Bees require a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to fly easily without using up all of their nectar stores. But they prefer it hot: 80-90 degrees.
Bees sleeping outside the nest will sleep under a flowerhead or inside a deep flower like a squash blossom where the temperature can be up to 18 degrees warmer close to the nectar source.
The bee asleep in the flower on a cool morning may be a female forager who got caught outside the nest when the temperature decreased rapidly. Her job is to forage for nectar and pollen and she stores it in (yellow) pollen baskets on her hind legs to take back to the nest.
Or the sleeping bee may be a male, for most males leave the nest just a few days after hatching, and do not return. Their job is to drink nectar all day and chase queens for mating. They spend the day marking objects in their territory with their scent to attract a female queen. Since they don’t return to the nest, they do not have pollen baskets on their hind legs.
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