Top 5 Questions about Honeybees in Winter

It has been a busy two weeks wrapping our hosts' honeybee hives for winter and we are happy to say that everyone is wrapped and ready for the cold. Many of you joined in and had lots of great questions. For those who were unable to join us, here are answers to the 5 most common questions we heard:

1. What happens to our bees in winter? Do they hibernate?

Unlike most other insects, honeybees don’t go dormant in winter. They stay awake and cluster together in a ball, keeping the queen and each other warm. They generate heat by shivering their wing muscles (but not flapping their wings) and can keep the cluster at a comfortable 80⁰F. The bees move around the hive in this cluster and eat honey all winter.

​2. Why do you insulate our hive’s lid?

Insulating the lid helps protect the bees against moisture and condensation. The cluster of bees produces warm moist air which will condense on a cold inner cover. If left uninsulated, this cold water could then drip back down on the bees, turning them to ice at night. By adding insulation, we can absorb some of this moisture and prevent condensation.

3. Why do you wrap our hive?

We wrap your beehive in a thick black felt paper. The black paper absorbs a bit of extra heat from the winter sun and repels water. Here's Matt wrapping the beehives at