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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening, everyone!

I've got two hives situated pretty much right next to one another. Ordinarily, activity at the entrances is more or less identical (though they sometimes orient at different times of day). I just now noticed that the entrance on one of the hives is almost completely blocked by a huge beard. Think ZZ Top. Now cut one of their beards in half and that's how large this beard is (maybe a little smaller, but let's not split beard hair). Could this hive be effectively reducing the entrance in order to prevent robbing? Is there some other reason one hive would be bearding heavily at the entrance, while the other seems to be business as usual?

Pretty hot today, but both hives have been in the shade since 3:00 or so.

Also, this happens to be the hive in which the queen got a little powdered sugar on her yesterday, so i'm a little worried about her well-being.

Thoughts?
 

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Firstly your queen should be fine. Breading is common when it's hot, but also when there is little room inside the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tomkat, thank you! It's comforting to hear the queen is likely fine, but as you might imagine, i won't feel fully at ease 'till i see her again. Interesting that you mentioned crowding, because this is, in fact, the more heavily populated hive with the most comb build up. So maybe they just had a harder time keeping it cool all day with the hot sun beating down, and it's taking a while for them to reclaim their temperature balances.

Being new to beekeeping, it makes me very nervous when the synchrony of the two hives shifts ... :)
 

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Figured out something this year. The humidity seems to be a factor with increased bearding. we have had days in the mid 70's with high humidity and a lot of the girls have been out for a smoke break. (bearding) on days in the mid 80's with low humidity not much bearding at all. Just an observation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your replies, Colby and Scpossum. I guess i won't worry about it. It was 90 degrees yesterday, but tomorrow, it's supposed to go back to the high 70's. Maybe both hives will look a little more like what i'm accustomed to seeing in the cool down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the response, Michael. I was just reaching for an explanation, and thought maybe it was a response to potential robbing - clever girls, using themselves as an entrance reducer. :)

I guess it must have been a heat thing. I'm eager to check this morning to see if that one hive is still doing it. After coffee though. My curiosity doesn't trump caffeine.
 

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Bearding and guarding are unrelated.
but do they look similar latly after doing inspections and there are robbers around it seems like the hives i checked put out defensive bearding and they are real aggitated but they calm down after a couple of hours. doing inspections early tons of pollen coming in and it seems like no necter coming in till later in the day. regular bearding starts later in the day when it gets hot.
 

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In my observation bees that are bearding are festooning and not guarding. Bees that are guarding are standing at or in front of the entrance and are checking out all the incoming traffic that passes by them. They are on their feet and paying attention. Bearding bees are paying not attention to anything that I can see.
 
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