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I manage a couple Draper rotating single-layer OHs for local schools. We rebuilt one the other day. After cleaning, we added new frames of comb, bees, new queen, lots of eggs and wet larvae. As we rolled in back inside, the bees became a little agitated. Within a couple hours they were flying around everywhere outside and running all over inside the hive. I suggested to the school that they cover the hive to keep much of the light. They did and soon the bees had calmed down and were behaving normally with no scampering all round inside and out. Is it best to keep them covered until there is a class present who needs to make observations? Then cover again when the class is over?
 

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It sounds like the light triggered orientation flights which is normal. Covering it helps them maintain proper brood rearing temperature. If it is in a window getting direct sunlight, then you would need to cover it to keep it from becoming a giant wax melter and to keep them from flying during cold weather in winter. If it is not getting direct sun and the bees are able to raise brood, then you don't need to cover it all the time. But, I keep mine covered because it doesn't hurt to cover them when no one is looking at them and makes things easier for them.
 

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When I had mine at the garden center where I work, when the hive first gets installed, we keep the sides covered for about 3 days as the bees get used to where the entrance is at. After that, they don't run around the inside all crazy like, but we do cover them in the evening when we go home. Not sure that we have to do that though.
 

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Observational beehives
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Light not change anything with observation bee hive unless it is direct sun light and is overheating the hive. Bees running around the observation hive because of 3 reason:
1)A few days after settled down the hive, bees are in mass learning process which means they learning the way out from the hive. In first days it is massive process because all bees in age over 8 days including foragers have to find way out and learn it. Just after few observational flights they learn the shortest way out.
2) Every day some amount of young bees over age 8days will try leave the hive to clean intestinum and learn the way out. Normally it is not very visible. The amount of that bees is not so huge. It is happening around from 1-3 p.m in sunny day with not so strong wind. But after few days of bad weather condition the amount of young bees is accumulating. So when the weather is getting better all of those accumulated bees are searching way out , learn it and make a poo.
3) swarming - this is obvious why. All bees trying rapidly leave the hive. Totally all, but after a while some amount of them going back ,rest of them including the queen fly away.


So the answear to your question - don’t cover the hive and don’t protect it against normal light. If you do that then bees will be behave unnaturally because will not used to live with light and later will be little harder for them to find way out from the hive because they ware learning in darknes before.

hope it help
Christopher
 
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