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Author Topic: 108 and no bearding whatsoever!!!  (Read 3877 times)
annette
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« on: July 09, 2008, 11:30:55 PM »

I just had to post this information to share. We are having an incredibly hot, hot summer and this week is the worst. Today it got to 108 and I visited the bees to see how they were doing with the heat.

Well, I am happy to announce that the bees have not bearded at all. I believe the screened bottom boards and the Honey Run Top covers are really doing the job. Those ventilated top covers are miraculous and I highly recommend them.

Annette
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 11:36:10 PM »

That's great news Annette! Could be the umbrella also though, ya think? grin


...JP
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golddust-twins
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 02:30:23 AM »

110 here  and the girls are on the veranda sipping margaritas but no bearding.

                                                    Corinne
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Shawn
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 01:01:27 PM »

Well I had my first bearding the another night. I was going to empty their water and saw something dark on the outside of the hive. I ran to the house to get the flashlight becasue I thought for sure something was attacking the hive. When I got back out it was just the bees hanging out. Maybe they were just looking at the stars. The next day they were all back inside and I have not seen out since then.
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heaflaw
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2008, 12:02:13 AM »

Tell us about the Honey Run top covers.  How do they work and where did you get them?
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annette
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 03:48:48 PM »

Tell us about the Honey Run top covers.  How do they work and where did you get them?


A website called "Honey Run Apiaries". I will try to post the link here. They have these fabulous ventilated covers and I have not had any moisture in the hives in the winter and no bearding in the summer.

http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/season-inner-cover-p-50.html?osCsid=cff454ef8661d4ed6a3201f5963df2de
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ElDoBill
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2008, 05:47:08 PM »

I'm not having any bearding at 105 either, using SSBs and inverted bottom boards under telescoping covers.  Supposed to break the heat wave today, hope the weather guesser is right.
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2008, 05:55:38 PM »

I'm not having any bearding at 105 either, using SSBs and inverted bottom boards under telescoping covers.  Supposed to break the heat wave today, hope the weather guesser is right.

Yes, that is a way to go also. Getting any honey Bill?Huh
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blckoakbees
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2008, 06:57:34 AM »

Annette

Do you have top entrances on your hives or bottom.  I have bottom entrance and have been hearing top are better. I have the screen bottom boards which are built to be a bottom entrance.

I just checked on my bees today and they did O.K. with the heat also.

The air has been so bad with all the fires I was concerned it would effect the bees and it does not have appeared to.

It is really weird having the Sun and moon appear red.

JA
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 12:27:21 PM »

Annette

Do you have top entrances on your hives or bottom.  I have bottom entrance and have been hearing top are better. I have the screen bottom boards which are built to be a bottom entrance.

I just checked on my bees today and they did O.K. with the heat also.

The air has been so bad with all the fires I was concerned it would effect the bees and it does not have appeared to.

It is really weird having the Sun and moon appear red.

JA

The honey run top cover comes with a top entrance built in. It is very small, about 3' long by about 1" high, but the bees hang out there on top and seem to enjoy it.
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ElDoBill
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2008, 12:36:10 PM »

Annette, looks like the hive from the package is working in the honey super, 4th med, having filled the 3rd med with honey for them for the winter.  Another week or two of the starthistle bloom should give me a little this year.  Going to check the combined hives this morning. The one hive was queenless and boy did they settle down after the combine. Nice to be able to sit up there without being challenged.  The SABA meeting is next Tuesday, are you going?
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annette
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2008, 12:41:29 PM »

Annette, looks like the hive from the package is working in the honey super, 4th med, having filled the 3rd med with honey for them for the winter.  Another week or two of the starthistle bloom should give me a little this year.  Going to check the combined hives this morning. The one hive was queenless and boy did they settle down after the combine. Nice to be able to sit up there without being challenged.  The SABA meeting is next Tuesday, are you going?

I do not like to drive all the way into Sacramento at night by myself. If you are going, can I hitch a ride with you??
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2008, 10:49:40 PM »

Annette, I suppose that is good news, how is your honey production so far this season?

I'm also using the Honey Run top covers with SBBs, but we've had mixed results with bearding. I'm not convinced that bearding is what you want to avoid, I think honey production is the bottom line and the better ventilation definitely helps.

We added this set-up late last year to both hives and used the insulated insert over the winter on both hives. We lost the 2-year old hive but the first-year hive survived the winter just fine. We replaced the ones we lost (Italians) with a new package of Minnesota Hygienics in April. Both hives built up well this spring and despite lower than normal rainfall, the 2nd year hive (Italians) started packing their first super on May 3rd. The new hive (Minnesotans) started moving into their first super the last weekend of May. 

By the end of June we noticed the Minnesotans were bearding, but the Italians were not. It didn't seem to matter if it was a day in the 70s or a day in the 90s.  By July 5th we needed to harvest from the Italian and took two full supers with a net production of 65 lbs! We left one full super that wasn't completely capped and added an empty one that day.

Now it's worth noting that 65 lbs already surpasses any single year's harvest we've seen in our 3 years of beekeeping and this was just spring honey and just from one hive.

