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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Morehead City, NC USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Ventilation problems?

    How much bearding is "too" much? How do you know when you have a ventilation problem or just bees that like to hang out on the porch? What is the REAL purpose of the inner cover can you take it out or must it stay in? Last but not least, what are some good ventilation techniques? Thanks for your help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    577

    Default

    During hot and muggy weather, some bees will be hanging out even with good ventilation. The use of screened bottom boards is the best ventilation technique. You can also prop the outer cover up with a rock or something so that air can escape from the top of the hive by convection. Some drill holes in the upper supers, but I don't like to do this. I sometimes slide the top super back a fraction of an inch so that a small gap is created.

    The inner cover helps to prevent the bees from gluing the outer cover down with bee glue. In winter it helps prevent condensation from forming on the outer cover and dripping back onto the bees. I have a few hives without an inner cover, and they do fine. I sometimes have to pry the outer cover loose, however.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ousley, GA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    I'm new to this as well and have two hives that act very differently. They both have one deep and two shallow supers along with screened bottom boards and screened inner cover. The smaller of the hives is the group that does all of the hanging out on the front. You would think it would be the other way around. I ended up propping the outer cover up just a bit and it has seemed to help - a little. I think some of them prefer the outside of the hive no matter what.
    No matter where you go, there you are.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    i think sans is right about bees just hanging out after all some people prefer to set on the patio or porch in the evening while some hang out in the house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Willington, CT USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Sans, same here

    My smaller, newer hive is the one that hangs out also (young punks!).

    All my hives (3) have a screened bottom board and innner cover. I prop the top on real hot days. Also I cut a 1 inch wide gap on the front of my inner covers for extra ventillation and possible bee entrance. I did drill a hole in one hive body because someone said it helped but just cant bring myself to drill holes in equipment that I paid good money for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    >My smaller, newer hive is the one that hangs out . . .

    Bees beard also because they a need more room. Some add a "slatted rack".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Willington, CT USA
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Dave W - good point. I never thought of that.

    My bearding hive is the same one that I ask about in my "Honey Bound Hive" message.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    OK, after reading what seems like a few hundred posts about how to stop bearding, I have a question. Why stop it? What harm does bearding do?
    Why not just ignore it and enjoy the bees?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    "I have a question. Why stop it? What harm does bearding do? "

    In my opinion, it is a sign of stress on the bees. And stress on living organisims usually causes harm.
    It also reduces the productivity of the hive. Bearding bees are not foraging, they are not drying the honey. They are trying to reduce the heat load inside the hive.

    Fuzzy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    278

    Default

    I only have three hives and a nuc,and this is my second season, but i'm a big believer in ventalation.I tend to agree with Fuzzy, i don't really think bearding is a good thing.I use slatted racks, screened bottom boards, no inner cover , except during the winter, and prop the top for more ventalation in warmer weather. Since i've adapted this practice, i've seen no bearding, and i also believe this practice goes a long way in preventing disease... My first season, i had no SBB, no slatted rack, and didn't really know how important ventalation was,my bees were bearding often, and i didn't prop the top open...I only fog with FGMO and pure essential wintergreen, my bees are doing great...I also think that overcrowding causes bearding, and not providing enough shade, in a hot, very sunny location...so, i think thats the big deal about bearding...
    Kevin M.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default

    I am glad you posted this. I have about 200 bees that hang out under my SBB. I couldn't figure out why. They are 3 or 4 deep in one place.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    I side with iddee on this one. If you have given them lots of room and ventilation, and they still beard outside the hive, then must be they like it there. The only time it might indicate any stress on the hive is if you haven't met the above items.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Default Check

    I have seen hives supersede their old queen the bees will not kill her but will run her out of the hive I have seen the cluster under the bottom board on a bush close by there could be as few as a double hand full to a 1/2 to 1 pound of bees with her

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    avery county n.c.
    Posts
    240

    Default

    I think bearding is a good indication that its time to add ventilation. Since air flow is limited to the space between the rim of the telescopic top and whatever is below it I have summer tops now that I made a half inch longer and wider. Then I can prop the top higher above a screened inner cover to create more air flow.
    Thanks for your time, Beehopper

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
    Posts
    200

    Default Ventilation

    How exactly does a slatted rack work? Is there a benefit to adding one over a SBB? Also, Kevin, on Long Island, what ventilation measures do you take for your Long Island winters?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default

    I just ordered a slatted rack because of bearding under my screened bottom board. Hopefully, the slatted rack will give them extra space to loiter.

    I have my top propped so 1 full inch of breeze flows in. I have to keep my inner board on due to robbing but the middle hole is screened for air flow.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Augusta,Georgia - U.S.A.
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Howdy,
    I took a wood bound queen excluder and stapled window screen wire to it and used it in place of the inner cover. I used clear plastic packing tape to tape the edges of the screen down to make sure nothing crawled in under it. I then propped the telescoping top up with a dowel rod 1/2 inch dia. to give some opening for air circulation. Would this be too much?
    Sorry for hijacking your thread.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Default

    on bearding - last week I put 7 full supers (for holding/storage) on a strong two deep hive that had NOT been bearding up to that point. The bees were bearding that same day, and still do now. That told me it had nothing to do with space. But all that honey retains thermal energy longer. I think it is a ventilation problem.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Default

    We really believe in ventilation. I think it helps with the mites and moisture too. Just did 24 hour drop tests and had counts of 0-6 mites per hive in 12 colonies. Most are double queened. Haven't had to treat for varroa or tracheal this year.

    Since we use piles of supers between triangle escapes with a little of Jim's Bee Quick to clear bees, we don't need the small escape holes in the inner covers. We have cut large rectangles in all of our inner covers and screened them (also very convenient for quick checks under the top). We also dado a small upper entrance on the inner cover. Only 1 hive has been bearding in all of this 90 degree+ weather, but it has 2 deeps and 6 full supers on. Also use sbbs. and 3/4 inch holes in deeps year round in Wisconsin.

    Oh, and when it got hot we added large jars of water to boardman feeders outside of hives. The bees empty these sometimes daily even though they normall use the farm pond.

    Hope this is helpful,
    Mabe
    Last edited by Mabe; 07-31-2007 at 06:27 AM. Reason: forgot something
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mimashead View Post
    How much bearding is "too" much? How do you know when you have a ventilation problem or just bees that like to hang out on the porch? What is the REAL purpose of the inner cover can you take it out or must it stay in? Last but not least, what are some good ventilation techniques? Thanks for your help!!
    Screened Bottom Boards eliminated most bearding for me this season. I left them in for Blueberry pollination and the grower said... You have hives with bees hanging down about a foot off the entrance.

    It had gotten unseasonably warm for that time of year so I went out and pulled the slides out opening up the BB. No bearding at all after that. They were just hot.

    I have a few inner covers left but mostly all migratory tops. I have a slot cut into my lids to allow ventilation out the top of the hive. You can cut a slot in an inner cover too if you wish.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

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