The Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice has been observed as an important date in beekeeping for over 2000 years.
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Read more to find out what the ancients have to say about winter and bees.

Aristotle says in Historia Animālium (History of Animals) Book IX 
 circa. 4 B.C.

"In healthy swarms the progeny of the bees only cease from reproduction for about forty days after the winter solstice."

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Pliny the Elder says in Naturalis Historia (Natural History) 
circa. 77 - 79 AD

"From the winter solstice to the rising of Arcturus the bees are buried in sleep for sixty days, and live without any nourishment. Between the rising of Arcturus and the vernal equinox, they awake in the warmer climates, but even then they still keep within the hives, and have recourse to the provisions kept in reserve for this period."

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Virgil says in Georgics, Book IV
circa. 29 B.C.E

"Contracto frigore pigrae."
"With cold benumbed, inactive they remain."

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Image: Stonehenge - Winter Solstice 2014