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Drone Bee
Nov 9, 2008
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Could someone please clarify this one for me ?

with the hive in the garden i have been able to watch them so much more, at differing times of day, in all weathers, but one observation just recently has puzzled me.

Drizzle - shower - heavy rain - monsoon, every time i look out the window they are still working, still in and out the hive at a rate of knots, i guess as i have seen them working the Blackberry flowers they are totally focussed, but WHY and HOW do they fly in heavy rain ?

Is their vision so much faster that they can avoid raindrops ?

Would love to know

The overwhelming response would indicate nobody really knows, i had a couple of goes searching on the web, and predominantly sites keep saying "Honey bees dont fly in the rain", what a load of bollocks !!.

I guess there are many reasons why they do, but i would love to know how. Back to google ...
They certainly are southern softies in my garden :svengo:- they stay in if very wet - but the next fine day - wow- do they make up for it- looks like small swarms - but just glad to leave the hive, me thinks
Not so good with Rain in Sheffield, that combined with strong Wind keeps the girls inside.

Not been watching but I suspect warm rainy weather might see them still working.


PS I suspect the small hairs on the bees help to keep them from getting too wet anyway.
Are you sure that when its raining you see them going both in an out as opposes to just in.
Could it be that you are seeing the ones who were out when the rain started and got caught in the rain returning.
Might also be interesting to have a look at temperature, it could be that you just have a very hardy strain of bees.

Hi David
Yes absolutely, coming and going again, i remember watching them come back, thinking cool hope they all get in ok, and then the silly buggers shoot out again, much to my despair, god knows how many are lost due to this.

Perhaps if it were prolonged torrential rain they wouldnt do it.
Mine do not like rain - it is strictly one way traffic inbound only. I was going through a colony last Thursday - +20C sunny but with some big Cumulus floating about. I had the supers off and was going through the brood frames when the heavens opened for about 30 seconds. The bees went fron quiet and docile to barking in an instant - WOOF - I have never re-assembled a hive so quickly:)
Will keep a closer eye on the weather in future:cheers2: Mike
So i have Aquatic Bees and you have Canine Bees, lets cross them and sell as all weather guard bees !!.
I have one hive that flies in the rain as long as its not a monsoon they are out. :cheers2:
This spring mine were out in the (warm) rain when the sycamore was flowering. Today, stewarding at the bee tent at the Royal Highland Show near Edinburgh, the observation hives were also flying strongly in the rain. My guess is that they were on lime.

Both these trees like dampness before they secrete nectar, and both have hanging inflorescences which are protected from rain by the bracts around the flowers (in lime) and the leaves themselves.

So ... maybe ... the hardier types of bee don't mind flying in the rain, and some trees have flowers unaffected by rain (whereas many flowers are useless to bees when wet).

all the best