Do Honeybees Sleep?

The answer to the eternal question…

Brookfield Farm Bees & Honey Blog

All the bees at Brookfield Farm, in Maple Falls, Washington are tucked up in their clusters in their hives.  Some are probably asleep, some awake.  It depends on their age and their job.  But none are getting a good 40 winks, unless a “wink” is a second.  Bees sleep in small naps, but some sleep more regularly than others.  What follows is what I have gleaned from my readings.

The most complete study I found on-line is at http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/211/18/3028.  This study by Barrett A. Klein, Kathryn M. Olzsowy, Arno Klein, Katharine M. Saunders and Thomas D. Seeley was first published on-line in September 2008, in the Journal of Experimental Biology.  This quite fascinating and elegant study is called: Caste-Dependent Sleep of Worker Honey Bees.

WHAT IS SLEEP? (As defined by the above study)

Sleeping bees are immobile bees whose bodies and legs hang in the direction of gravity.

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6 thoughts on “Do Honeybees Sleep?

  1. Rachel says:

    I never thought about bees sleeping until now!

  2. Katherine Yates says:

    Late one evening, I was standing close to the entrance of a hive when two forager bees, loaded with pollen, flew into the side of my face. They didn’t sting me, but I must have been blocking their flying pattern. That’s when I became curious about their eye-sight. Your research is very interesting.

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