The next day was cloudy and I couldn’t resist checking them. There were only a few going in and out of the doors, but it was cold so I didn’t worry too much. I took off a few of the bars and looked inside. This photo is looking down at the bottom and into the hive (I stuck my camera in there, not my head) the top bars are actually on the left hand side.
The bees were all balled up, humming quietly. I say humming and not buzzing because this was a distinctively different sound than what you were used to hearing from a bee. It was more like the purr of a cat. It was all very content sounding.
The bees seemed to be kneading each other with their feet – just like a cat does. I am assuming they were keeping each other warm. The whole ball was moving gently. It was astonishing to see such a solid-looking mass – it was as if I could reach in and grab it But I kept my hands to myself.
And a little later, when the sun came out and hit the hive, the bees woke up: