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Bees Remove Dead Bees

We’ve made it through a bunch of recent cold snaps and bad weather. Our food stores are looking good and it’s clear the baby bees are getting tired hanging out inside all winter long. This time of year we hold our breath and give a single knock on the side of the hive to check if all is well with the cluster of bees. We listen with our stethoscopes for that sweet sound of honeybee buzz. The goal is not to stir them up too much and “break cluster” by moving around. Since they get their warmth from each other’s shivering, we don’t want to have them spread out and get out of sorts. Speaking of spreading out, this time of year is also fun to watch bees during warm snaps. It’s fun to get to witness undertaker bees cleaning out the dead from the hive. It’s totally normal to have some population die off during the winter months. It is part of the natural cycle. Bees are extremely hygienic and don’t like having any junk inside the hive even during the winter. On warm days you’ll see dead bees getting dragged out and tossed in front of the hive. This behavior can be used as an advantage to the beekeeper. Want to know the health of your hive without looking inside? Look around the front door. If you don’t see a bunch of dead bees laying around and you hear buzzing inside, you can presume the populations are good and the hive is still going strong. Check out these short youtube video showing how this looks!

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