Southern California’s sunny weather has always attracted bees and wasps. Alhough non-Africanized bees are harmless, they are typically coupled with Africanized ones and wasps, prompting services for bee removal in Los Angeles. But with winter coming around, temperatures are dropping, and bees are among those that are affected. So a lot of people wonder what will happen to these animals at this time of year.
What Happens to Bees During Winter?
In winter, Southern California temperatures can go as low as 49 degrees and as high as 68 degrees. Bees have their own natural responses to this weather.
- They appear in a cluster.
While other animals hibernate, bees are still hard at work. But since it can be cold, they cluster around each other to keep the queen warm. Those in the cluster have their heads tilted inward, and the inside bees begin feeding on the available honey storage.
If there is a slight rise in temperature, the outside bees separate from each other to let in a little air. With outside air temperatures hitting the 50 degree mark, the cluster exteriors will appear closer than usual.
- They begin generating heat.
It rarely happens, but when temps hit 20 degrees, those in the inner cluster of bees start to generate heat with their bodies. They feed on the honey for strength, then start flapping their wing muscles while keeping the wings still. As a result, the inner bee cluster’s body temperature goes up to an astonishing 93 degrees. This warmth will prompt the bees around to stay motionless, but close to the core.
In that way, they become a layer of insulation for the rest of the colony and the queen. The bees also take turns shielding each other from the cold. Because of this, a call to the bee or wasp exterminator near me may not be necessary at this time.
- They rely on honey to survive.
At moments when the temperature warms up, the whole colony will have enough strength to move. They strategically choose the cells that have fresh supplies of honey. Cold spells could be fatal because the bees could not move. If the honey runs out, they could starve to death. Weaker colonies are more prone to starve because fewer bees would generate less heat to spread out to the whole comb.
- They designate special bees to warm up cells.
In a few cases, bees do not keep warm by huddling together. A number of worker bees are designated to heat up the hive by moving their abdomen at an expedited rate. As a result, their body temperature goes up to a hot 111 degrees. Each of these bees then go into each cell, warming up the adjacent cells. One bee alone can heat up to 70 cells!
“Bee” on Guard Always
This piece of info about bees’ behavior in winter should quell your anxiety about that nearby colony. But alertness is always key. Winter in the LA and Orange County can be cold at times, but warm spells could also be experienced. Before you know it, the bees will be hovering actively outside the hive again.
When this happens, try to identify first if the bees are harmless honeybees. An easy way to get rid of them is to call bee and wasp exterminators to eliminate them in the evening, when they’re all in the nest. But if you don’t want carnage, a bee removal service can also take out the colony in a more humane manner.