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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Union Kentucky
    Posts
    49

    Default Bees on the front of Hive

    I have a general question about this. It is my first year raising my own bees. I started this hive late, the first week in June. I have feed them sugar water all summer in hopes of a strong hive before winter. I live in Northern Kentucky area, winters can be quite cold. It has been very hot and dry the past few weeks. I have been seeing a lot of bees on the front of the hive in the mornings and in the evenings. I think this is normal, but not sure. I do have the top cover opened about an 1/8 of an inch to allow a little air to flow under the cover because it has been so hot.
    Is it normal to see the bees covering the front of the hive like this ?
    Or am I getting into trouble here ?
    Here are my pictures.
    Thanks to all you seasoned bee keepers out there.

    Bruce

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27288326@N08/2791593451/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27288326@N08/2791591669/

    The 1st picture is this morning. The 2nd is last night.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    377

    Default

    mine do that:

    I also like your bench, did you make it??

    JB:}

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,137

    Default

    No, I don't think you are in trouble. I am also in my first year. my hive swarmed in the spring - but when it did there was a clump of bees on the front about 3 inches thick by a foot deep.
    What you are seeing, I believe, is bees just thermoregulating the hive. When it is too hot in there they come out. If their numbers increase five-fold you may want to reassess.
    Reassure yourself by looking in there to see if you have eggs and larva - which means the queen is still laying and not ready to buzz off. Also see how much space they have to work in; Is there room for them to add more stores?
    There are lots of threads on here about bees on the front of the hive if you want to corroborate what I am saying, before the veterans have a say, do a couple of searches and you'll see what I mean.
    By the way I admire how tidy you have set up the hive area. It looks great, Adrian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default

    Mine also are frequently seen to "beard": Bearding in July

    Many hives are still bearding this same way, even now. None of my hives have swarmed this season. Most hives only have a thick mustache-like layer of bees on and just below their entrance - though many will have a beard similar to the one in my photograph until the weather cools off into the 70's or lower.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Union Kentucky
    Posts
    49

    Default Bees swarmed today 08/24/2008

    OK now I really need some help.
    They had been building up on the outside of the hive in the morning and nights, I thought it was the heat.

    Looks like I feed them too much and both broad boxes were about full so they swarmed.

    I hurried up to action setup another hive beside my other one. Caught the swarm out of a near by tree and shook them into the new hive.
    I pulled of some of the broad frame and frames of honey 4 frames total and put them into the new hive.

    So what do you think ?
    Should I have done anything different ?

    It looks like they my take to the new box they are in it and all over it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default

    Perhaps not feed them as much; or carefully monitor how they are using what you feed them, and possibly feed more empty frames/combs into the brood nest and move frames of honey/sugar syrup up into supers above the brood nest.

    My hives look like the one in my picture for most of the year, but I only feed sugar syrup if the hives are very weak, or so short of stores just before Autumn/Winter that they might not have enough to take them through the Winter. December 2007/January 2008 I fed sugar syrup and pollen supplement because there was an uncustomary dearth of nectar and pollen, through most of 2007 and into early 2008. When I checked the hives in December most had starved down to less than three medium frames each of bees, brood, queen, and had very little honey remaining.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 08-24-2008 at 01:50 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default

    Here's another photo taken more recently: Bearding Photo
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Union Kentucky
    Posts
    49

    Default looks like a lot of bees

    I hope mine will just stay home. I took a picture a few hours ago. They are hanging all over the front of the new hive I hope they stay. I have to say I think I made them a little mad shake them into a 5 gallon bucket from the tree and putting them into a new hive.
    I am not sure if I have a queen with them or not ????
    I just got almost all the bees out of the tree after they swarmed.
    Took them to the new hive and shook them into to it.
    I took 4 frames of honey and broad from the other hive and put that with them.
    I really am only into about 3 months into my first year of bee keeping.
    I have read alot into the forums and have a couple of books but I am really really a newby.
    Any advice is much apperciated. Thanks

    Bruce

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default

    Sounds like you're doing just fine.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Luzerne County, Plains, PA, USA
    Posts
    162

    Default Ghost bees bearding

    I have hundreds of white bees on the porch of the hive, as thinck as i have ever seen a breard......... oh wait.......... prolly from the sugar shake down, never mind
    A beekeeper is not what I am, it's what I aspire to become.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Union Kentucky
    Posts
    49

    Default I forgot the picture

    Joesph, Thanks for your support.

    Here is my picture I took this evening after all my fun I had today.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27288326@N08/2794945776/

    Bruce

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,481

    Default

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

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