Do Bees Sleep

Sleeping-Bee

Why yes they do. If you Google this question, you get all these sites saying bees don’t sleep. I wrote about this on GWGT a long while ago, and I am always running across native bees asleep in or on flowers.

Sleeping-bee

So when the weather gets warmer, go out into the garden very early and you too will see them napping away, legs tucked under or splayed, and antenna slouched or immobile.

I have many photos of sleeping bees, but only found two easily. I even have some tucked inside flowers, some even getting trapped over night inside dying pumpkin flowers.

Did you know bees of different ages have different sleep patterns? Young bees sleep for shorter periods at a time, but older foragers sleep longer and more regular because of the huge physical demand that foraging puts on them. Interesting, huh?

This entry was posted in Bees, Nature, Photography, Photos, wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Do Bees Sleep

  1. David says:

    Nice photos and an interesting post.

  2. Emily Scott says:

    There’s a nice video here of bumble bees sleeping at night: http://nurturing-nature.co.uk/wildlife-garden-videos/bumblebee-workers-sleeping-outside-overnight-on-flowers-video/ and photos/info on clusters of male bees sleeping together at night by a field biologist here: https://standingoutinmyfield.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/sweet-dreams-sleeping-clusters-in-bees/

    • donna213 says:

      Thank you for the links, Emily. I do follow standingoutinmyfield. It really is funny when I Googled the question, even though I knew the answer, how many links say bees don’t sleep. I think the reasoning was hearing buzzing in the hive at night. Is that not to cool the hive in summer?

  3. I always learn something new when I read your posts!

  4. Very cool, Donna. I tend to think of insects as either ‘resting’ or active, not sleeping. Hibernating,yes, but not sleeping as in a regular daily pattern.

    • donna213 says:

      That is why many sites will say! But when you see them immobile on a plant, they do very much appear to be sleeping and vulnerable to predators. You can even touch them. If resting, they would see that threat.

  5. That is fascinating, I had no idea; the photos are really gorgeous.

  6. I agree…fascinating. I love going out early in the garden and petting the sleeping bees!

    • donna213 says:

      It is hard to find them because they do not usually sit out in the open, but I hunt and find them. I like especially when they are inside flowers. It is far easier to get a photo if they are like shown in the post, but I do have images on GWGT of them in flowers.

  7. Eulamesa says:

    What a lovelly picture. Thank you Donna for all the interesting post

  8. Lyle Krahn says:

    Interesting. Good to know I’m not the only one who sleeps.

    • donna213 says:

      It makes me wonder if any animal does not sleep? Maybe sharks since biologists have been puzzled by them. I read dolphins sleep by resting one half of their brain at a time. This is called unihemispheric sleep dolphins. Nature is amazing in how adaptable and varied it is.

  9. Maria F. says:

    Fascinating Donna!

Your comment is appreciated.

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