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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my hives beards overnight every night that is above 40 degrees and I can't figure out why. While the hive is fairly packed with bees, I don't think it's a space issue because as soon as the sun comes up but before the bees head out to forage they go back into the hive. They also don't beard at all during the day no matter how hot it gets. So why are they doing this?
 

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Check ventilation although I've had some colonies that just seem to like doing it. It may be that the cluster location and size prevents good ventilation at night and the bees beard instead.
 

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I'm not sure that they don't just like hanging out on the porch. After you have eliminated the other possibilities, keep an eye on them but you already know that "bees do what bees do". If you were close to me I would give you a screened bottom board to see if it made any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well they've got a screened bottom board on already, and both an upper and lower entrance as well as a venthilated top cover... so hopefully venthilation isn't a problem... if it is then I don't know what else I can do about it.

They've also got a new super on there, and were split just two weeks ago, but that didn't stop them from hanging out on the porch at night.
 

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How interesting, I will be waiting to hear other speculations. What genetics are your bees?
 

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I would try a vertical slated rack. From the picture it does not look like good air flow around the hive.

I am a Rookie and that is what I have read about the bearding.:scratch:

Brooklyn
 

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Beeball Coach,

I just came in from sitting outside by one of my top bar hives, and they are bearding just as much as the photo, it was mid 70's and humid all day. This hive did the same thing all last year also once the weather warmed up in the spring and the night temps stayed pleasant(mid 50's or better).
 

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Bens-Bees,

I wouldn't be too concerned about the bearding, sounds like they just want to be out there at night, I have a top bar hive that does the same thing also, and they have plenty of ventilation and space. The bearding lessens towards morning, and disappears almost completely during the day when they are actively foraging. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon they start hanging out again. I'm thinking that it may have something to do with an increasing number of field bees staying at home in the late afternoon, I guess they put in their 8 hours work.
 

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Well, since they're all GRITS (Girls Raised In The South), maybe they're just enjoying the porch like proper Southern Ladies. Might want to check for little mint juleps in their pollen baskets.
 

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I'm just thinking outloud here, no proof or scientific study, just thinking. Maybe a good flow, the bees hang out at night while the honey packers inside store it away. I've noticed that adding a box on the bottom of the hive-stack will help to reduce the bearding. I think it's from giving the field force somewhere to hang out, out of the way of the nectar storage and ripening going on up above in the broodnest and above the broodnest.
 
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