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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Charlotte, NC

    Default Bearding, ventillation and swarm tendancy

    I have 2 complete hives, double 10-frame deeps with 2 shallow supers above. Each have a screened bottom board, a screened inner cover and a slatted rack. No bearding. I have 3 nucs, each a double 5-frame deep nuc with reduced entrances. Two have screened bottoms and solid migratory covers, the other solid top and bottom. I have a single 10-frame deep colony with a shallow super above that was a split from one of the nucs, and with an open entrance. The two double deeps have full openings. The two double-deep hives do not beard (one has about 30 bees outside each night, that's it, and the other none). My nucs and single deep all beard, a little through the day and a TON at early evening and through the night. Every time I inspect, the brood nest has plenty of room for eggs. Since I'm using the nucs and single deep as comb builders, I regularly give them empty frames to draw (I'm feeding the nucs, not feeding the single deep).

    Are the slatted racks truly the magic that's making my 2 full hives not beard? Is the bearding indicative of swarm tendency, that the brood nest is more crowded than I believe, or just the personality of that colony?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia

    Default Re: Bearding, ventillation and swarm tendancy

    Bearding and swarming are not the same thing. A bearding hive is quiet and most bees are on the hive. A swarming hive is very noisy and most bees are in the air. Bearding is thought to be a mechanism for temperature management.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Default Re: Bearding, ventillation and swarm tendancy

    It's a space issue (volume of the hive bodies). The nucs and single frame are going to heat up quicker, hence the bees hang out outside so it doesn't heat up. My triple deep started to beard and vent a little when it hit the 90's... added the 4th box, well, now that hot air has some more room to occupy away from the broodnests, no more bees fanning or hanging out.... just working and it's been over 100.


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