How bees stay warm in the winter

You may have heard at one time or another that honeybees hibernate in the winter. Insects use many different methods to survive cold weather, but bees do not hibernate. The beekeepers at Bell Farm in Iowa explain what they do to stay warm.

In the winter, honeybees cluster together in a ball roughly the size of a basketball. By flexing their wing muscles (the same muscles they use to fly), they are able to generate warmth and hold the cluster at about 85-90 degrees. The bees take turns shifting from the inside to the outside of the cluster so that everyone can stay warm. The queen is always kept at the center of the cluster.

The bees keep track of time passing and make sure it is even warmer when it's time for the queen bee to start laying eggs. But they still have to eat. Bored Panda contacted Ellen Bell, who owns Bell Farm, to find out more about honeybees and beekeepers, and how they help each other get through a cold winter.