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The beehives during the winter

What do our bees occupy themselves with now when it is dark, cold and there are no flowers? Mira Nilsson from Skärgårdskupan knows.

Foto av en snötäckt bikupa som finns placerad på vår äng
Bikupa vintertid.

– During the winter, all honeybees cluster in something called a winter ball. The queen bee sits in the middle while the colony’s outer bees sit around her. By vibrating their wings, they generate heat and the beehive becomes warm. The outer bees rotate inside the ball and take turn in sitting in the outer layer of the ball. Inside the ball the temperature is 20–25°C while the rest of the ball is colder. The summer honey is their winter supply and the ball keep rotating as the honey is eaten, says Mira.

Artipelag’s beehives are produced by Skärgårdskupan here on Värmdö designed to replicate the natural habitat of the honeybee, the tree trunk, but in a traditional box shape. One beehive is placed on the meadow close to the parking Lillemor and one close to the path leading out to the sculpture by Jaume Plensa.