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Author Topic: just a general question...  (Read 1108 times)
dfizer
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« on: July 18, 2012, 05:55:29 PM »

Being new to this forum I wanted to ask a general question regarding bees hanging out on the front wall and landing board of my strongest hive ... i have three hives of which one is doing much better than the other two.  The one that is doing so well has large quantities of bees just loitering outside the hive.  I assumed that it was due to lack of space but that's not it since there is plenty of room in the super (nearly untouched).  My question is how to i motivate these bees to get to work and start foraging.  The bottom two hive deeps are pretty full which is why i added the super.. once it was added they started working on building comb etc however there still are many many bees just hanging out on the front wall and stoop so to speak...  this is at all times of day / including night...  what im trying to avoid is this hive swarming...  advice please!
David

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Ken
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 06:27:11 PM »

They are hanging out side to keep from overheating the hive. They'll go in once it's cool. They may not be foragers,so that might be why they are not flying off gathering.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 06:44:52 PM »

It's called bearding and like was said it's a way to lower the temps inside the hive. If there is no flow or a light flow and idle workers then all those warm bodies inside do nothing but overheat the place. That when some little busybody bee runs them all out on the front porch. My granny used to the same thing to us younguns about this time of year.
It is not a major problem just what bees do but if it concerns you enough ventilation will help to some degree. You can crack the lid by placing a small rock or pebble under it, I used to slide my supers to one side (pre SHB) leaving a gap, others like top entrances or screened bottom boards. I really do not worry about it unless it's a long extremly hot dry spell and then I might crack the top just a little.
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AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 06:48:58 PM »

Bearding is not a bad thing.  It shows you that you have a strong hive.   They may also be washboarding.  A natural thing for the bees to do.  Very cool thing to watch bees line dancing without music. 
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 06:50:08 PM »

And welcome to the forum.   grin
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Sour Kraut
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 07:45:19 PM »

It's just a way of keping temperature under control inside when its hot outside

If they have plenty of room, don't lose any sleep over it.
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 07:46:16 PM »

Welcome to the forum,Dfrizer.  And you know about bearding now.  If you have any questions just ask,like you have and people here will try to help.  Good luck with your bees.



Joe
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dfizer
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 11:40:11 PM »

Thank you all so much for the reassurance and information about bearding.  My fear is that they will think they are crowded and swarm off.  I have checked the hive and still no signs of queen cells. 
My story is this... I got interested in beekeeping 4 years ago and joined a local club to learn more before I started with hives of my own.  In 2010 I purchased all the equipment to set up two hives and subsequently two packages of bees.  When autumn came I had 4 full supers of honey that I harvested, then I did very little to put the bees to bed for the winter and subsequently neither made it through the winter.  Being a person who is more than a little bit stubborn I decided to embark on this quest to get hives going and have them winter over I purchased replacement packages and I decided to add an additional hive.  During 2011 I had some family problems/issues that took my attention away from the hives and subsequently they swarmed off.  The bees that were left behind were not strong enough to make it through the Adirondack winter.  Now, this year I decided to install nucs instead of packages of bees in the hives to give them a head start.  Now here we are with three hives in varying stages of strength and truth be told...I don't really know if what I'm doing is right or not.
Thank you again for the advice and I think I'm going to give them some ventilation....
Don't quite know how; any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated...
Best regards
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 06:48:46 AM »

Just put something under the outer cover to raise it just a little. This will give more ventilation,and if you have an entrance reducer,remove it for now.
Bees bearding does no harm,they do pretty good at regulating the in hive temps.
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dfizer
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 09:52:02 PM »

Recent developments:
Built a 3" ventilator that has one 3/4" hole drilled in both the front and back and a screen on the top.
Put this on in hopes of increasing air flow - hoping that the bees might stop bearding as much
After the installation was done I just sat and watched the bees in the front of the hive - much to my surprise there were several drones coming and going... and to be perfectly honest, I don't know quite what to make of tat.  I know there are mating flights and maybe they were coming in from that... Anyone know if there's anything more to that? 
Also I think I witnessed the dance where one bee is trying to tell others directions to the goodies.  Very cool.
Next, as the day went on, the bearding didn't slow down - in fact it just continued to grow. 
My main concern is that this uber strong hive swarms off...  I checked every frame in both deep boxes and none showed and signs of queen cells... Ugh this is a bit maddening...
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mikecva
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 11:29:46 AM »

Welcome to the forum.  th_thumbsupup

Years ago when I started beekeeping by myself, I did a lot of worrying. Then a good friend reminded me that the bees have done their thing for thousands of years without my help and will be around after I am gone. What I need to do is help provide them with a home and foods in time of dearths and they will give me honey for my help. After that I can help by fighting off the bees predators,  bears, mites, insecticides etc.  I get to spend hours enjoying watching them go about their business.

My 'friend' also told my that I do not get to call myself a beekeeper unless I get stung a couple of times each year.   lau lau lau    -Mike
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dfizer
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 07:08:05 PM »

Regarding the bearding... One thing that is interesting is that bees are flying directly into the beard... No where near the entrance.  What could be going on?  Most bees are coming and going normally through the entrance but a large number are flying directly into the beard and burrowing in / basically disappearing.  I just found this very curious. 
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nypam
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 09:47:25 PM »

We are new beeks not far from you in ny. We took a 6 week course from a wonderful beekeeper in pawlet vt. Other than this we went in blind as no one we know is a beekeeper. We had bearding a month or so ago when we had the last real hot weather. We worried about swarming too...we took out the entrance reducer and that seemed to do the trick. we added another deep since we only had one...we started with a nuc. Hubby checked a few days ago and we have two full frames of honey. We both feel better than we did a month ago. Reading everything i can at this site and trying to relax a bit. I'm trying to think like the last poster and remember the bees have been here before me. I'll be happy if i can keep a health hive and make it though one of our winters....if not try,try again.    Smiley
pam
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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 07:08:15 PM »

We've been having a pretty good flow lately (best in several years actually) in N/W Wisconsin (my bees are currently hitting on Star Thistle) and I've been taking 'one' or two frames of honey off each colony while they consistently build up steam. 

If I find brood (browned) comb and filled w/ honey I'll 'save' it for Fall/Winter feed back, but if its clean comb honey ........Well then that's gonna be my honey.  I then replace each honey filled frame taken with an empty frame, giving my bees something else to do (making honey) besides taking off for the woods  Wink

I am an ardent advocate for foundationless frame bee colonies and have only experienced minimal issues this year.  I guess I must be getting better at this because my 8 colonies are doing an outstanding job this year.

I'm so grateful we are not feeling the drought most folks are having to dealing with.

t
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