Honey bees are no doubt some of the most important insects in the entire ecosystem, and it’s not only because they produce honey. Nevertheless, we do love them for their ability to produce honey. But have you ever wondered what time of the day these bees are more active? When do honey bees come out?
Honey bees are more active during spring because that is when most of the flowers bloom. However, there are still some honey bees that are active depending on the seasons in which their preferred flowers bloom. There are even honey bees that are active in all seasons and would feed on a wide variety of flowers.
As you might have already known, honey bees are actually the ones responsible for producing honey by using the nectar they collected from flowering plants. In that sense, they form a relationship with flowers as they are more active whenever certain varieties of flowers are blooming. So, with that said, let us talk more about when honey bees tend to come out.
What season do honey bees come out?
While we often see bees as those tiny creatures that have stings that will definitely hurt, especially when enough bees are stinging you, the honey bee is an exception to our common notion of what a bee is. That is because honey bees are some of the bees responsible for producing the natural sweetener we all love. Yes, as the name suggests, honey bees are part of the honey production team in a hive.
What happens when a honey bee is out there to produce honey is that it is the one responsible for collecting nectar from flowering plants. Nectar is the sugar syrup that can be found in flowers and is most abundant when the plant is flowering. That means that bees are more efficient at collecting nectar whenever plants are also in the middle of their flowering period or at the height of their blooming season.
In that regard, because plenty of different plants are seasonal bloomers, you might be wondering which season honey bees tend to come out the most.
The obvious answer here is that honey bees are most active right after winter, which is the spring season. That’s because spring is the time when most flowers are in their full bloom after spending the winter dormant. In the same way, bees tend to be quite dormant during winter as well because they might be hibernating during that time.
Honey bees will most likely come out during April because that is when spring is at its peak and the temperatures are simply right for them. Of course, a lot of different flowers also bloom during April. During the month of May, there might also be an increase in activity as some flowers will be blooming during this month. And because hives are now fully operational ever since the honey bees started coming out during April, the month of May can be the most active for honey bees as they will constantly come in and out of their hives.
However, this is not even a cause-and-effect situation wherein bees are adjusting to the flowering season of most plants. Instead, it is actually a symbiotic relationship between the plants and the bees in the sense that plants have also adjusted to bloom during spring or right after winter because that is when they know that bees are at their most active.
In case you didn’t know, a lot of plants rely on bees as well in the same way that bees rely on plants. Bees are the most effective pollinators on the planet because they unknowingly carry the pollen of one plant to another as they try to forage their flowers for nectar. When they do, the pollen of one plant pollinates a female flower, which will be able to produce seeds. That is why plants also adjust to the active period of most honey bees because they know that they will have the best chance to get pollinated whenever they bloom during spring or in any other season that bees are at their most active.
Of course, there are still some honey bees that are active throughout any other season because there will still be plants that will flower or bloom during summer, fall, or winter. This depends entirely on what certain honey bees are used to such as when the most abundant plants in the locality bloom on any other season aside from spring. Then there are also honey bees that are active throughout the entire year and have no seasonal preferences because they will collect nectar from any flowering plant regardless of the season.
Nevertheless, because more plants are likely to flower during spring, that is when most of the honey bees are at their most active. The warm weather and the flowering of most plants make spring the most ideal time for honey bees to come out and forage for nectar.
They will still be active during the summer because of how the weather is still right enough for them and considering that there are still some plants that will flower during this season. However, most honey bees will begin to slow down their activity during fall but they will still collect nectar from flowers in preparation for winter when they are at their least active.
What time of day do bees come out?
Aside from the fact that honey bees have their preferred season to come out and be at their most active, they also have certain times of the day that they prefer the most. The reason is that these times are the most ideal in terms of the overall conditions that they prefer whenever they are collecting nectar or foraging for flowering plants.
Honey bees will most likely come out as soon as the sun rises because of how pollen is still damp or wet at this time and how the sun isn’t too warm and bright for them. However, they are at their most active during the earlier portion of the afternoon because that is when the weather is simply perfect and when the nectar from the flowers are at their best state.
Meanwhile, honey bees tend to avoid staying out past the late hours of the afternoon and will most likely begin their journey home an hour before sunset. The reason is that it would be difficult for them to find their way home during low-light conditions. Also, regardless of what time of the day it might be, honey bees will avoid going out on rainy days and when the temperatures are a bit too cold for them because it impedes their flight and their ability to see well.
What temperature do bees come out?
The temperature also plays a huge role in determining when honey bees tend to come out. In fact, it might be the most important determinant of them all because of how the temperature will dictate whether or not they can actually fly under certain conditions. As such, even if it’s already spring and the flowers are blooming, honey bees won’t come out unless the temperature is right for them.
But at what temperatures do honey bees tend to come out? Well, honey bees will come out as long as the temperatures are somewhere between 57 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That is when they are at their most eager to work because of how the temperature of the day is simply right for them.
There will be cases when some honey bees can still fly well when the temperatures are between 50 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, however, their ideal temperatures are still somewhere between 57 and 100 degrees. Anything outside the 50 to 110 window will make it nearly impossible for honey bees to fly because it becomes either too cold or too warm for them to be out looking for flowers. Below 50 is too cold for them while above 110 is too hot for them.
Also, the reason why honey bees don’t come out when the outdoor temperatures are either too cold or too warm for them is that they are needed in the hive to either warm or cool the hive.
When the outdoor temperatures are too cold, they will tend to cluster near the queen to keep themselves warm. And when the temperatures are way below 50 degrees, worker bees will tend to vibrate their wings inside the hive so that they can generate enough heat to warm themselves up.
Meanwhile, when the day is too hot, most honey bees are inclined to go outside the hive not to work but to decrease the temperatures inside the hive. This is most common in hives that are not ventilated well enough. However, the bees will only stay outside the hive to keep the inside cool enough. They will not work when the outside temperature is too warm for them but would rather just stay outside the hive to keep themselves cool enough while making sure the inside of the hive isn’t too crowded.