Friday, March 21, 2008

Nestbox Beehive

Honeybees will construct a hive in just about anything that has a cavity and a way of getting into it. Back in March of 2005 I photographed a bird nest box that had been mounted on a tree in a local bird sanctuary that had honeybees inside. I recently photographed this same nest box and as you can see the hive is considerably larger and has expanded to the outside. The front part of the comb was engulfed with a mass of bees.

They become dormant during the winter feeding on stored honey in what is called a “winter cluster”. Bees tightly pack themselves into these clusters and heat is produced from the center bees by shivering whereas the outer bees act to insulate and hold in the heat. Rotation occurs between the inner and outer bees to assure survival of all. I’ve read that temperatures in the 90 degree range can be produced within these clusters no matter how cold it gets outside.

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