? What’s going to happen in our beehives this winter?
The coldest season of the year is coming on fast. You need to know that winter can be a critical time for honeybee colonies. During this period, the bees are going to stay in their hives and come back out a few months later. This is called overwintering. Whatever the case, it is no longer the season for gathering pollen as the first cold spells have put an end to any late autumn flowering.
During this time, the honeybees come together and form a tight ball. This is known as “clustering”.
On the outside of this ball, they form a “coat”, in which all of the bees act simultaneously in order to keep the inner cluster warm, at a temperature of around 30°C.
The bees need to do their job right, because if the temperature falls below 7°C, they may be in danger. If it is not warm enough, the cluster will come undone and the bees will fall dead.
We must remember that in order to maintain this delicate balance, our bees don’t sleep. That’s why it’s called “overwintering” as the honeybees do not hibernate, strictly speaking.
What role do beekeepers play during this period?
Unfortunately, as the bees are tucked away, clustering in their hives, it is difficult to keep an eye on them. Beekeepers thus have to remain attentive and look for any outward signs that may indicate potential problems inside the hives.
To avoid condensation in the hives due to cold temperatures and humidity, beekeepers have to protect them as much as possible. This involves keeping them shielded from the wind. As well, beekeepers often use this period of low activity to distribute or sell the honey they have harvested during the season.
How can Label Abeille help us take care of our beehives during overwintering?
It’s simple. Thanks to their application, we can find out everything we need to know about our hives, such as the temperature, humidity rate, amount of light and air pressure. Obviously, if there is the slightest problem, the application sends out a warning. In fact, what we have here is nothing less than a smart beehive.