Do Bees Migrate or Hibernate in the Winter & What Happens to Beehives in Hermitage, PA?

With the cold winter season upon us, many pests and insects have disappeared. One insect is the bees. Have you ever wondered what happens to bees? Do they migrate, die or does the colony hibernate? Each species of bee has their own survival method, which is rather interesting. Where many people believe that bees are gone, some are actually still around and may be not too far away. Stewart Termite & Pest Control will share some information about a few species of bees, their winter survival methods, and where they might be this winter.

Where Do Honey Bees Go in the Winter?

Honey bees can be found all across America, even in winter. Honey bees neither migrate nor hibernate during the winter. However, they aren’t buzzing around either. They stay active until outdoor temperatures drop to 50 degrees or lower. Once the cold weather moves in, they all return to the hive and do a “winter cluster,” which means they all huddle together and shiver to provide warmth. The queen is at the center of this cluster where the workers cluster and shiver together to maintain the center temperature at 80 degrees. The outside edges are around 46 to 48 degrees so the worker bees do rotate much like penguins do to survive the cold. During the winter the workers will consume up to 30 pounds of stored honey to maintain body temperature and energy in order to keep the queen toasty warm. On warmer days the worker bees will venture out of the hive for short periods of time to relieve themselves or in other words, go to the bathroom. Because it is essential for the worker bees to eat the stored honey, some members, namely the males, are removed from the hive since they aren’t needed until spring. Come spring the bees will once again venture outside seeking pollen and caring for the queen and her eggs.

Where Do Carpenter Bees Live in Winter?

Carpenter Bees have a much different survival method. Carpenter bees are known for their destructive behavior of drilling into wood and carving out galleries for their eggs. Carpenter bee aren’t social like honey bees and once they find a mate, they will remain together all spring and summer long. They will dig into wood creating massive galleries were they lay their eggs. Once the female and male carpenter bees have laid their eggs, and collected enough food for their offspring, they fly off and die shortly thereafter. The eggs remain inside the wood until the warmth of spring. At that time the eggs hatch and the prepupae will feed on the food left for them. Come summer, the prepupae will reach full adulthood. They’ll find a mate and the life cycle continues. The life of a carpenter bee is short and is devoted to their future generations.

Stinging Insect Control

Bees play a vital role in our eco system. If this winter you stumble across a beehive, leave it alone. Contact a professional pest removal company. In many areas bees are a protected species and need to be relocated carefully. For those who may be allergic to bee stings, their presence shouldn’t be tolerated. Nevertheless, make sure you contact a professional for bee and hive removal. Stewart Termite & Pest Control is dedicated to protecting homes and commercial property from pests all year long. If you are having a major pest invasion this winter, contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control today.