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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    This is a first time occurrence for me. I have two late July splits in the shade, partial shade anyway, that are bearding. I say bearding, but this isn't exactly what I thought bearding looks like. Anyway, it is usually said that they leave the hive because of being too hot. Yes it was a little warmer than it had been,mid 80's, but the real change was the past two days they have been bringing in the goldenrod nectar.

    So is clustering outside of the hive not really heat related, at least in this case, but more of a function of drying down the nectar? Maybe the bees have to leave the comb to facilitate better air circulation.

    By the way these hives do not have ScreenedBB's. My other hives in the yard, which were in full sun, do have screenedBB's and have no bearding.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    South Weber, Utah
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    I personally think your bees are hot and in fact they are bearding. I had the same thing happen to my hive when the weather was warm and I had the board installed under my screenboard. I pulled the board out, and within an hour the bearding was gone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    I propped the lids this morning, and yes no more bearding. But I don't think the nectar flow was a coincidence. Perhaps heat alone doesn't do it, maybe heat with all the humidity of the nectar? I guess the solution is the same, they need more air circulation, but I'm just curious as to the exact cause. Thanks for your reply Bee-Sarge

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,889

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    I gotta slow down my reading....I thought the title was "bees on outside of hive, my hypnosis. " I just had to see this......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,174

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    When temps are up there is less need for bees to keep brood warm. They have to go somewhere.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    hahaha... hypnotic watching them fly in and out of the hive? or hypnotizing the bees? It's Friday.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    Those are pretty strong looking "splits" so why don't you have honey supers on board ?
    But never mind that. With a strong nectar flow, and the need to evaporate it, the bees must optimize the airflow to facilitize the effecient evaporation. I am sure that if you stand close to the hive you can hear the roar of the bees fanning. It takes a lot of work to draw air in the bottom and then blow air back out the bottom. A large number of bees remove themselves from the hive for proper air flow, not necessairliy because they are hot.

    By venting the top, you facilitate natural convection and the nectar will dry down much easier.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    Fuzzy- your response makes the most sense to me. You are absolutely correct, they were roaring.

    My analogy of what I think is going on is as follows: You ever go to an outdoor concert where they didn't have bleachers\stadium seating, and you are unlucky enough to be toward the back with all those people in front of you? Do you recall how you couldn't hear very good because all those people were blocking the sound waves? Now pretend those people were bees on a frame and you were trying to blow air across it. I'm guessing that sound waves act similar to air flow. Does that make any sense at all? In order for the bees to facilitate drying, a great many must leave the combs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    Those are pretty strong looking "splits" so why don't you have honey supers on board ?
    I'm out of mediums. I have to use deeps. My plan is to purchase mediums this winter.

    The hive on the right is two deeps at about 7 of 10 frames covered with bees, the third deep on top is undrawn foundation so they have plenty of room.
    The hive on left is about 8 of 10 frames filled with bees, top box undrawn foundation. So in my opinion they are not that strong, but are way ahead of where I thought they would be in terms of growth.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    I guess a better analogy is the way snow will blow across a plowed field versus one with corn stubble. Boy that was a lot easier to explain.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lycoming New York
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: bees on outside of hive, my hypothesis.

    I understand the corn stalk and the snow, I wish I didn't but I do.

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