The last days of winter turns out to be a very dangerous time for honey bees.
They actually sit in their bee hives all winter waiting for a spring break to go do their toilet!! Well, this winter has been so long that you can't blame them for really really needing to go do their business, but sadly this can be very dangerous for them. When the temperature goes above zero and the sun comes out, they mistakenly believe it's springtime and they think it's finally time to go empty their bladder.
These pictures comes from a jounalist and bee-keeper who watched this drama unfold the other day when we had a bit of sun and one degree above zero. He told that what happens is that as they come out to do their toilet they soon realize that it's actaully not warm at all, but sadly as they fly above the snow their flying muscle rapidly becomes paralyzed from the cold, they plummet to towards the snow and shortly afterwards freeze to death.
He went on to say that luckily it was only a few bees that ventured outside the other day, whilst all the other bees remained inside in the warmth where they will sit tight until real springtime comes along.
In the first picture you can see just how much this one bee needed to go to the toilet. Poor thing!
Image ©Benny Gade