5 curiosities that you didn’t know about bumblebees when it’s cold
Agrobío – February 18th , 2016
It doesn’t matter whether it’s cold or hot, bumblebees go out to work. The weather conditions have less influence in their pollination activity, unlike other pollinators such as honey bees.
Bumblebees are very peculiar insects and have 5 characteristics that you probably didn’t know.
ONE. The bumblebee is the first pollinator to wake up from the hibernation.
Bumblebees are the first pollinators to wake up from the hibernation, thus they are the first ones that start the pollination in crops. Their activity begins even at low temperatures, around 5ºC.
TWO. They are early risers.
Bumblebees are tireless, their alarm clock rings earlier than that of honey bees and wake up even before the sunrise.
They don’t stop working until the day gets dark, their work covers both daylight and half-light hours.
THREE. The snow, the wind and the rain don’t prevent them from working.
While other pollinators like honey bees stop their activity before bad weather conditions, bumblebees work with cloudy sky, even when clouds cover more than 70%, with wind gusts up to 70 km/h and rain, as long as it isn’t a strong storm.
Even when the new day is snowy, they will fancy going out the hive and pollinate as long as the pollen of the flowers is not affected by the freeze.
FOUR. The same daily routine.
Bumblebees always follow the same routine. The queen organises workers every day to go out and collect the pollen and nectar that the colony needs in order to develop, despite the cold or hot weather.
This happens because bumblebees, unlike honey bees, don’t need a big store of food, as the colony won’t be hibernating during the winter season.
FIVE. Bumblebees also keep themselves warm.
They wrap themselves up when it’s cold out there. Once back from work, they use part of the collected food to create a thin layer that is used to cover the nest and keep it warm, protecting the youngs. For them it is like a kind of insulation that keeps the heat produced by the colony activity.
But always protected. The hive of bumblebees must be placed in the shadow. If they receive direct sunlight the hive can reach high temperatures making the bumblebees to spend the most of the day buzzing inside the hive in order to make it cooler, what implies a higher stress level for the colony and less hours working outside.
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