What Bees Do in Winter - Part 1: Battle of the Sexes

After bee-ing tasked with bee-ing "Beekeeper" for our local environment committee, I took a night-school course to learn all about bees. One of the things the professor covered was some of the things bees do in the winter. (These creatures never cease to amaze me).

Basically, it all starts in the fall, when the smaller worker bees (the females) kick the larger male bees (the drones) out of the hive. They do this for a couple of reasons. First, the males' sole task in the hive is to mate with the queen, which only happens during warm weather. The drones don't have any other jobs to do, so keeping them around in the winter is a waste of valuable resources, since they eat up the honey stores that the female worker bees have worked so hard to collect over the summer. To make things worse, the drones are bigger than the workers, so they eat a lot more. The honey stores are very important, since they make it possible for the entire bee colony to survive the winter.

The video below does a great job of showing the female bees kicking the males out of the hive. It can also bee used as a tongue-in-cheek reminder by wives seeking to remind their husbands to do their chores - or else! ;)

Stay tuned for "What Bees Do in the Winter - Part 2".

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