In Mid-Summer the hive is in full swing, with 60,000+ bees! The Queen lays eggs (15,000/day!) About 10% of the bees are male drones whose only job is to mate with the Queen. The worker girl bees do ALL the work, foraging, defending the hive, etc ;-)
Bees regulate the temperature of the hive. They "beard" on the outside, avoiding congestion and excess heat inside.
In fall the population decreases, and everything focuses on getting bees through winter. They do not hibernate, they cluster tightly to create a warm ball of bees. They hardly leave the hive except to go to the bathroom. Can't wait til Spring!
Our colonies are "Italian" bees, gentle by temperment, and good honey producers. They fall prey to some ailments
common to bees, such as mites and virus. We beekeepers work hard to provide conditions favorable to their survival.
Making sure they have 100# of honey going into winter and their health is strong is our primary concern.