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Author Topic: Bees swarming on outside of deep box  (Read 342 times)
BeeJack
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« on: April 16, 2013, 09:26:43 PM »

   New to bee keeping for 3 weeks. Have 10 hives. This evening 8:30 PM in Florida its 86 degrees and humid. The bees ( couple thousand ) are all over the outside front and one side of the box. Beginning from the entrance and in some areas stacked on top of each other.
Does this mean they are about to swarm.
 
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tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 09:35:16 PM »

Sounds like it's to hot for them inside. Do you have screened bottom boards or inner covers on your hives?
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BeeJack
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 09:41:49 PM »

 The temperatue was my first thought too, so I removed the feeding jar on the cover to allow hot air to vent up and out.
There is no inner cover and the bottom is solid (not screened) on that hive.
Should I assume a screend bottom is the answer.
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schawee
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 09:42:54 PM »

they will make bees get out like that to control the temp.better. its called bearding.i will check the box to see if they need more room too.i don't have screened bottom board and I have no problem  with them when they beard.       schawee
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 09:45:15 PM »

It's called bearding. Either not enough empty space or not enough ventilation. I like to see bearding on my hives when they have plenty of space inside. It's a sign of a strong hive.

edit: OOPS. Schawee beat me to it.
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BeeJack
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 11:15:37 PM »

   Bearding: thats exactly what the bees look like.  A beard.  This weekend I installed another deep box on top making a total of three deeps.  I will leave the jar off the feeder opening on the lid to allow for venting as you recommend. I wonder how the bees will respond when the temperature is actually hot in another month.
  Thank you for all of your help and knowledge. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 12:02:18 AM »

Yes, probably bearding, but in the spring I’m a little more suspect of their intentions.  Don’t know when the swarming season is down there.  Up here, the bees (at least my bees) often collect in mass (like beading) a day or two before a swarm.  That shouldn’t be too unusual since a hive about to swarm is usually overflowing with bees to being with.  Just saying….be a little wary in the spring.

I kept all of my bees in at least 1” thick foam hives all summer without any extra vents.  While Michigan isn’t Florida, it sure felt like it last summer!  I would argue a lot of the extra heat in your hives is due to solar gain through the thin wood.  Insulation blocks the solar gains.  On the other hand, I did live in Tampa for a few years and know how un-Godly hot it gets down there….which is the reason I’m back in Michigan now.   grin 

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dfizer
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 12:06:28 AM »

Starting off with 10 hives is pretty aggressive.  Good luck.  I hope all goes well.  I live in upstate NY and have serious bearding issues each year.  I'd make sure that they have plenty of space inside the hive.  You just want to make sure that the only reason they are outside is due to heat.  It's kind of like when I was a kid and the heat inside of the house was unbearable all I wanted to do was get outside.  The bees are the same way.

Enjoy your bees!

David
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