Bees Huddling to Keep Warm, photo courtesy CSU Extension
All insects have developed strategies for surviving the winter. Some migrate to warmer climates, but most stick around. How do they do it?
Honeybees really do huddle together…in a ball, with those on the outside of the ball (acting as insulators) gradually exchanging places with the bees on the inside of the ball. The bees on the inside of the ball generate heat through shivering. No helmets or jerseys, though.
|Zimmerman Pine Moth Cocoon, photo courtesy CSU Extension|
Most of us are familiar with pupae (ie., cocoons),the resting stage of certain insects like butterflies or moths. The cocoon protects against dehydration and freezing. Southwestern pine tip moths and Zimmerman pine moths overwinter in this way.
Winter conditions can and do kill a lot of insects, especially when there are long periods of cold temperatures with little snow cover. But many survive to begin the cycle again as soon as warmer weather arrives. For more information, see Planttalk Insect Overwintering.