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Bees in Winter?

Recently we were speaking with a few individuals who were confused when they saw a bee on a warmer December day. We were asked why the bee was not hibernating yet. As we previously wrote, bees don't hibernate. They cluster to keep warm, eat honey and vibrate their bodies. It is really quite fascinating. If you would like to know more about how they over-winter, we invite you to read the blog.

Anyway, these individuals were curious as to why the bees would leave a warm hive. This is where it always gets a bit odd for us depending on how well we know the individual we are talking to because bees leave their hives in winter for one or two reasons. What is that reason? The bee the individuals we were speaking to was most likely doing cleansing flights. What is a cleansing flight? It's a nice way to say the bee had to poop. Yup, even bees poop.

Bees are incredible little creatures. They very rarely defecate in their hives. They go for MONTHS without going on a cleansing flight if it is too cold outside which means they go for months without pooping. Their fecal matter can grow to be half their size. The only time they defecate in their hive is if they ate something that didn't agree with their stomachs.

So, what does bee poop look like? Has a bee ever landed on you, and you thought they left a drop of honey? Yeah, don't eat that yellow drop, it probably isn't honey. Or how about that little yellow drop on your windshield? A gift from the bees. If getting hit by bird poop is good luck, then bee poop must be EXTRA good luck!

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