As the nights draw in and we get the thicker duvet out but what do the bees do? We are told that they all huddle together in the middle of the hive in the shape of a rugby ball with the queen at the centre. The bees on the outside of the “scrum” will move into the centre when they get cold as the ones in the middle move out.
But how true is this? How much do we know about what goes on in the hive in the winter?
Well one man who should know is Derek Mitchell and on November 24th he is giving a talk at 2pm at the Colliton Club in Dorchester.
Derek is a researcher into the differences in heat transfer between man made and natural honey bee nests at Leeds University School of Mechanical Engineering. Derek’s fascination with honey bees over the last 7 years has shown him that the deeper you delve into how bees exploit the physics of heat, the more impressive the feats of honey bees becomes. Derek is a well-known lecturer on this subject and was on this year’s lecture programme at The National Honey Show.
I have read the comments by others who have heard him speak and this looks like one we cannot afford to miss. Down here in Dorset we may think we are
too far South to worry but after the weather last winter I think we should make every effort to be as informed as possible.
Just to give a flavour of some of the points that may be covered I looked at the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping site and was amazed at how much I have assumed – wrongly!
And don’t forget the Christmas Social at the Colliton Club in Dorchester on Monday 3rd December at 7pm. A chance to meet with other beekeepers, play skittles and enjoy the buffet.