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Quick observation and question:

As is the rest of the country, it's really hot here in California...109 in my backyard yesterday.

I noticed few bees on the move during the hottest part of the day, but a lot of movement once the sun began to set.

My thought/question is that as things warm up on a normal day, they begin to fly, as the heat generation isn't needed in the hive. But, on really hot days, they stay in the hive, flapping their wings to keep things cool. Is this true?

Thanks.

DG
 

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But, on really hot days, they stay in the hive, flapping their wings to keep things cool. Is this true?
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True, but there is a bit more to it.
The bees will collect near the entrances and other parts on the interior to fan their wings to circulate air thru the colony. Some bees may leave or be forced to leave the brood areas, or leave the hive completely because the congestion will hamper cooling efforts. It is the evaporation of water that is carried away by the air circulation that actually cools the hive, and the air flow only facilitates the evaporation process necessary for cooling the colony. Bees may also be diverted from foraging nectar to foraging water that is essential for cooling purposes.

In an experiment on how well bees can cool a hive:

Lindauer placed a beehive on a lava field in Salerno, Italy, under full sun, which raised the exterior temperature to more than 70C (158F): the bees were still able to maintain the internal hive temperature as long as they could collect water nearby.
 

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I put plywood boards on the south and west sides of the hives from June through Sept. They just lean against the hive with 4-8in separation at the base. Keeping direct sun off the hive has a large impact on productivity in the heat of our summer. Also prop up the top.

Both will reduce bearding on hot days. Remove the sunshade in Oct to keep the bees productive through the winter.

Just my thoughts -- Fuzzy
 
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