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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Bawden

Featured Bee: Heater Bees

Bee Role: Heater Bee

A colony spends approximately 6.4% of their time keeping the brood warm at about 95F.

To do this, it takes heater bees.

These bees use their wing muscles to generate heat that is transferred to their thorax and abdomen. These bees remain completely motionless during the process. This has confused scientists, thinking the bee is asleep, but with the use of a thermal camera it was discovered that they are generating heat.

The body heat of the heater bees rose to 100.4-108.32F while “resting” compared to 98F while being mobile. It was also noted that the heater bees pressed their bodies against the brood during the process.

This contact raised the temperature of the surrounding brood cells 5.4F higher than those that were not in the proximity of the heater bees. The heater bees also keep their antennae against the comb so that they can monitor the heat being generated during this process.

To find out more about heater bees, check this out.

Thanks for supporting local beekeeping,

Trevor Bawden

Lloyd St. Bees

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