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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Stopping swarming- after bearding begins?

    I missed one weekend apiary inspection on about 12 hives. Must have been an explosion in population that week, plus we're in a flow! More than half the hives are bearding.

    I've been popping empty supers right above the brood chambers in hopes that will be instantly available for honey/brood storage- but they continue to beard.

    I don't want any more swarms- anything else I can do?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Bees beard because they are trying to maintain a certain temp inside the hive. Once it goes above 92 degrees, someone shouts out "Hey, it's too hot in here,,,EVERYONE OUT!" Bees themselves produce heat. You may see times when opening the hive that almost no bees are actually inside.

    Bees will beard as they slow down work of foraging sometimes just prior to swarming. Little activity is seen and you can almost say your bees are lazy. But looking to see if your hives are going to swarm can be as easy as lifting the brood boxes and see if cells and hanging down.

    I would crack the lid and provide some upper ventilation. Also, don't guess on swarming. Open up the hive and find out. It may give you some cells to make a nuc or control the swarming by doing your own "artificial swarm" (small split), and thus not let your resources fly away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Yeah what he said. Sound advice BjornBee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default

    I'll cross my fingers but its actually been cool for 2 days and they are still out.
    Actually one thing I noticed was little to no new eggs, plus honey being backfilled into the brood nests. That's why I threw in some empties.
    Oh- and I did have a swarm on Wed. I really do see more coming.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jefferson Co., Washington
    Posts
    78

    Default

    I noticed the same thing in stronger hives- LOTS of backfilling and not much open brood.. but did full inspections and no swarm cells (none capped or with eggs in them, a few empty though). I took out a few frames of brood for nucs/ splits nonetheless...

    (I didn't so much see bearding as a big reduction in brood and LOTS of backfilling) blackberry flow is finally in full swing)
    Last edited by purvisgs; 07-04-2008 at 07:46 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#bearding

    Bearding is seldom a sign of swarming.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,325

    Default

    About this time of year many of my hives have large beards and seem to be mostly idle. Our main honeyflow, from Spring Mesquite, is just about over for this season, and unless the Summer rains fall in our vicinity, it will likely be the last time for a flow this year. Despite having such large populations, large beards, and honey stores they rarely swarm much - of course, since I said that, they'll probably swarm like crazy, starting tomorrow. Heck, most of my hives, and Nucs beard most all the year, except Winter.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I see bearding for reasons of just too many bees for the box.

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