How cottage-country critters hibernate

By Liann BobechkoLiann Bobechko

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Bumblebees

Photo by Rob Hooft


The only bumblebee to survive winter is the queen, who, having mated in fall, has the royal duty of producing next spring’s brood. Her Majesty finds or digs a cavity in the ground about 10 cm deep and barely bigger than her body. Though the chamber isn’t below the frost line, the snow above keeps her from freezing. A hibernating queen can’t get too warm, however, which is why she locates on a northward slope that doesn’t receive sunshine.


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