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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone - I'm new to beekeeping and the forum; thanks for all the great info in here. I installed my bees at sunset day before yesterday. They've been bearding all around the entrance right from the start. Checked at 9:00 last night, 60 degrees out, still there. There is a feeder installed in the follower board inside. Queen cage is eight bars in, total of ten bars in the install area. I peeked under one bar last night, and they are in there working. If bearding can be caused by temp/ventilation, I'm wondering about my entrances. In the photo, the square board is 8x8. It stands 3/4" off the surface. Under it, there are four 3/4" holes. Have I allowed enough entrance space?

Lawn Yard Cart Grass Tree
 

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Bearding occurred to my TBH at first too, I think its just fine at the beginning.

Because if you think about it, where are all those bees supposed to go? There are no combs yet built to walk on and hang from and tend to. And they can't all be building comb at the same time. (too many cooks in the kitchen) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, btt221! That cover is only attached with a couple of screws, but I will change it so it can just be slid on or off. I never thought of being able to open or close up the entrance holes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi m0dem - maybe they're sorting through who gets the top bunks? ;). How long with yours before they all moved in-house? The four holes under the cover are the only ones in the hive, and the roof fits very tightly, so my first worry was that I'd built the hive too tight.
 

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Not having a vent hole above the entrance hole may be making it too hot inside the box. My top bar hive has four entrance hole evenly space along the long side of of the box. Above each entrance hole but below the top bars is a screened off vent hole. It could be that some of your bees are hanging outside the hive box to reduce the heat load inside the hive box.
 

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I have one hive that has been bearding almost constantly for over a year. They superseded the queen this spring and are still doing it. They are right next to an unrelated colony in an identical hive that never beards, but often keeps the entrance nearly blocked with propalis. I let them do what they want to and stay out of the way.
 

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Hi m0dem - maybe they're sorting through who gets the top bunks? ;). How long with yours before they all moved in-house? The four holes under the cover are the only ones in the hive, and the roof fits very tightly, so my first worry was that I'd built the hive too tight.
Think about a tree cavity (the most likely natural hive location). Often only one entrance, and no other ventilation. About the only difference is the cavity walls may be thicker, which would provide more insulation, but would otherwise allow for less air exchange.
 

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Hi m0dem - maybe they're sorting through who gets the top bunks? ;). How long with yours before they all moved in-house? The four holes under the cover are the only ones in the hive, and the roof fits very tightly, so my first worry was that I'd built the hive too tight.
Oh, maybe a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There needs to be good airflow under the roof to take away heat from the roof. You don't want the top bars subject attic heat during the summer.
Hi Chuck - Thanks; I had planned to vent the roof, but was scrambling to finish the hive and didn't have the material on hand (the package came early and sat in my basement for three days). Looks like I should have made that one last trip to Lowes! Maybe I can still add gable vents - working on the roof might not upset the bees too much?
 

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Silly question. Why dont you leave the top gable roof open or off the hive for now. There should be enough gaps in the top bars to provide ventilation on its own. If you are worried about rain, just put a cheap flat plywood panel or other type of panel. ?
 
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