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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Its 75 degrees and nighttime-why are they bearding?

    This is really starting to wrack my nerves. We just had a huge thunderstorm. I went out to peek on them, and the layer of bees that were covering the front of the hive had clumped up, all faced the same way, and many had tried to crowd into the handle notch. BUT THEY WOULDN'T GO BACK INSIDE!!! Here it is now, 20 degrees cooler and in the dark of night, and they STILL aren't inside.

    In case it is relevant, I have them on a screened bottom board, under a tree, less than 10 feet from a natural stream. Fenced in beeyard. Mulch. Four cinder blocks ("8"x12"x16") make up the base.

    I shimmed the top cover with popsickle sticks, but they pretty much filled the gap with propolis.

    Today, I spread the cinder blocks apart a few inches, in hopes of providing them with some air circulation from the underside.

    I know there are more ventilations tricks, but could this bearding be caused by something else? :confused:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Default

    It would be good to open up the hive tomorrow early and look for swarm cells. If you have a spare super to put on that should help. It sounds like they are overcrowded and getting ready to swarm.
    doug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Thanks, I will definitely look for them. But to be honest, I was in there last week, and didn't see even one. And they have been bearding for weeks.

    Also, I only installed these bees in mid April. Put the super on in May. I understood swarming was rather unlikely in hives that new.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,122

    Default

    Mike, I imagine the humidty levels are high in Baltimore this time of year which I imagine is one of the reasons why they are hanging out.

    I was reading that hive beetles will force the bees out on the front porch, but if you don't have any, no worries.

    Adding an additional empty box on top might alleviate crowding, like Sierra said.

    And then, sometimes there is nothing you can do.

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

    Default

    Why do you want to eliminate bearding? It is a natural thing they do, and to me, it is a sign of a strong hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Big Grin

    "This is really starting to wrack my nerves,..thunderstorm". I went out to peek on them,..and in the dark of the night,.. 9;30- 10;30, midnight!! etcetra, etcetra.

    You really need to move your bees [colonies] out to 5 - 10- 15 miles away or so, then your nerves won't be "'wracked" quite so much, lol. My hives are 8-10 miles away and we are having a thunderstorm right now! Do I rush out later and "see" how they're doing? ..if they have a "beard" or not. Noooooo! not at $4.00/gal/gas I don't, lol.

    It is nice to hear on Beesource how the bees are doing when you can have them,......in your "backyard". The information is valuable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Big Grin

    Deleted post.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 06-29-2008 at 05:34 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Posts
    39

    Default

    It may just mean they want to be outside. Mine do it every night.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,272

    Default

    Several issues can be the cause of bearding...

    Lack of space in the brood nest
    Not enough to do for the bees
    Over crowding
    Not enough ventilation
    Crowded brood nest in bottom box
    Other reasons I'm sure

    When that happens to me, it's usually crowded brood nest in the bottom box. I always just add a box of drawn comb to the bottom of the hive, not the top. It gives the bees somewhere to hang out when they don't have enough to do or when there's crowded broodnest on the bottom. It clears up the bearding, giving the bees somewhere to hang out and something to do also, cleaning out the cells and whatnot. It also gives the queen room to move down if she wants to expand the nest, and does not disturb the way she has the hive arranged, can still keep the honey and stores on top and around the nest.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbee View Post
    "This is really starting to wrack my nerves,..thunderstorm". I went out to peek on them,..and in the dark of the night,.. 9;30- 10;30, midnight!! etcetra, etcetra.

    You really need to move your bees [colonies] out to 5 - 10- 15 miles away or so, then your nerves won't be "'wracked" quite so much, lol. My hives are 8-10 miles away and we are having a thunderstorm right now! Do I rush out later and "see" how they're doing? Noooooo! not at $4.00/gal. lol.

    It is nice to hear on Beesource how the bees are doing when you can have them,......in your "backyard". The information is valuable.
    Wow, Copernicus... Way to contribute. No one has a gun to your head. If my questions are too boring, unenlightened and prosaic for you, feel free not to respond.

    Thanks to everybody else.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Smile

    How did that happen? In all seriousness, my comment was meant to be humorous.

    I did say,.. the information/observations are valuable when hives are located nearby and can be observed at all hours of the day/night. I was just comparing it with my situation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Sorry. Guess I took it the wrong way. Look at the hour that one is posted, and please give me a mulligan on it.

    I suppose you are right, though. If it weren't right out my window, I would only worry about things based on the hive inspections, and not every little peculiarity I see out side the hive.

    Thanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default

    My girls have always bearded in the summer (2 years)...even when it's raining and 60 degrees out, not to mention we have low humidity. I have no idea why...but they appear very healthy and are now really starting to produce the good stuff, so no worries!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy View Post
    My girls have always bearded in the summer (2 years)...even when it's raining and 60 degrees out, not to mention we have low humidity. I have no idea why...but they appear very healthy and are now really starting to produce the good stuff, so no worries!

    Mine too, as I posted earlier. Bearding bees may mean something and it may not. I think we tend to over think the management of our bees and look for solutions for every little thing and the bees are just being bees. I have never been involved in anything where there are so many different opinions and methods to achieve the same result which is one of the many reasons I enjoy beekeeping.

    That being said, I am definitely in the over thinking it crowd.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default

    Even though bees are individually tiny, a single colony may have the equivalent biomass of a ten pound dog. Put that dog in a small box with high humidity. Even though it may get down to 75 degrees at night, much of the heat built up during the day may not have time to be dissipated by sunrise when the heat builds up all over again..

    The same effect can be seen indoors during a basketball game. If there are many people there even though the ambient temperature may be 75 degrees the radiated heat given off by that many warm bodies can make it very uncomfortable in there.

    I would view the bearding as a positive sign that you have a strong, healthy colony capable of regulating its temperature.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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