What Bees do in Winter

Checked on the bees today after the 10" of snow we got. The snow was filling in the "tunnel" in the front of the hive, i.e., the open section of the bee cozy that allows the bees to fly out from the top in case it snowed and blocked the main, bottom entrance. I had to install a sort of overhang, to keep snow from building up in there. No bees out today. Too cold. The snow was pretty clear around the base of the hives. This is my first year keeping bees, so this was my first experience with bees in winter.

Honeybee facts - What honeybees do in the winter when it is cold outside I recently discovered that honeybees spend the entire winter inside their hive, waiting for the warmer months to arrive. Honeybees cannot tolerate temperatures that drop below 57 degrees or so. They don't leave the hive unless it is warm enough outside, though they may emerge if it is cold outside but sunny. Inside the hive, they keep warm by collecting together into a large sphere called a winter cluster. Worker bees keep the sphere warm by vibrating their wings. They are able to keep the cluster between 57 to 85 degrees F. When the colony starts raising brood (baby bees) in late winter, they can raise the temperature to 93 degrees F. The bees on the periphery of the sphere eventually move back into the middle of the sphere to warm up again, and others take their place.