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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Bearding - nothing to do?

    With the hot weather (95+ F) my stronger hives are bearding. We're in the midst of a strong nectar flow. If the nectar is running, why aren't the bearding bees out foraging? Are these nurse or guard bees that need to get out of the hive to cool things off? And if so, who's minding the brood and guarding the door?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    They are just out getting some fresh air, just my opinion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Do you have an upper entrance installed?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Solomon - yes, I'm using an upper entrance only (migratory cover shimmed open). The bottom entrance is screened.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Nothing you can do, it's part of the natural functioning of a honeybee colony. Weather is just part of the way things work.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Sol - yes, not trying to stop it. Kinda cool to watch actually. Even my wife wants to see the bees 'hanging out'.

    I'd read in another thread that bearding bees are foragers with nothing to forage due to dearth. I hadn't heard that before and thus my original questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Ah - I should have titled my post better. The question is - "is there nothing for the bees to do?"

    Not - "what should I do about the bearding?"

    I plan on doing nothing about it as long as I have properly ventilated the hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    That's an interesting hypothesis. I don't think I've ever directly seen anything that would disprove it. I always assumed that the bees were hanging out so that ventilation could be better achieved inside the hive. It seemed like when I replaced drawn comb with foundation in my nucs that there were fewer bees bearding after. I don't know.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Creston,Ohio,USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    I have about 70 production colonies with about 2/3 having solid bottoms and about 1/3 screened bottoms. Its been up in the low 90's here lately and the hives with the solid bottoms beard in the evening but the ones with screened bottoms rarely do. I would say it has everything to do with heat & ventilation....just my observation.

    Hartz

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    I added more supers to the hives that were bearding, foundation only and no drawn comb, and yet they still are bearding.

    The mysteries of bees never seem to end, hence I also end up saying "I don't know" quite often myself.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Hot and humid weather is causing my hives to beard. Interestingly none of my TBHs are bearding. I wonder why that is?
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Our TBHs beard just like our Langs. But the Warre doesn't.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    Our TBHs beard just like our Langs. But the Warre doesn't.
    The Warre hive does not Beard during the heat? Any idea why? better insuated?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Hahaha, ya my warres beard. My five box warre beards the most!
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBack View Post
    Ah - I should have titled my post better. The question is - "is there nothing for the bees to do?"

    Not - "what should I do about the bearding?"
    The bees aren't doing nothing, they're staying out of the hive so their body heat, moisture of their breath, and physical presence aren't contributing to degradation of the internal hive environment. That's not nothing, that's a very positive, something - helping to regulate hive temp, humidity, and CO2/O2 concentrations/ratios.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Bearding - nothing to do?

    Some of my colonies had about 80% of the bees outside. I seen the biggest beards ever, lol, covering the face of 5-6 deeps and hanging from bottom board. Unbelievable heat and humidity for my part of the country. I really worry about the brood when its that bad.

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