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Category: WINTERING BEES.

Should they escape starving, there is another difficulty often
attending them in continued cold weather. I said that small families
exhaled but little. Let us see if we can explain the effect.

There is not sufficient animal heat generated to exhale the aqueous
portion of their food. The philosophy that explains why a man in warm
blood and in profuse perspiration would throw off or exhale more
moisture than in a quiet state, will illustrate this. The bees in these
circumstances must retain the water with the excrementitious part,
which soon distends their bodies to the utmost, rendering them unable
to endure it long. Their cleanly habits, that ordinarily save the combs
from being soiled, is not a sure protection now, and they are compelled
to leave the mass very often in the severest weather, to expel this
unnatural accumulation of faeces. It is frequently discharged even
before leaving the comb, but most of it at the entrance; also some
scattered on the front side of the hive, and a short distance from it.
In a moderately warm day, more bees will issue from a hive in this
condition than from others; it appears that a part of them are unable
to discharge their burden--their weight prevents their flying--they get
down and are lost. When cold weather is too long continued, they cannot
wait for warm days to leave, but continue to come out at any time; and
not one of such can then return. The cluster inside the hive is thus
reduced in numbers till they are unable to generate heat sufficient to
keep from freezing. With the indications attendant upon such losses, my
own observation has made me somewhat familiar, as the following
conversation will illustrate.





Next: Further Illustrations

Previous: Frost May Cause Starvation



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