Like many creatures in nature, bees live within various cycles. As each day comes and also goes, and also as the periods pass, your lives and also behaviors change. This is especially relevant to any kind of beekeeper, who will require to understand the cycles of your bees to store them productive and also healthy. It additionally becomes pretty conveniently important to someone who may need to move approximately a hive the has determined to set up residence top top their residential property uninvited! so let’s take it a look at some of bees’ cyclic habits throughout the day and also year.

You are watching: What time of day do bees leave the hive

The daily Cycle of Bees

Let’s begin with the day to day flow of bees, as the questions of what time of day do bees come out, and also when space bees most active is going to be relevant for anyone about bees. The main answer come this is, the depends.

What Time that Day perform Bees Come Out 

Much of the moment this ‘depends,’ comes down to temperature. Honey bees are significantly affected by temperature, so when bees leave the hive in the morning, and when they prevent nectar gathering and return come the hive in the evening are going to frequently come down to exactly how cold that is. 

This is since once the drops listed below 50-55 levels Fahrenheit, or about 12 degrees celsius, honey bees will gain drowsy and start basically falling asleep. So any type of bees which start flying in cold temperatures will not get much before starting to go dormant. So what time bees will certainly be energetic during the job is going to rely on the season she in and where you’re in ~ geographically, together a minimum because of their result on temperature.

This defines why you nothing see much of bees in colder weather, and also why bees are rarely seen the end of their hives throughout the winter. They carry out come the end to one extent, to get rid of waste, take out any dead bees, and any other necessities yet for the most component they remain in their hives and focus on maintaining warm, leaving nectar arsenal to the warmer seasons. 

Regardless the temperature, bees likewise minimize their tasks during far-reaching rain, and also usually work-related their ways back to their hive at night around an hour before sunset together they cannot see well enough in short light to save working exterior the hive (but will absolutely stay liven inside the hive after lights out).

What Time that Day are Bees most Active?

So normally speaking honey bees most active time a work is going to be in the at an early stage afternoon, v activity starting somewhere in the morning, and stopping a bit prior to sunset. In warmer months the amount of time they’re out of the hive will be much longer than in cooler months. That said, also in the spring and also summer months once nectar is at its many available, and also temperatures are relatively warm, with great light even early on in the day, bees might still protect against coming out too early due to dew spanning flowers and making it hard to collect.

If you asking once are bees least active, that going come be external this window; either previously in the morning or later on at night. If you’re walking to get close to the hive, however, the security bees will constantly be ready external of the coldest weather, so you’ll want to be correctly attired and ready to smoke them as needed.

If you’re looking to harvest honey as a beekeeper, most beekeepers actually choose the peak of their hives activity, as many of the bees will certainly be out of the hive foraging at the time.

When Is bee Season

As we’ve claimed so far, you pretty i can not qualify to see countless bees throughout winter, and also even not a whole lot just on chillier days. And we understand that bees space going come be busy throughout wildflower season to save away as much nectar together they can.

But what about the remainder of the year? when is punishment season? when is their peak of activity, and when execute they hibernate? when do new queens separation off to form a new hive? There space a lot of these questions we’ve checked out flying around from punishment enthusiasts and also would be/new beekeepers, so let’s look in ~ what bees space up to throughout the rest of the year.


The beginning of the year (assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere) is a quite quiet time for honey bees. The majority of the hive is concentrated on merely staying warm. Honey bees are actually able come decouple the muscles they use for flying from your wings, and use them to snap intensely, which within the insulation the a hive keeps castle warm sufficient to survive the cold the winter. With their queen at the facility of a densely pack football shaped mass of bees, the hive waits because that spring.

On the warmer job here and also there, worker bees will take brief flights to defecate exterior of the hive, and remove dead bees, but no nectar harvest is walk on yet. While no drones will be present, some of the hive will certainly be at occupational raising the following brood of workers.


Not lot has adjusted from January in the hive, through a lack of drones continuing, and small leaving the hive as well as the occasional defecation flight on much more opportune days. The queen will, however, begin laying a few more eggs every day together winter continues to pass.


With winter relocating towards the close, the adult population of the hive is at its lowest, and also we watch the queen starting up she egg production. The also method that together their time sequestered comes closer to its end, the majority of their stored food will certainly be depleted, especially as the new brood rises in size and also creates much more mouths because that food stores to feed, v minimal if any type of nectar forage coming in. This is the most dangerous time a hive has for the potential of starvation. When hive famine is generally unlikely, it’s quiet a possibility, so beekeepers will need to be prepared to supplement food for the hive if needed. Most frequently supplementing through dry sugar, or potentially pollen to assist support ramping increase brooding.


