Do honey bees sleep? Of course they sleep!
I often come across lists of honey bee trivia, and one of the most common assertions is that bees never sleep. “That’s so cool!” I hear people say. “Imagine that!”
But researchers say otherwise. According to Jürgen Tautz in his book The Buzz About Bees, foragers enter a pronounced state of sleep—largely at night and in the hive. However, sometimes they sleep outside the hive as well. In addition, beekeepers and bee photographers the world over have reported seeing bees asleep in flowers. The bees may remain stationary for hours, only to fly away when disturbed.
Tautz describes the phenomenon:
Sleeping bees can be identified by a posture reflecting a lack of muscle tonus, in which the antennae hang down, and the legs are folded beneath the body.