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Author Topic: Hanging cluster from front of hive  (Read 3001 times)
firefly
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« on: June 11, 2004, 07:32:03 PM »

I've had my first hive in 20+ yrs. started now for about 6 wks. They are doing great.

But they're doing something today I've never observed before with the dozen or so hobby hives I used to have.  They are hanging in strings and clusters off of the front of the hive--about 3 six inch clusters.

If memory serves, bees hang on each other in strings to build beeswax. But I've never seen them doing it from the front of the hive--off the landing platform.

Is there anything unusual that this might be indicating?
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2004, 12:24:29 AM »

Quote from: firefly
I've had my first hive in 20+ yrs. started now for about 6 wks. They are doing great.

But they're doing something today I've never observed before with the dozen or so hobby hives I used to have.  They are hanging in strings and clusters off of the front of the hive--about 3 six inch clusters.

Is there anything unusual that this might be indicating?


1) Nest is full of honey
 2) Too little space
3) Too little ventilation
4) Too good honey flow

See what is inside. Do they have queen cells?
Put more supers
Put entrance wider

Lear about situation and the sign. See inside.
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asleitch
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2004, 09:39:39 AM »

Use open mesh floor to improve ventilation in the hive. Sounds like they are too hot.

Adam
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2004, 09:48:03 AM »

Hi Firefly:

You are seeing bearding - several good topics - including one I wrote just a few days ago are in the SEARCH FEATURE - here are a few I looked up for you.

http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=773&highlight=bearding
http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=850&highlight=bee+bearding
http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=844&highlight=bee+bearding
http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=70&highlight=bee+bearding

These explain it in better detail than I can recap. It is a ventilation thing - a cooling method after the buildup of heat i the hive throughout a hot day. Generally you see it in the evening and it goes away into the early morning hours.

It very could be a swarming indicator or could be a temporary process to get them through a heat wave. Hope the articles help - they have a lot of responces.
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2004, 09:58:13 AM »

Thanks.

About 5 days ago I opened the hive box to peek into how they were doing. They had filled about 5 frames in six weeks from foundation-sheet frames.  So, they have expansion space. I also placed a shallow super on top with with queen extractor.

Sound, then, like ventilation.  I bought Dadant hive parts and the opening is only obstructed by the sugar feeder.  The box does get full sun in the after noons for about 4-5 hrs, otherwise, it's shaded. Maybe they need full shade.

I've been wondering about ventilation and it seems to me that the standard hive isn't designed with ventilation in mind--which seems a little absurd.

If I were to build a box and put ventilation holes in the sides, covered with screen, would the bees close these screens off and seal the holes?
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2004, 10:29:13 AM »

Firefly:

Looks like our slightly buggy log-in (it does have a learning curve) got you - check out this article on Logging In - it should help.

http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=399

clue: if (above a post window) it asks for you to enter your username and pass word, you are NOT logged In.

your screen should say Log Out [ Firefly ] - this means you are logged in.

sorry for the buggy log in - it takes TWO TRYS most often to log in and a good hint, use the honeybee image in the upper left corner to go back to the MAIN SCREEN.
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beefree
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2004, 11:42:10 AM »

those slatted racks for between the bottom board and the bottom hive body are supposed to improve ventilation.  betterbee carries them.  i'm using one in my own hive, and i have one in one of the four other hives i'm taking care of.  i can't really tell you this year if they do prevent swarming and improve wintering or not, because the hives with the slatted racks are new this year (3# pkgs), and the hives that don't have them are several years old, so i don't expect the new ones to swarm anyway, and the old ones have already required some other swarm control measures...adding supers and removing swarm cells.  Is anyone else out there using these?  noticing any difference with them?
beefree
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firefly
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2004, 01:30:32 PM »

Well, for ventilation, screened bottoms or slotted bottoms won't be any good unless you have ventilation up top as well.  This will create a draft.  While looking into ventilation for my roof at the GAF website, they said that one must have the right balance of intake and outflow vents for drafting to work at maximum. Stands to reason since air follows fluid-dynamics principles.

Perhaps a slotted bottom board, a gable-type roof/cover and ridge ventilation would be somewhat ideal. Reasons:

a. a slotted bottom board would provide ventilation across the entire surface area of the bottom. Rather than screening, it would be wood and, therefore, stronger material.

b. the gable-type roof would force the air to vent from the center of the hive, thereby allowing the hot air to collect at the top in a holding space. When the wind moves over the surface are of the peak you get an increased drafting effect due to the differential high/low pressure across the peak.

This is the principle at work in your ridge-vents on your house roof.
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2004, 01:44:40 PM »

About screen bottom boards.

Although you don't get a ventilation effect allow, fresh air can circulate around the entrance and honey temps can stay more steady throughout the day - less climb in temps from having any addition air exposure (not venting - but a breeze that might pull air out the entrance or at least assist in stablizing the ambient temps can't hurt.

If a fully sealed hive climbs 10 to 15F a day, then having air into the bottom may reduce that in half or more. SBB in addition to telescoping covers allow for a lot of venting though and better a hot breeze chimneying through the hive than NO BREEZE at all when the temps are reaching 100F.

I think having any air exposure is better than no air exposure, of course the bottom seems like the least effective place without topial access to vents, but again better air than no air.
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