July 15, 2024

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Where Did All the Bees Go??

Right around this time of year when the leaves have dropped you’ll start seeing all the hidden bees nests of summer. The paper nests hanging from tree branches are most likely those of the Bald Faced Hornet.  I don’t think there are many signs in nature that can make  a person stop in their tracks as fast as a bees nest can.  This time of year though there’s a good chance the nests are empty. So where do all the bees go?  They die!!….. most do anyway. In the Fall the new queen bees that have hatched leave the nest to hibernate. They may hibernate underground, in tree cavities, old buildings or even nests of other animals or insects. The old queen and worker bees die of exposure to cold temperatures or from starvation and the nest is left abandoned. The next Spring the queen bees  form new colonies and  nests of their own where the process starts again.

The eggs she lays hatch into worker bees, their purpose in life is to construct a new nest. The bees chew wood fibers and mix it with their saliva to make a wet paste. They spread the paste with their legs and mouth part and it dries into a paper like substance. The papery exterior of the nest protects the hive inside.  Once the leaves fall off the trees the nests don’t fair to well being fully exposed to the elements and begin to fall apart from the heavy rains and strong winds. So now you know, mystery  solved … where did all the bees go!

Enjoy Nature!!