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Author Topic: Bees Bearding  (Read 1690 times)

Offline MEdmonson

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Bees Bearding
« on: May 20, 2006, 11:14:08 PM »
Record breaking heat in Oklahoma this week... Noticed my bees bearding I think.  What are they doing when they congregate at the front of the hive in mass? intuitively it would seem that that they aren't doing the ladies inside a big help by hanging on the outside but would be more beneficial for them to be inside fanning.

I am a new beekeeper and have really injoyed this site. Thank you

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Bees Bearding
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2006, 12:53:39 AM »
Bees on the front of the hive are there for any one or all of several reasons.  
1. It's hot inside and moving the bees outside gives room for fanning (moving air through the hive).
2.  It's crowed inside and it's past time to super.
3.  The is a build up of bees denoting a possible swarm situation.

In case 1 I use a slatted rack and maybe add a super.  In case 2 I take the same action as case 1.  In case 3 (if swarm cells are present) splitting the hive by taking the new queen to a new hive and leaving the queen cells will make the bees in the original hive think the swarm has already occured and well settle in and the first queen out will kill the unhatched queens.
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Offline To Bee Or Not To Bee

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Bees Bearding
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2006, 12:59:51 AM »
I noticed one of my hives also has a bunch of bees on the front porch.  They all look like young bees.  I have screened bottom boards and a slotted racks.  I think they are running out of room so I am going to add a honey supper in the morning and see if that helps.
John

Offline Michael Bush

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Bees Bearding
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2006, 10:32:21 AM »
A few is normal.  A lot of bees bearding and I try to create ventilation (open the SBB up, prop the lid up etc.) and make sure there are enough supers.  Usually I can get them to go back inside if I do this.  On a REALLY hot day, it may not work, but at least I helped.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline MEdmonson

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Bees Bearding
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2006, 09:33:19 PM »
I am waiting for supers from Dadant which hopefully UPS will deliver by Wed...

The hives are in partial shade in the afternoon during the heat of the day.


Today the beard wasn't so thick but a good bunch of bees were on the front all pointed to the hive opening and moving there front feet.  If they where trying to cool the hive it would seem that moving the wings would be most effective.  Anybody know the purpose of moving the front feet?

Offline Michael Bush

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Bees Bearding
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 08:30:45 AM »
Maybe they are doing the "washboard" dance.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline tillie

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Bees Bearding
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2006, 10:34:19 PM »
Michael, you are such a great source of information.  

I looked up the washboard dance:

http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/faculty/mussen/03-04-03.pdf

and I feel reassured that THAT is what my bees are doing.  I've been so worried because there are so many of them outside the hive while I have an empty super, SBB, and the top propped open.....but why was I worrying?  

They are DANCING!!!

Linda T in Atlanta :lol:
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com
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