Honey Bees Social Distance When They’re Sick

Generally I don’t think it’s a good idea to return dying bees back to the hive. The bees in this video probably came outside to poop. Took a rest on the warm concrete block. Enjoyed the warmth so much that they lost track of time and got stuck out in the cold. Too cold to fly back inside the hive. But honey bees, when they’re sick, often leave the confines of their hive so they don’t share their germs with all the other bees inside the crowded hive. They maintain their social distance. They create a circuit breaker to cut off the transmission of disease by leaving the hive. Can picking up those sick bees and returning them to the hive can effectively re-transmit any disease they might have?

2 thoughts on “Honey Bees Social Distance When They’re Sick

  1. This sight never fails to amaze me. My kids often would go collect a handful of bees that didn’t make it back to the hive, cup them in their hands and gently blow on them to revive them. So long as their tongues aren’t sticking out, they usually came around. Not uncommon to have them buzzing around the car on afternoon outings in the winter 😬

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