In many places, sometime in April will check out the first early flower blossoms pop up, and with them us will start to watch the an initial drones start to appear. The growth of the nest will rate up substantially as brood rearing heads in the direction of it’s zenith. This is the beginning of the bee season as much as seeing bees out and about, and also their start of foraging. Every one of this is dependency on weather, however. On chillier days the swarm may still cluster, and also if the weather has too numerous days dipping below 50 degrees, a chance of hive scarcity continues.


By May, pollen and nectar must be flowing pretty well, fueling significantly intense development in the hives population. The queen will be at the height of her manufacturing in May, and the brood will be nearing its largest size, v the drone population also increasing. The hive may be getting ready come swarm, i m sorry is once a new queen and also a portion of the hive will separation off to find a place for a 2nd hive, every flying the end at once and grouping on a nearby branch until scouts have uncovered their last destination.

Honey bees being preserved for honey harvest, may have a tiny amount of love husband taken in ~ this time, specifically if castle have access to beforehand season rape particle nectar. Bee season has now started in every forms. Since their stores room depleted native winter, for this reason they have less come protect, and much that the hive will certainly be spending their day foraging, love husband bees will be much less defensive roughly the hive throughout May.

Honey Bees Swarming


By June, if the hive has not swarmed yet, it will be in ~ its biggest population, and also the queen’s manufacturing will usually begin dropping. Beekeepers will want to take into consideration artificially swarming their hives if lock haven’t done so on your own. Love husband harvesting might start approximately now, and also will likely be a need if preserved bees have accessibility to early season rape seeds nectar.


If good weather is to be had, July is as soon as the optimal of nectar collection will occur, while the queens’ reproductive rate continues to drop, with some drones still approximately to proceed mating v the queen. Swarming is typically winding down by mid July. As heat is frequently at the high point, girlfriend may find the bees ‘bearding’ top top the outside of the hive come cool down v the evening. 


With the finish of summer come a significant drop in activity outside the hive together nectar ease of access is normally pretty low by this point, but workers will still it is in seeking to keep as much nectar as possible. Some drones are still present, yet the colony size begins to fall with enhancing rapidity as brooding doesn’t save up with the number of bees lost. A 2nd smaller swarm season might be seen between August and September. You may still watch bearding on the sexy days.

See more: Which Class Of Molecules Contains The Carbonyl Group, Co? Functional Group Names, Properties, And Reactions


Autumn has actually arrived, and also so ‘bee season’ has basically ended. Drones will really suddenly completely disappear, through the remainder of those not normally dying chased the end of the hive by worker bees. The queen will most likely stop every laying through the end of September. Nectar provides will almost all it is in gone, yet some repertoire of resin/propolis will certainly continue. In bespeak to safeguard their now highest possible stores that food because that the winter, the bees will certainly be entering your most protective behavior around their hive. Beekeepers will generally take their final harvest now and also look come start any kind of Winter feeding regimens for their bees.


The hive is nearing its duration of dormancy, with bees prepare themselves for the winter. ~ above warmer days you might still view some active bees, do the efforts to discover what food sources they have the right to to include to winter stores. On chillier days, a swarm of bees will currently have gathered to preserve heat. Beekeepers are gaining to any type of final preparations for the hive to store it safe and also secure throughout the colder months, finishing supplemental feeding and also deploying any protections versus would be predators (especially mice!).


Activity in the hive drops down even more as temperatures drop and the bees only rarely leave the hive. By the end of November, the population of the nest will likely have actually clustered right into a dense grouping to remain warm, and also spend many of your time in this pattern till Spring. 


At the begin of winter the bees will be at your lowest activity, coming the closest to actual hibernation. Love husband bees execute not in truth hibernate, but very couple of people would have the ability to tell the difference. During December, countless beekeepers will certainly not even visit your hives. 

Concluding Thoughts

In summary, when bees don’t in reality hibernate, between October and February a honey bee hive will be in ~ its the very least active, concentrating on remaining warm. Beginning in march the great forage will start as temperatures begin to rise and flowers start to open. Foraging will proceed all the means until August. Honey harvest might start as early on as June, with the last harvest gift in September. Spring at any type of given day, the bees will certainly leave the hive when the heat lifts to what above about 55 degrees, typically not previously than mid morning, peaking in the early on afternoon, and returning either as soon as temperatures drop below 55 or one hour before sunset in ~ the latest.