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Discussion Starter #1
Is in normal for the bees to gather outside the hive all night like this? This is not bearding, but I have noticed lately that they are coming out of the hive in the evening and amassing on the front like this until the morning. Is it possible that I have too much ventilation? I have completely removed the space so it is entrance is fully open. This was taken about 4:30am. I was out with the dog and noticed this.

2014-05-24 05.16.32.2.jpg
 

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'Not exactly unusual, but an indicator. Good observation! It's warm, and they are going out for a stroll. Waiting to get back to business. 'Time to consider providing more ventilation - tip up the top cover or provide an upper entrance. They will try to keep things cooler like this as long as necessary. Many will leave to forage during the day, which has the same effect.
 

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In my book normal hot summer time behavior, a big strong hive. When humidity spikes, not necessary temperature, it becomes more difficult for bees to cool the hive
 

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When they start this I pull the sticky board in my screen bottom board bases back a couple inches. Back in they go.

You need more ventilation, although bearding won't hurt anything.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Other than the main entrance which is fully open (no spacer), no because I have the bottom board in. I pulled it back about 4 inches this afternoon. Hopefully this will give them more ventilation. Of course the fact that it was 95 here yesterday and probably the same today with 54% humidity is not helping matters.
 

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That is exactly what I want to see down here this time of year. Any yes, it is bearding. Have you checked the hive to make sure they have plenty of room? As long as they have room, then you can say "Yah Hoo!". The more amazing this about those bees is they won't even wait for sun up to start their day. They will be gone as soon as the sky shows signs of beginning to lighten. Bottom line...that's perfect. Just make sure they don't need another box. Our flow down here is still kickin'. I see you have a double brood box. I run single deeps or double mediums for brood. You can likely split this hive with NO problem, maybe even two splits. Thought about it??

Edited to add, make sure your inner cover has the groove up and to the back, then push the outer cover back. As an additional note, I started with all solid boards, then jumped on the "SBB" bandwagon. Bottom line, I am converting all back to solid bottoms. They have outperformed the SBB's in every case, and ventilation has never been an issue. Just don't go too high on your boxes. We don't need to build booming brood boxes like the folks that have to over-winter do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Actually, I just combined this with another hive that was a package. The queen vanished and I didn't realize it until it was probably to late. No eggs or brood. The hive was weak and dwindling. This was done last Monday. Had about 3 1/2 frames of comb with some pollen, honey and nectar. They should have plenty of room. My hope is to split it once it has built some numbers.

I was considering moving a brood frame to the top on my next inspection. Provided there isn't one started already. The bottom box is pretty full, so I was hoping the queen would move up.
 
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