Do Bees Get Cold?

Beekeepers have known for centuries that honey bees are able to survive in the cold. However, the question on many beekeepers’ minds is “how?” Or do they even get cold at all?

The short answer is yes, they get cold. Bees sometimes get wet because of things they can’t control, like being caught out in light rain despite their best efforts to stay inside, but they quickly dry off by cleaning themselves. 

In this post, we will look at what happens to bees when they get cold and how they can stay warm even when temperatures drop below freezing.

Are bees affected by the cold?

It’s true: bees are susceptible to cold. They can’t regulate their own body temperatures, which means that if it gets too cold outside, your bee will be more likely to die.

And of course, bees don’t like being cold! That’s why they’re always buzzing around in the summertime. They’re trying to get warm again!

So what happens when a bee gets too cold? Well…there are some important things you should know about bees and the effects of low temperatures on them:

What happens to bees when they get cold?

Bees have a lower body temperature than humans. This means that they can become cold, and in some cases, this can result in death. So how do they avoid getting too chilly? The answer is that bees have evolved to be able to stay warm in a variety of ways.

For example, bees are constantly moving around and staying active so that their bodies will be kept at an ideal temperature. Also, many species of bumblebees have hairs on their bodies that act as insulation against the elements (similarly to our clothing). And finally, some types of bees build nests underground where it’s warmer than above ground!

If you find a bee that looks like it’s been exposed to the cold for too long (e.g., shivering), then follow these steps: 

  • First make sure there isn’t anything else wrong with the bee; if it seems healthy otherwise then place it into an airtight container filled with dry leaves or newspaper (both should be moistened slightly). 
  • Then take your container outside, where you’ll find some other members of its colony– hopefully by now they’ve started gathering food again! 
  • After introducing yourself, briefly explain what happened and ask if anyone wants another worker before releasing them back into nature-friendly conditions.

What is the critical temperature for bees?

It’s true that bees can survive in sub-freezing temperatures. The average temperature in a beehive is about 89 degrees Fahrenheit, and honeybees can live in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius (about 40 degrees Fahrenheit). 

However, low temperatures are not particularly healthy for bees. If the hive gets too cold, it will slow down the bee population’s growth rate until the colony stabilizes again at an optimal temperature for its survival and growth.

Bees have a critical temperature below which they cannot survive without the assistance of their community or humans; this critical temperature is approximately 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8-10 degrees Celsius). In nature, when the climate gets colder than that—and it does sometimes happen—bees have to get creative with how they keep warm enough to stay alive during those harsh winter months!

How do bees stay warm?

To stay warm, bees use their wings to generate heat. They also have a thick coat of hair and a waxy coating on their bodies. Bees have a layer of fat under their skin that helps them retain heat, and they have a high metabolism—so they burn energy quickly, which means they’re always generating heat.

Bees’ body temperatures are higher than those of other insects because they need to fly; having a higher body temperature helps them do so more efficiently. Their blood vessels are also well-insulated by air pockets—another way that bees keep warm!

Bees are also very social animals. They live in groups called “colonies,” and they rely on each other for warmth. When bees need to keep warm, they’ll huddle together with their wings spread out around them so that no one gets too cold on any given day! This tactic works well in the summertime when there’s plenty of sunshine outside, but might not work so well during the winter when there isn’t much sun at all.

How can you help revive a cold bee?

If you find a bee on the ground, it’s likely in need of some help. The best thing you can do is to get the bee warm and hydrated as quickly as possible. Here are some steps to take:

  • Warm up the bee by putting it inside your shirt or jacket for a few minutes. Make sure that all parts of the bee are kept warm (don’t just place it in one corner of your clothing). If this doesn’t work, try blowing gently on its abdomen and thorax; this should raise its temperature by about three degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Give the bee sugar water—about two tablespoons per day—and keep her warm while she drinks it so that she gets enough energy back into her system. You might also want to feed her a little pollen once or twice a week if she’s still not feeling well after getting plenty of rest and proper nutrition from her food sources throughout the day!
  • The most important thing is to keep the bee in a warm place and give her plenty of water. If she’s still not feeling well after getting enough rest and proper nutrition from her food sources throughout the day, call a beekeeper who can check on her condition before making any decisions about whether or not you should release her into nature again.


Whether you’re a bee lover or just someone who wants to help out in their garden, it’s important that we understand what bees need in order to survive. Bees can get cold, but they don’t let it stop them from doing their job. 

These small creatures are strong and have developed many different ways to deal with cold weather. Now that we know more about how bees cope with cold weather, hopefully this knowledge will motivate us all to do our part too!