Wondering…. What if the flowers bloom, but the bees have not appeared? Do they get pollinated? If they don’t and the flowers are all blown away before a bee finds them, what will happen?
This is the question I asked my daughter this morning as I looked out the window at our beautiful cherry tree starting to bloom with snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast. My daughter said, “Yep, problem… that’s what global warming is all about.”
Well, my question kept me thinking all day. Do bees hibernate? Do they die? Do they lay eggs and incubate over the winter in a hive somewhere? So I set out to find the answer with the help of my friend google.
Here is what I found:
“What honeybees do is even more fascinating than hibernation. A strong, healthy hive will form a cluster. This is basically a ball of bees that covers a number of frames and usually centers itself in the vertical center of the hive. The size of that ball will depend on how many bees are in the hive and what the temperatures are outside the hive.” (https://brookfieldfarmhoney.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/what-happens-to-honeybees-in-the-winter/)
I continued to read and found out many interesting things about bees. They huddle together, barely moving, but stretching their thorax muscles (like a shivery movement) and this movement keeps them warm. Did you know that a worker bee only lives for 6 weeks and they only produce on average 1/12 teaspoon of honey over their lifetime? Or that to make a pound of honey, a bee has to visit 2 million flowers?
While sitting in front of my warm fire, I continued reading, and I also learned that when there is a warmer day during the winter, a bee leaves the hive to get rid of waste. This little tidbit makes me hopeful that while relieving herself, some little bee might have stopped by the day before yesterday when it was spring-like and checked out some of the flowers on my beautiful cherry tree, but is now back safe in her hive shaking her little body with the rest of her friends in the hive keeping herself and the queen warm.
Glad I was wondering this morning, for if I had not, I would now not have this great tidbit of info that might serve me in some conversation some day. And if for no other reason… it gave me an idea to write about!