At What Temperature Do Bees Die?

Insects like bees are cold-blooded creatures, which means that they cannot maintain a constant body temperature and are more susceptible to extreme temperature changes than warm-blooded animals. With that said, you may have wondered at what temperature bees die.

Bees are actually very tolerant when it comes to extreme weather conditions. But of course, they also have their limits. Once the temperature in their environment goes beyond their tolerance – whether too hot or too cold – bees will die. This tolerance lays at about -2°C/28°F to 45°C/113°F.

If you’re interested to know the specific threshold for temperature that bees can handle and how they survive in a hot or cold environment, then this article is for you!

Temperature Tolerance Of Bees

As mentioned, bees can adapt to different weather around the world to live. Their level of tolerance varies from species to species because different types of bees undergo their own evolution to survive the climates in their respective environment.

For example, Arctic Bumblebees would be able to survive in a strikingly cold climate for a longer period compared to other species. Honeybees have a higher tolerance to high temperatures because they learned how to adapt to their environment’s tropical climate. In contrast, if honeybees have adapted to cooler climates, then they would be able to survive lower temperatures.

But generally speaking, bees can withstand temperatures up to -2° Celsius (28° Fahrenheit) low and 45° Celsius (113° Fahrenheit) high. Although they can only handle it for a short time.

At What Temperature Do Bees Stop Flying?

The flying capability of bees is also affected by temperature. You are not likely to see a bee flying in cold temperatures. Bees won’t be able to fly once the temperature gets below 10° Celsius or 50° Fahrenheit. This is the point when the bees could be in a chill-induced coma.

Do Bees Die If The Weather Is Too Hot?

When the temperature goes too high, bees will produce HSPs or Heat Shock Proteins that function to provide cell protection against thermal-induced stress. This natural humoral immune response is called heat shock. In this way, bees will be able to tolerate hot weather. But generally, bees will eventually die if the weather is too hot for a long time.

This is true even though it does not apply to all bees. For example, the African honeybee subspecies called Yemini honeybees are able to withstand higher temperatures up to 67° Celsius (152° Fahrenheit).

What Temperature Is Considered Too Hot For Bees?

Less than 35° Celsius (95° Fahrenheit) is considered as the ideal temperature for a beehive. When the temperature reaches 45° Celsius (113° Fahrenheit) it would be too hot for most bee species.

A study about California honey bees showed that they can survive at a constant temperature of 35° Celsius (95° Fahrenheit) for 2 weeks. But their survival greatly reduced to 3 days when they changed the constant temperature to 40° Celsius (104° Fahrenheit). Moreover, bees exposed at 45° Celsius (113° Fahrenheit) did not survive for more than 24 hours.

How Can Bees Survive In Hot Temperature?

Bees survive hot temperatures using three thermoregulation techniques. They are able to provide ventilation and cooling in their nest by fanning their wings. It is a strategy to regulate heat and keep their body cool. The heat shield is another technique wherein they absorb heat by pressing their bodies against the heated surface. Lastly, the evaporative cooler in which they spew water at other bees in their hive to help cool them down.

Where Do Bees Go During Summer?

During warmer seasons, more flowers are in bloom. For this reason, bees still leave their hive even though the temperature is too hot. They need to do it to take advantage of collecting more nectar and pollen to feed their entire colony.

Aside from food, bees also search for water during hot weather. Obviously, they need to drink water to get hydrated. But another reason is that bees use water for evaporative cooling in order to keep the temperature in their hive safe for the development of brood.

Do Bees Die If The Weather Is Too Cold?

Several bee species have adapted to live in cold weather in different parts of the world. They are able to survive the cold by staying in their hive and keeping each other warm. But it’s a different story if a single bee goes out into the cold.

What Temperature Is Considered Too Cold For Bees?

At 0° to 10° Celsius, bees will enter a chill-induced coma which is a reversible paralysis state where they lose their neuromuscular function. After 50 hours in a chill coma, most bees would die if the temperature doesn’t change.

On the other hand, cold death occurs when the temperature drops below -2° Celsius (28° Fahrenheit).

How Can Bees Survive In Cold Temperature?

Bees cluster around the queen in order to survive the cold. To create heat, they will vibrate their flight muscles and perform thermogenesis. By doing this, they would be able to conserve heat while they are at the dormant stage and survive through the winter. These techniques are called heat insulation and endothermic heating.

Another technique is air sealing, in which bees seal the holes in their hive. This reduces heat leakage and keeps the temperature of the hive higher than the outside environment.

Where Do Bees Go During Winter?

During winter, bees don’t go out to forage. Cold weather also means that there is less food for bees because fewer flowers bloom. They stay inside their hive until the temperature rises again. For bee species that don’t have a hive, like bumblebees, they typically look for a small hole in the ground to hibernate.


As resilient creatures, bees have a high tolerance for extreme temperatures – both hot and cold. However, they are not immortal and would die if they have reached their limitations. Although their tolerance differs from species to species, most bees will not be able to handle constant temperatures higher than 45° Celsius or lower than -2° Celsius, which may result in death.