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Author Topic: Bees hang on front of hive.....  (Read 1570 times)
beebiz
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Location: McKenzie, TN


« on: April 18, 2006, 10:19:52 PM »

I have a TBH that I built by using 1"X8" lumber.  I moved the girls into it about 2 weeks ago, and they have done very well.  Since moving them in, I have done some fairly frequent inspections to make sure that everything was going well with them and have noticed no sign of any swarm cells or any other porblems... until tonight.

As I approached the hive around 7:30 PM, I noticed that there were many, many of the girls hanging in a cluster on the front of the hive.  The ball was about three times the size of a softball and was hanging from the center of the entrance to the hive.  Then I noticed that a smaller ball (about the size of a baseball) was hanging from the cover on one of the sides of the hive.

Anyone have any idea as to what is going on? I have made sure that they were not honey bound by placing an empty bar at the back of the bood area.  I have also made sure that the brood area is not crowded by placing an empty bar in the brood area.  And as I said, I have found no swarm cells.  So, what's up with them??  And what, if anything do I need to do for them?

Thanks in advance for any information and help you may be able to give.

Beebiz
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2006, 10:53:34 PM »

It's hot and the bees are bearding.  Very normal behavior, especially on a hot night.  But I would check to make sure they have room and ventilation.  You might prop the lid up some, steal add an empty bar into the middle of the brood nest or even add a super, if the dimensions are such that they allow it.
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Michael Bush
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TwT
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Ted


« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2006, 10:56:06 PM »

MB beat me to it,  its just the heat causing this, Ventilation will help...
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manowar422
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 11:04:07 PM »

At nightfall, all the field bees have returned for the evening.
If the temperature of the inside of the hive is at it's maximum,
the returning bees will "beard" on the outside of the hive,
because if they all went inside, it would become too hot.
(their presence inside the hive would raise the temperature)

They will sometimes "beard" all night in the summer months.
Many beekeepers use screen bottom boards and openings
at the hives top to let a good flow of air through the hive's
interior, but even then, the daytime temperatures heat the
contents of the cells and it takes all night to cool down.

See Micheal Bush's site for recommendations on ventilating
a top bar hive.

Sorry for typing so slow, there was no responses when I started cheesy
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2006, 11:59:07 PM »

When you see this situation, it is easy to take inner cover off and look what it inside. From crowd you see, do they need more space. If even gap of outer frame and wall is full of bees, they need new box. From brood area you se how much is emerging new bees. When you lifht frame you see are they hanging on the bottom of frame.

From number of ventilators you se if they have hot.
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beebiz
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Location: McKenzie, TN


« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 01:37:50 AM »

Thanks for the replies.  I have no doubt that the bees are just bearding due to heat.  Today we had a record high.... 91*F!  That's very hot for this time of year for us.  In stead of a bottom board, I used a 1/8" screen to cover the bottom of the hive.  I did this to allow maximum ventilation in the summer and to allow any resident varroa the opportunity to fall through.

The problem is not an overcrowding of the entire hive.  There is still room for an additional 12 bars to be added before the hive reaches capacity.  And, I don't really think that overcrowding in the brood area is a problem either.  But, tomorrow I will add another empty bar in the brood area.... just in case.  If it is another hot one tomorrow and we don't get the promised rain, I will make sure to prop the top open on the end opposite the entrance so that the hive can get even better ventilation.

Thanks again for all of your help.  I'm glad to know that the problem is not that big of a deal and is easily fixed!!

Beebiz
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 05:47:25 AM »

Quote from: Finsky
When you see this situation, it is easy to take inner cover off and look what it inside. From crowd you see, do they need more space. If even gap of outer frame and wall is full of bees, they need new box. From brood area you se how much is emerging new bees. When you lifht frame you see are they hanging on the bottom of frame.

From number of ventilators you se if they have hot.


Finsky, the guy is doing the " afro " style beekeeping. No inner cover.        No frames .     Just bars .  Just like YOU used to do, oh,  some 50 or so years ago.   wink

It's all good though.  Tongue
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2006, 10:50:41 PM »

I love this forum.  My bees are clustered around the front of both of my hives and it's 10:30 PM in Atlanta.  I was terrified that they are about to swarm tomorrow or that the fact that I removed the empty upper hive body over the weekend (see post: hive body goof up) made them too crowded.

It makes complete sense that they are hot - I have the top cover lifted up with a stick (did that on Sunday) and I use a screened bottom board, so I imagine this is because it was in the high 80's in Atlanta today.

In the morning I'll check to make sure they do have enough room.  My plan is, if they have drawn out 7 frames, to add a super this weekend.

You all are the best !

Linda T in Atlanta  wink
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