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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default But they're still bearding

    Yesterday, David and Scott came to help this old gimpy woman by taking the honey off my six hives. Well, it wasn't quite completely capped yet (it's always really humid in these parts), so the boxes stayed on and they did a lot of bottom supering since my girls are going gangbusters. Then they moved on to splitting my monster hive. This hive is so full of bees that despite sbb and slatted rack, they are bearded on the hive front and back--the only hive in my beeyard that is bearding. Anyway, they did a wonderful split that gave me two monster hives instead of one. Funny thing is, last night and again this morning when I went out to the chickens, the original hive, although having been given another brood box and another honey box, is still bearding!! What's the deal and should I be concerned?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    217

    Default

    It means the hive is warmer than the bees would like but I wouldn't be too concerned. The only thing I've found that will reduce bearding besides cooler weather is using screened bottom boards. SBB's really improve ventilaton and reduce heat.
    Bee just and just bee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,830

    Default Bees beard

    I have hives on slatted racks on screened pallets in a cool climate. When we get a heat wave, they beard. And we go out and sit on the front porch. Bees do it, beekeepers do it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,840

    Default

    >>What's the deal and should I be concerned?

    you mentioned the hive had been worked in order to prevent swarming, so probably your hive is bearding due to the heat. Sounds like you have great bees!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Conroe, Texas, USA
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Draggle View Post
    It means the hive is warmer than the bees would like but I wouldn't be too concerned. The only thing I've found that will reduce bearding besides cooler weather is using screened bottom boards. SBB's really improve ventilaton and reduce heat.


    I built 3 sbb's the other day, added 2 of them to my hives yesterday.
    They were hanging out side yesterday, but not today, It's nearly 100 here,
    all the girls are inside nice an cool. I also put a small piece of 1 x 2 under the top cover.

    It made a big difference.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default

    The reason I was concerned is because it was the only hive out of seven that was bearding. . .everyone else was inside. But today brought cooler weather plus rain. They finally went inside. Thanks for all your suppport!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default

    Bee's bearding is like people sweating. It's what bees do when they are hot.

    It's good to cover the bases and then accept it. If you were sweating you'd take what steps were reasonable (turn on the fan, open the window, take off your sweater, drink lots of water) and then you'd accept that it's just hot.

    With the bees, make sure they have top and bottom ventilation, (open the bottom entrance, remove the tray if you have a SBB, prop open the top box, slide a super back to make a gap) make sure they have enough room (put supers on as needed) and don't worry about it. Bearding is not proof they are about to swarm. It's proof they are hot. I think lack of ventilation contributes to an "overcrowding swarm" but it's not the only cause and it's nothing to be concerned about if you've taken care of the bees having ventilation and room.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default

    I have seen the ads for the Bee Cool solar hive ventilator and did a search for old threads. I found discussions about them but not any real results. Has anyone tried or made one of these to see if it reduced bearding on a hive? Did it work? Seems like it would cool the hive and get all of those bearding bees back to work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    maysville,nc,usa
    Posts
    18

    Lightbulb top vent ??

    has the top vent made a difference ?
    CAUTION- BEEHANDLER !!! if you see me running , you should follow !!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,320

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beyondthesidewalks View Post
    I have seen the ads for the Bee Cool solar hive ventilator and did a search for old threads. I found discussions about them but not any real results. Has anyone tried or made one of these to see if it reduced bearding on a hive? Did it work? Seems like it would cool the hive and get all of those bearding bees back to work.
    I've been afraid to try forced ventilation here in Tucson, AZ. How would it keep the inside of the hive cooler to force a draft of 110F+, hot, dry, air through the hives? Seems like it would be similar to using a blow dryer on high, as a face fan - it just sounds bad, though it may be just fine.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-02-2008 at 08:57 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,320

    Default How some hives "beard".

    I built one of those "hybrid hives" which is just the length where two 10-frame supers will fit on it, side-by-side. It can hold about twenty-two deep frames (with four inches of space below their bottom bars), or it can accept top bars that are the same length as standard frames. All twenty-two frames are now full of bees and brood, the original entrance was a 3/8" deep x 10" wide slot near the bottom of the opposite side which is now covered with #8 screen for ventilation. At the beginning of this season this hive was unoccupied, initially I was planning not to use this hive again, this year, but I grew a 5-frame standard deep Nuc, then I didn't want to keep them in the deep Nuc box (it works well as my swarm-catching box), so I set up the Long Hive and installed the deep Nuc, that was in mid-May. I may never again, believe that new starts can't bring in a crop. This hive has already filled eight, 8-frame medium supers, which I harvested, and it has again filled four more, but it is just now grown to fill all twenty-two frames in the main hive and is beginning to beard a little (see photo: Long Hive Bearding).
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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