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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Read books all winter, purchased an established hive, Screen bottom board,lotsa mites, full and medium brood boxes, queen excluder and one super. Problem - bees are hanging out outside the hive at night... front landing area and up the box... never read about that.

252 Posts

Without knowing any details about the health of the hive, it is difficult to diagnose.
Supposing that the colony is strong then the Bees hanging out on the front is fairly normal when the weather is hot. I noticed that your weather is fairly warm for this time of the year. If the hive is strong it just means that there are too many bees to comfortably maintain a proper internal temperature. Some of the bees will come out and hang off the front. Some being thousands at times. It does seem odd that you are having this so early in the year.
I am unsure of the pests you have in your area, but depending on the strength it could be that you have an infestation of small hive beetles. This would be apparent by simply observing and cracking the hive open if necessary. If the small hive beetle is in your locale it has the potential to take over a weak hive and the bees will abscond due the internal destruction.
I do not believe this is the case from what you described, but thought I would mention it.


[This message has been edited by Kurt Bower (edited March 11, 2004).]

Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
54,120 Posts
True, I'm not in your climate. I would find it unusual to see them hanging on the front unless the hive is very crowded, or it's very hot. You often see a "bee beard" even in the daytime on an exceptionally hot day, but always on hot clear nights.

I take it as a sign I need more room or more ventilation. If I've covered that, then I don't worry about it.

For more ventilation just prop the top cover open or if you have a Screened Bottom Board that can be opened up to the air, open it.

For more room add a slatted rack and/or some supers.

Not to worry!

Yesterday, the high was 81F and the low
was 66F at Nut Tree Airport (the closest
automated weather station near you).

Your average high for yesterday over the
past 30 years was 61F and your average
low 44F. You are a good 20 degrees warmer
than usual, you lucky dog! (I am still
having to run my defrosters for a few
minutes before I can pull out of the
driveway in the morning! I am using the
Volvo heated seats [my wife the baker
calls them "bun warmers"] until about 8am).

I did not bother to look up your humidity,
but I have found that unusual (high)
temp and/or humidity brings bees out on
the front porch no matter if I even fit
a solar-powered "fan cover" driven with
4 CPU chip fans to pull out of the hive
and create an actual "breeze".

If your temp and humidity were closer to
"average", I might be concerned, but
I think you are seeing a normal reaction
to "extreme" conditions.

But you get some serious points for noticing,
and you asked the right question, so you are
going to do just fine with your hives.

Give 'em some more top ventillation, but
don't expect this behavior to stop until
you are back on track with "normal" temps
and humidity for this time of year.

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You guys are awesome... it was hot (80) clear night and it is a very strong hive, (new queen last year) I was just acting like a newbie! Called the guy I bought them from and he held my hand through it! Thank the lord I live in an area that is not prone to SHB. We do have mites - lots of mites.Gotta start working on that.
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