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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is similar to an earlier post I made (sorry) but I'm focusing more on times of extreme heat instead of general summer conditions....

I know bees can handle hot weather and I have a good water source for them. We are going to be 109 today and the humidity will probably be in the single digits (good for their evaporative cooling). It will be like this most of the week and for much of the summer.

In a suburban / urban area does the nectar flow shut down in this kind of heat and should I feed syrup? I inspected the hive 2 days ago and they have lots of resources but there is also lots of larvae. I don't have any pollen patties but wondering if I should have some for the summer?

I would really appreciate hearing from folks that deal with these summer conditions and if I need to take any precautions. Thanks.
 

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Kelly:

I keep bees on the Florida/Alabama line. We do not see 109 frequently, but are commonly above 95 for weeks at a time in the summer. Different from you though, we have staggering humidity (above 85%).

I have located my yards within 1/10th of a mile from water sources, so I do not have to provide supplemental water. If I did not have those sources, then I would definitely provide artificial sources.

I do not know that heat will shut down a nectar flow. I suppose if these are typical summer temps for you, then your native plant species should not have difficulty. If you have no intention of harvesting honey, then I suppose you could feed them some light syrup. I probably would not. Instead, I would inspect their stores each week going forward and make sure they continued to have plenty.

I would not feed pollen patties.

109F is certainly extreme. I hope an experienced beekeeper in your area will chime in.
 

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Hey Kelly, I've had 105 - 114 where I am, have not had a problem. I have not given them syrup after the supers go on. They will still forage and bring in nectar, and some will go get water. For added ventilation I've a shim with an opening for a top entrance, and, I put small screws on every corner, on the top side, of the inner cover. The screws sit about 1/4 of an inch up, and when it starts to get cold in the autumn, I screw them back down again. They need lots of larva, as the summer bees only live about 30 days or so, so they need lots of brood to replace them. Like psm1212 says, don't give them any pollen patties, that's more for spring, or 'winter patties' for winter. There's plenty of pollen around for them now.

My hives get some afternoon shade from the trees they are next to. You could set up some shade for the hives, that may help some. Maybe one of those portable shade thingys, you know like vendors use at farmers markets. I know it gets BLISTERING hot in Redding.

Also, the bees are up really early in the morning, so they have lots of time to forage for nectar and pollen before it gets really hot. My theory is that once it gets really hot, that instead of nectar, they go get water.
 

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I can't help much but we are dealing with a heat wave and drought. I have noticed that the heat can be beneficial to a nectar flow, but if associated with the lack of rain,the nectar slows down. The lack of rain here coincided with the clover. Less clover and they aren't touching it. They are however, heavily foraging my wife's flower gardens which are heavily watered daily. J
 

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Kelly, I have bees in the same location as you. I've never had issues with the heat in Redding with the exception of a mating nuc that I left in the sun inadvertently and it cooked. Full size hives with entrances wide open have never had any issues. I keep top entrances on all of my hives as well. I don't put out water and the creek nearby is about 800 feet from the hives.

In terms of nectar, in my area it is pretty rural but they seem to do alright with nectar at least into mid to late July and then things will start get scarce. You could feed if you want to but they'll probably just fine if there's water nearby.
 

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I have 2 sun-shades over my hives b3cause they cut diwn the trees behind. They get sun all day now so the shade helps i think, but I'm a first yr beek. I'll post a pic when i get home for you to see. It's not pretty or perfect but it works for now
 

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I have 4 water sources in the gardens within 10/15 feet of all hives. One is a bird bath, two are rubber horse feeders and the last is a plate with sponges. The bird bath has rocks in it and the horse bowls have a couple of large rocks in them. The sponges are helpful in cold weather to prevent drowning.

Trying an experiment with the bird bath. Putting a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in it when I refill. Which one are they going to? The bird bath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have 4 water sources in the gardens within 10/15 feet of all hives. One is a bird bath, two are rubber horse feeders and the last is a plate with sponges. The bird bath has rocks in it and the horse bowls have a couple of large rocks in them. The sponges are helpful in cold weather to prevent drowning.

Trying an experiment with the bird bath. Putting a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in it when I refill. Which one are they going to? The bird bath.
LOL. I have water dripping on to the back side of a 12x12" floor tile. The tile drips into the dirt and makes mud. I also have a clean water tray with rocks. The bees go to the mud most of the time.
 

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IMG_20200622_051259443[1].jpg

Hope this pic comes out ok, but this is what I do and I don't even have the heat you all do :)
btw the buckets everywhere was to catch all the rain from the 45 min down pour we had in this little heat wave. Not that I have good grass anyway back there (never have)
 

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Linda, You aren't spoiling those bees, are you?:)
:shhhh: I also apologize profusely when I hear them scream when I get them between frames.
Takes me SO long to go through the hive because of that ;)
But I did kill a guard bee that chased me up to my deck... not having any of that
 

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That is super cute. I have coroplast awnings cut bigger then the telescopic top weighed down with a concrete block. Home Depot (4 x 8 )
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tigger, LAlldredge, thanks for the suggestions.
My hive gets periods of shade throughout the day from trees. In winter it will be in mostly full sun since the trees are deciduous. I think I'm just worrying too much. I just need to relax and let them work :cool:
I watched them closely yesterday and today and there doesn't seem to be any stress. Lots of foraging and a few gathering water.
 

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The only thing to really worry about in my mind are mites and nutrition (starvation). They are the #1 and #2 causes of death. As long as you're aggressively getting after each of those the rest will take care of itself. Learning to do an OAV treatment series is a game changer. I bought a Varrox wand and it's primarily why I had 100% overwintering success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The only thing to really worry about in my mind are mites and nutrition (starvation). They are the #1 and #2 causes of death. As long as you're aggressively getting after each of those the rest will take care of itself. Learning to do an OAV treatment series is a game changer. I bought a Varrox wand and it's primarily why I had 100% overwintering success.
Thanks. After my scare with the MAQS (which turned out OK) I will be trying an oxalic acid treatment. Since I just have one colony and hopefully a second one soon, I am considering the oxalic acid dribble or shop towel methods before investing in a vaporizing wand.
 

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It's a good thing we're talking. I killed my first two colonies doing oxallic acid dribble treatments. I didn't want to spend the money and instead read enough that I felt it was safe to do. It wasn't. I measured carefully and did a series of 4 a week apart. So the timing was the same as OAV. It was hard on the brood and within weeks my populations were dwindling. After that one hive started getting robbed out by wasps and the other didn't have enough stores for winter and died in the middle of November. Honestly it was a heartbreak. The following year I tried the shop towels after applying Apivar when they first arrived. It was okay but not really effective. Had I not done an OAV series in the fall I would have had much higher mortality. There must have been significant drift from other collapsing colonies around me because the count skyrocketed within days.

If you decide you love bees I would strongly encourage you make the investment in a wand. Of even borrow one until you know for sure.
 
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