In the summertime, precipitation can fall as rain or hail. These natural phenomena can affect the bee family both directly and indirectly. The direct effect of precipitation is that it primarily affects the flight activity of bees. Bees react sensitively to rain and hail, especially when these phenomena are accompanied by thunderstorms. Before a thunderstorm, bees return to their hives in droves.
During a rainstorm, heavily laden bees often fly not into their own hives, but into those closest to them. So the result of a sudden thunderstorm can be a strengthening of the families at the edge of the apiary and a weakening of the families inside the apiary. Interestingly, in bad weather, the guardian bees do not put up any obstacles and any hive can be visited by bees from any family.
Do bees come out in the rain?
Outside the hive, bees are undetectable when it rains. The flight stops, no more nectar comes in until the rain stops. As a result, the flying bees begin to congregate in the hive.
Do bees work in the rain?
The hive goes on, as usual, the queen still lays eggs if the food supply is sufficient. The keepers keep guarding the entrance to the hive from possible thieves. Young bees, if they have the right conditions, continue building honeycombs. Also, nectar continues to be processed in the rain, although no new nectar is being produced, which is natural.
Effect of rain on bees
Nevertheless, prolonged rain can bring additional problems. In particular, a considerable number of flight bees show up with nothing to do, and then the bee that processes the nectar also has nothing to do. In the end, this can lead to a negative swarming mood in the hive, which can then cause swarms to come out, and this is something every beekeeper wants to avoid as much as possible. Also, if the rainy weather continues for a long time, the building of the honeycomb can stop and the egg production is noticeably reduced, which again increases the number of bees that have nothing to do, this time at the expense of the foragers and builders.
How to deal with the rain bees’ problems?
You can prevent the problem by providing the bees with enough and timely sugar if you see that the rainy weather has been going on unnecessarily long, such as not stopping for two days or more. In that case, feeding will help minimize the likelihood of swarming. Bees do not tolerate rain as bad as some people think; even a whole day’s downpour does not create any problems for them, and the internal mechanisms of the hive can help to avoid them. If, however, the bad weather is prolonged, then the insects need a little help so that they do not start swarming. But this is only a last resort and should be done if it rains for two days or more.