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cover observation hives to keep out light?

2849 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  brushwoodnursery
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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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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Maybe it is bee race dependent. If you would like to see my youtube channel (windowbee), you can see there all my hives kept that way(with no cover) from 2009. Bees place propolis only in the edge of glass. But the bee distance between glasses is 38mm. Thats are my observations. Some wideos are semi English version 😉
 
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