised, this begins to melt,--first
next to the bees, then at the sides. A succession of cold nights will
prevent the evaporation of this moisture; and this process of freezing
and thawing, at the end of a week or two, will form icicles sometimes
as large as a man's finger, attached to the combs and the sides of the
hive. When the bottom of the hive is close to the floor, it forms a
sealing around the edges, perfectly air-tight, and your bees are
smothered. I have frequently heard bee-keepers say in these cases, "The
storm blew in, and formed ice all round the bottom, and froze my bees
to death." Others that have had their bees in a cold room, finding them
thus, "could not see how the water and ice could get there any way;
were quite sure it was not there when carried in," &c. Probably they
never dreamed of its being accounted for philosophically, and to
analyze anything pertaining to bees would be rather small business. But
what way can it be accounted for?

Next: Frost And Ice In A Hive Accounted For

Previous: How A Small Family May All Freeze

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