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Author Topic: Hot summer slowdown??  (Read 961 times)

Offline sparks

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Hot summer slowdown??
« on: June 29, 2009, 12:54:09 PM »
2 packages and 1 nuc installed about 10 weeks ago.  Nuc is gangbusters and not a concern but the packages now seem to be stagnate.  They have built out and are raising brood in one 8 frame medium box.  I added a second medium about 3 weeks ago when they had a frame to go in the first.  There has been no progress in the last two weeks.  It is very hot here right now (104 ++ each afternoon) and they are in full sun.  I have 1 to 1 syrup on them as I don't think there is much to forage on around here at this time.  They are hardly taking the syrup at all.  The major question is;  Do they slow down brood and comb production in the heat even with good syrup supplies and should I be venting the hive at the top?  They are on screened bottom board and topside jar feeders in an empty box under the top cover with no top ventilation.  Thanks for any help in understanding the ladies.

Chuck

Offline charles

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Re: Hot summer slowdown??
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 01:51:12 PM »
should I be venting the hive at the top?

If they are bearding very heavily (covering most or all of the front of the hive and around the sides too) it might help with their temp management. I had a couple hives with SBBs bearding up about 1/3 - 1/2 of their hives. I vented the top covers and it had no noticeable effect, so I put them back. Down here the heat indices get up in the low to mid 100s daily.
4 hives

Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Hot summer slowdown??
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 01:59:10 PM »
You may wish to stagger the boxs.

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Offline sparks

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Re: Hot summer slowdown??
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 04:57:20 PM »
I really have no bearding at all on these two hives.  The nuc will beard very slightly but it is being vented and not being fed.    I just wonder if there is some reason the two packages are not interested in increasing their numbers right now. 

Chuck

Offline Grandma_DOG

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Re: Hot summer slowdown??
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 05:15:55 PM »
I really have no bearding at all on these two hives.  The nuc will beard very slightly but it is being vented and not being fed.    I just wonder if there is some reason the two packages are not interested in increasing their numbers right now. 

Chuck

I think your hives are about 10 miles from mine. 

The honeyflow is ended for spring. Turn of days came about 4 days ago so all the queens born prior to turn of days will reduce brood production. The heat is also killer, too bad you don't have afternoon shade.

All my hives are KTBH, no langs.  But I think in this area, most of the club only has one deep brood box, then supers. I really don't think you should expect expansion at this time of year.

Hope for Mesquite to kick in again, but don't hold your breath.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Hot summer slowdown??
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 02:08:32 AM »
2 packages and 1 nuc installed about 10 weeks ago.  Nuc is gangbusters and not a concern but the packages now seem to be stagnate.  They have built out and are raising brood in one 8 frame medium box.  I added a second medium about 3 weeks ago when they had a frame to go in the first.

Sounds like good beekeeping so far.

Quote
  There has been no progress in the last two weeks.  It is very hot here right now (104 ++ each afternoon) and they are in full sun.  I have 1 to 1 syrup on them as I don't think there is much to forage on around here at this time.  They are hardly taking the syrup at all. 

In real hot temps, hi 90's to 110+, the hive is more in need of ventilatiion than being fed syrup.  The fact that they are not taking says several things:
1. Too hot temps can kill the brood production as real hot, being the opposite of real cold, has its own challenges for the bees, they will often go into a brood dearth in real hot weather.
2. Bees will not build combs on frames or foundation where no bees are standing, they build under foot only.  So a brood dearth, or nectar dearth, can arrest the population growth and the bees will cease building combs.
3. They will also only collect enough nectar to sustain the hive during such periods as nectar dearths, hot temps, and brood dearths often go hand in hand.
4. They will start taking syrup again when they start increasing the brood production sufficient to increase the population rather than sustain it.

Quote
The major question is;  Do they slow down brood and comb production in the heat even with good syrup supplies and should I be venting the hive at the top
 

Yes to both. Without proper ventilation the hive can get so hot inside that the combs start to melt, the hive may be working overtime to prevent this.  Putting a stick under the top to vent the hot air and moisture (humnidity) within the hive can quickly change the condition so the bees will begin to take syrup or forage again, which means they will start to rear more brood again.
 
Quote
They are on screened bottom board and topside jar feeders in an empty box under the top cover with no top ventilation.  Thanks for any help in understanding the ladies.

Chuck

The screened bottom board is only part of the solution to properventilation, a vent at the top of the hive is also necessary.  If you look at a hive with a solid bottom board the bees must fan air in through the entrance, up one side of the hive to the top and then down the other side of the hive and out the other side of the entrance.  You have to sets of bees at the entrance, those fanning in and those fanning out. 
With a screen bttoom board you have the possibility of some ambient air movement due to the screening but a vent added to the top means that all those bees fanning at the entance only have to fan air in 1 direction, up.  Saves the hive a lot of work.
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Offline sparks

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Re: Hot summer slowdown??
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2009, 01:12:31 PM »
Thanks everyone for chiming in and especially Brian for your in-depth explanation.  My fears are relieved and a new vented top feeder is in the works.

Chuck