Why do bees and other insects require sufficient heat to move around?



I’m curious to the biological reason, because often I’ll see bee’s when the sun has gone down that just stay hunched down waiting for the next dawn to move.

In: Biology

A lot of biological processes happen more quickly at higher temperatures (up to a certain point at which point the temperature will destroy these processes).

So called cold blooded animals can’t maintain their internal temperatures and so they rely on the environment to warm them up. When it’s warm their biological processes run faster which gives them more energy. When it’s cold and they’re cold then those processes run more slowly and so they have less energy to work with.

The reason these biological processes run more quickly at higher temperatures are because they’re chemical reactions and chemical reactions speed up as the temperature goes up because the atoms, etc in the reaction are moving around quicker and so interact with each other more often.

The machinery that runs living bodies are called proteins. Proteins are manufactured by cells, and depending on how they are built they will have different functions, such as moving chemicals about, or changing shape to make muscles contract and expand. Proteins are very sensitive to temperature, they work right only in a narrow temperature range. If it gets too hot or too cold, the protein will stop working and may even be destroyed. Warm blooded animals like humans use lots of energy to regulate our body temperature to keep it at just the right temperature for our proteins to work optimally.

Cold blooded animals and insects (who technically don’t have blood) can’t internally regulate their own temperature, so when the weather gets too hot or too cold, they slow down or stop working completely. Not generating their own heat saves them lots of energy, so they don’t eat as much. But the downside is that they have to shut down when the weather isn’t just right for them.