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Thread: bearding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    BelAir MD U.S.A
    Posts
    30

    Default bearding

    Hello Everyone, This is my first year with bees I started with 2 tbh now have 3 after doing a split. the hives I built have screened bottoms and are 48" long. Iíve noticed lots of bees (a mass about 3" thick 8" wide 15" long. lot of bees)hanging under one of the hives. This one in particular is a very large colony. I think the hive is vented well as it has a screened bottom and I leave a 1" gap between the top bars toward the rear of the hive for air flow. I have inspected the hive and did not see any swarm cells. they have built out 20 out of 30 bars. does not seem like they are crowded. This is not something that is affected by the temp. they seem to hang out side all night long when it 60-70 and when its pushing 90 on hot days. They donít do this as much during the day, mostly from the late afternoon to mid morning. There was a thread on here a couple of months ago that was about the same topic. I was wondering if the folks that participated in that thread were still seeing more of the same, and if the is to be expected with tbh's
    Thanks Dan
    ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: bearding

    That's some beard! My thinking is that its to hot inside for all the foragers when they come back at night so they form a clump outside and wait for the day :P Personally I don't like screened floors because, imho, to much ventilation can inhibit the colony's ability to control the temps, plus were I live its cold a lot I also have noticed a lot of pollen and wax scales droping out the screen Screens should be fine in Belair? guy from biobees uses them but he's from the uk and weather there is always balmy


    Sam.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: bearding

    Normal in summer when it is warm out. Large colony gets warm and older bees move outside to lower temp.

    If you see no swarm cells, then no worries.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Sebastopol, Ca.
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: bearding

    Maybe they didn't get the memo on how to bee-have?
    You mention it is a large hive, lots of bees, and even though you put bars in the rear a bit apart the air may not flow well enough between the bars. They've built walls and they're very well insulated.....practice, practice, practice, for 65 million years and with such a bureaucracy no wonder the memo got lost!
    Just kidding...take it easy. Have you checked them out just before sunrise, or prior to the sun hitting the hive entrance? Are they bearding then? What they do not like is high humidity which may create more condensation in the hive than they like, so they set up their external air conditioning.
    After all, as you have done all the right things, all is A-OK it seems to me. Keep on......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: bearding

    I have had the opportunity to observe this same thing, they form a big clump at the entrance or on the outside wall, I added a couple of bars inside, this seems to have reduced the bearding but still lots. Only on my 2 largest hives, what surprised me was they were doing this at night were temps were dropping below 20c, what was different about those nights was the humidity! So I figure LenInNorCal is right I bet they can't evaporate the nectar quickly enough so they send some outside (bees). btw if you ever keep un-cured nectar, refrigerate it, I had a couple of small plastic containers explode on me and they smell like really bad beer
    Bees are so awesome they know about this so they evaporate enough water to stabilize the mixture. Maby they really are sentient


    Sam.

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