Sunday, 21 March 2010
Spring and "heater bees"
Serious pollen collection continues at the hive. Workers have been foraging on our late winter flowering heathers. The Bumbles are also out.
Interesting email from Elizabeth at L&DBKA drawing attention to the Telegraph article about "heater bees". It seems new technology has revealed that some bees raise their body temp by an additional 10 degrees C, enter empty brood cells and then control the temp of up to 70 pupae around them. One degree C is critical. 35C produces forager workers whereas 34C results in housekeeping bees. It seems that the heater bees can decouple their wings so that the muscles run at full power without moving the wings thereby raising body temp to 44C!!! Bees normally require a temp of 35C to fly. Since it is not 1st April the article seems genuine, its amazing the discoveries still to be made.