Can bumblebees fly in the rain? Bees are put in danger by heavy rain, therefore in order to survive, they either stay within their hives or venture outside to look for food.
Our main focus will be on the bumblebees as we want to know: can bumblebees fly in the rain? well, let us now find out!
How Do Bumblebees Fly?
Bumble bees, with their big bodies and short wings, appear to be unable to fly and remain in the air. There’s only one word to describe the solution: efficacy.
The bumblebee’s powerful chest muscle propels its wings at a rate of approximately 200 beats per second, all contained within its massive bulk.
By creating low-pressure pockets with each flapping of their wing, bumblebees are able to rise in the air.
It’s not enough to hold the bug aloft, however. To increase lift, the bumblebee actually twists its wings as it descends, using up to two times as much air as it would otherwise.
To collect nectar from a flower, a bumble bee’s wings move like a helicopter’s; this allows them to hover over the blossoms.
The low drag and efficiency of bumblebee flight have interested academics, who are trying to recreate its flight mechanics for military applications.
Can Bumblebees Fly In the Rain?
In a rainfall, bumblebees are the most vulnerable. Even in the midst of a storm, they continue to forage.
When it rains, bumblebees are able to fly, but without the sun to guide them, it can be difficult and even dangerous. Bumblebees are not at risk when it rains excessively, and they will continue to forage.
Large rainfall can harm their wings, despite the fact that they are protected from water by a unique covering on their body.
Observing the bumblebee’s tiny wings relative to their large, hairy bodies, it would be believed impossible for these pollinators to fly in adverse weather conditions.
Just how bumblebees manage to take off is intriguing.
What Conditions Affect the Bumblebee’s Flight Pattern?
- High Altitude
At altitudes higher than 29,000 feet, where the air pressure is extremely low and there is very little oxygen to power their flight muscles, bumblebees have been seen.
This is an unusual environment for them. Once again, their skill for making the most of their resources enables them to prevail.
Bumblebees are able to fly in high altitudes by changing the angle of their wing movement so that it creates a larger arc.
This allows them to push more air downward with each flap of their wings, which allows them to fly in these lofty areas.
- Low Temperature (Cold)
Bumblebees are able to fly in temperatures as low as however, they are unable to lift off until their flight muscles reach a temperature of at least 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
Bumblebees cannot fly in temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Bumblebees will remain in their nests through the colder periods of late spring and early fall, where they will wait for the nest to warm up before returning to their normal behavior.
Because bumblebees have an annual life cycle, which means that all of the members of the colony die as winter approaches with the exception of the young queens, it is extremely unusual for bumblebees to be active during the winter months. This is because bumblebees have a shorter lifespan than honeybees.
When compared to other types of bees, bumblebees are better able to withstand temperatures that are lower and are known to live longer than other species as fall turns into winter.
The future queens of the colony enter a state of hibernation throughout the harshest months of the year after their female nestmates have passed away. They awaken in the early spring on a quest to choose a suitable site for the establishment of a new colony.
On a chilly day in the early spring, if you observe a bumblebee flying around in a zigzag pattern, it’s likely that the bee you’re seeing is a queen hunting for food or a place to make her nest.
Bumblebees are not likely to come across snow because it typically falls during the winter months, which is when queens are underground hibernating and the rest of their original colonies have died off.
Bumblebees won’t emerge from their cozy underground winter homes until the air temperature outside reaches approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius) in the spring.
Read more: Do Bees Have Teeth?
Can bumblebees fly in the rain? Bees have a chance of landing in a puddle if it rains while they are flying. When this occurs, it is inevitable that they will become soaked.
When this occurs, in order for the bees to ensure their own survival, they make an effort to fly to the edge of the water puddle.
The bees will flap their wings in the opposite direction in an effort to pull themselves along the surface of the water.
Then, using their wings, they will drag water upward, causing ripples in the water that will progressively propel the bees forward toward safety.
If it’s raining outside, your best bet is to look for bumblebees rather than other types of bees. Because of their hairy bodies, they are able to survive in the rain because they can easily shake off the water, which keeps them warm.
On the other hand, a bumblebee runs the risk of becoming hurt or perhaps dying in a strong storm, especially if it is particularly heavy rain.
They run the risk of becoming trapped in standing water and drowning if it has been raining heavily, which could also cause their wings to become damaged.
Bumblebees will normally not venture too far from their nest during periods of inclement weather due to the risk of becoming drowned.
The bees do not benefit from this method to their full potential. They will inevitably drown if they are separated from the earth for an excessively long distance.
Swimming is essential for bees’ ability to stay alive until they can reach safer territory, but it requires a lot of energy from them.
On a wet day, if you come across a bee that is trapped in a puddle, you can do something to aid the bee by extracting it and relocating it to a place where it will be safe and dry.
You are free to put the bee on a terrace, conceal it under a leaf, or put it somewhere else that is secure. Make sure that the bee is not relocated too far from the location where you first discovered it, regardless of where you decide to put it.
- High Temperature (Warm)
The warmer months are ideal for the growth of bumblebee colonies, however, these insects can not tolerate high temperatures well.
Some of the worker bees in the colony will fly about above the nest on hot days to keep it cool, acting in a manner similar to that of a bumblebee ceiling fan which blows cool air into the nest.
They will stop working when the temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius) to prevent themselves from overheating.
On days when the temperature is exceptionally high, they will disperse in search of comfort in cooler areas if their nest is exposed to direct sunlight.
Read more: How Many Eyes Does a Bee Have?
What Do Bumblebees Do When It Rains?
On the other hand, they might venture out to look for food during the occasional light rain.
When the bees are trying to collect nectar, rain might be a nuisance for them. If rain were to get into nectar, it would water down the nectar and make it less potent.
Bees can no longer make use of nectar once it has been watered down.
As a direct result of this, the bees will have to postpone their trip to the harvest for a while longer.
If a bee’s body becomes covered with mist while conditions are foggy, it may become challenging for the bee to fly.
Because the bees are completely enveloped with vapor, it is more difficult for them to beat their wings at the normal rate of 12,000 times per minute.
Bees in flight are susceptible to being incapacitated and killed if they are hit by raindrops of sufficient size. In these conditions, bees run the risk of drowning or losing their wings.
Because of this, when it starts to rain heavily, bees that are not within the hive will look for somewhere dry to hide until the rain stops. When conditions are favorable, they will return to the hive through flight.
When it starts to pour heavily, those who are inside the hive will, of course, stay inside until the rain stops.
While it’s raining, bees keep busy with a variety of tasks. One of the things that they do is use propolis to seal the cracks and crevices in their hive.
This action is very important for the long-term viability of a newly constructed hive.
Because the bees have not had enough time to sufficiently fortify the new hives, they are often not as sturdy as the older ones.
The decision made by the forager bees to remain within the hive results in a reduction in the amount of activity that occurs at the entrance.
Simultaneously, bees that have been foraging outside the hive will start to make their way back inside.
The greatest thing you can do if the bumblebee appears to be having difficulty is to slide a piece of paper beneath it and set it on the bloom that is closest to you.
Sometimes they are merely lost since there isn’t enough light coming in through the windows while it’s pouring.
Can bumblebees fly in the rain? Do well to contact us via the comments section for more information!