One of my two hives has been bearding for several weeks now. I haven't been too worried about it because I've checked it a couple of times and found no signs of swarm cells; I just blamed it on the heat. I did think it was somewhat honey bound at first, so I replaced a few honey frames in the deeps with foundation only frames. They also usually stay bearded through the night unless it rains, then they go in (possibly because the rain cooled the hive).
Today we got an afternoon shower about the time the bees normally collect at the hive. They didn't bother going in and I suspect some drowned. Now it's almost 11 pm, the temp's dropped, it's raining again...and the bees are still bearding/drowning.
Normal/not normal? Any thoughts?
I almost feel compelled to go sit by them with an umbrella until the rain stops.