In the United States (northern hemisphere), it is now autumn. Nature is settling in for cooler weather and preparing for the coming winter.
- Honeybees do not hibernate but rather go into a state of reduced activity.
- They must live until spring arrives on the honey they have made during the past summer.
- The queen bee reduces her rate of egg laying so the population drops down (less mouths to feed during the winter) compared to summertime highs when more bees are needed to gather nectar and pollen.
- Beehives which do not have enough honey in store will die from starvation before spring arrives.
- Beekeepers must watch and assess the state of the hive (amount of honey present and quantity of bees) to help ensure its survival through the cool and winter months.
- During cool and cold weather, bees cluster together in the general shape of a ball to share body heat which is produced by eating honey.
- Bees on the inside of the ball continously rotate out to the edge so that the colder bees at the outside of the ball may come into the center to get warm.