As of today (July 12) we just added a third super to both hives and since July 5th, they've both done a tremendous job of packing nectar. However, both hives have been bearding every evening since July 1st. Again it didn't seem to matter if it was 90s or 70s. It also didn't seem to make any difference after giving them more space with a new empty super.  They are even bearding today when it is only 71 outside and they both have new empty supers just installed.

As for production, barring any tragedy, this is looking like our end-of-summer harvest could be 3X more than we've already taken. A banner year indeed!  If they can produce like that while bearding, why should I care. If the better ventilation has made them more productive, I'm grateful.

More details and photos of the bearding is on the blog here:
http://beesandblooms.blogspot.com/2008/07/bee-bearding-observations.html
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annette
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2008, 10:52:00 PM »

That's great news Annette! Could be the umbrella also though, ya think? grin


...JP

The umbrella keeps me from bearding!!!!
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annette
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2008, 10:59:54 PM »

2 Wheeler

That is great news about your honey production this year. I am surprised about all that bearding though. Do you have very high humidity??? Perhaps the high humidity makes them beard no matter what.

I do not believe the bearding has any relation to your honey production though. I always read that hot bees do not work as hard or produce as much. (spending to much time trying to keep the hive cool)

There is probably a lot of nectar this year in the flowers and your strong hives are taking advantage of all those good food sources.

This has been a terrible year so far for my hives. They just started to fill up some supers with honey a few weeks ago. I will check tomorrow and see if there is anything for me this year. We are having a severe drought and so not to much nectar sources for them this summer. Hope it gets better. I would just be grateful at this point if they make enough for themselves.

Take Care
Annette
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2008, 11:25:56 PM »

No humidity here -LOL!  We're at 5,000 feet elevation and have had only 4.16 in. of total precipitation since January 1st. When it does rain, it usually evaporates before it hits the ground. I've seen it raining with less than 20% humidity.   Maybe they need some humidity?  They do have plenty of water nearby though.

As for the garden, it's not been a very good year. With our drought all of our fruit shriveled-up on the trees and fell to the ground in May and June.

Either way, I'm thrilled with the Honey Run covers; they are doing something helpful.
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-David Broberg   CWOP#: CW5670 / CoCoRaHS #CO-BO-218
Blog: http://beesandblooms.blogspot.com/
My Weather: http://www.leyner.org/
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2008, 10:35:48 AM »

I lik'em too. I use w/ SBB and slatted racks. I really like covers for winter. Permits me to driop a sugar board the size of a chicken pot pie pan right in the hole. No moisture, no bearding, great for me.
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2008, 01:17:51 PM »

Could it be that the better ventilation helps the honey cure faster?  We've never seen them cap-off the honey so quickly as this year.  Maybe that helps production?

Here is one improvement we've made to the design. We had some problem with some spiders sneaking in between some of the cracks that naturally occur between the top edge of the inner cover and the bottom of the outer cover. Since this interior open space is still screened, they shouldn't be mingling with the bees, but we didn't like to find spider webs inside the top cover.  To fix the problem I added some 1/4" x 3/4" closed-cell foam weatherstripping to the top edge. Now the outer cover presses down against this creating a tight seal - keeping stray spiders out. Since the ventilation comes through the open ports on the sides, this doesn't impact ventilation. Here is a photo of the finished cover:

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-David Broberg   CWOP#: CW5670 / CoCoRaHS #CO-BO-218
Blog: http://beesandblooms.blogspot.com/
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My Flickr Album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbroberg/
annette
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2008, 03:03:22 PM »

great idea. I actually do not use an inner cover with these. I just place the telescoping cover right on top of this.
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2008, 03:31:32 PM »

Nor do I. I use this as the inner cover. Sorry if my explanation was confusing. The weather strip shown rests against the telescoping (outer) cover.

I have another theory about bearding (at least the kind my bees are doing). I've been watching them closely as they return to the hive. At 1PM today it was 92 F and there was no bearding, but here's what I observed:

As each bee landed, they usually stopped on the front porch for a few minutes, then very slowly worked their way to the entrance. I used some timelapse photography to verify this. It looks like it takes them about 7-10 minutes typically to go inside. In the middle (hottest part of the day) there doesn't seem to be any bearding, but late in the day even when it cools down to the 70s there does.  Why?

I'm guessing this is a traffic jam as they all rush home with their final loads of the day. If a sudden increase in the number returning at once occurs, and they continue to linger on their way in, it would look like bearding.

I'm going to shoot some more footage this evening and see if this theory holds up.  I suspect I won't see any bees emerging from the hive and sitting around late in they day, just like I don't see any doing that now when it is hot. When they emerge, they fly off immediately. I'll see if I can update this post later in the evening and possibly post the time-lapse videos.

If they are bearding because it is too hot or too crowded, I would expect to see them emerging from the hive and sitting around. So far I haven't seen that behavior.
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-David Broberg   CWOP#: CW5670 / CoCoRaHS #CO-BO-218
Blog: http://beesandblooms.blogspot.com/
My Weather: http://www.leyner.org/
My Flickr Album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbroberg/
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