Do Bees Die in the Winter?

The survival of bees throughout the cold months of winter is largely dependent upon what particular species the bee belongs to.  The social bees do not hibernate in the south such as birds do; instead they live or die in their natural environments.  Honeybees usually do not die in the winter, while bumblebees do.  In winter the queen bee will stop laying eggs so numbers in the hive will be reduced by deaths due to old age, she will then find a sheltered place to stay during the winter while all other bees die as the cold weather comes.

Usually in the winter the queen bee can be found burrowing in a well drained sandbank or taking up occupancy in an abandoned mouse nest.  Once she has settled into her nest, she then begins to make beebread from the nectar and pollen she has collected over the summer.  She then dumps the load and lays eggs on it.  As a final step she covers it with wax and relaxes atop it hibernating for the winter until springtime.  In the spring the queen bee will begin laying again to bring the bee’s numbers back up.

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