Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Uh Oh. This does not look good. I noticed this last night. Bob and I plan to open all our hives this weekend and get them ready for transport, but it looks like I'll need to do something today!

This is called "Bearding" and it occurs when the hive is too hot. In the summertime a hive stays a constant 95 - 97 degrees. On hot days, to cool a crowded hive, bees will encourage air flow by moving to the outside of the hive. Inside, water droplets are brought in and the brood chamber is cooled as the droplets collect the heat as the bees fan their wings over the water. The evaporated water is then ushered out of the hive reducing the temperature inside.

The opening to this beehive is too small and there is probably not enough room inside. When a home becomes over-crowded the bees inside begin preparations to find a bigger home - or "swarm".  For more about swarming read  THIS ARTICLE.
  Today I'll open this hive, inspect all the frames to look for queen cells - an indication of a pending swarm, remove any I find, add a queen excluder, and place an empty honey box on top, giving the hive more space and making it easier for the bees to regulate the temperature in the brood chamber, which is generally the larger bottom box of a hive body.


  1. Oh Marcy - I hope all turns out well for you and your bees.

    Kevin and I tried our hand at bee-keeping. One memory that will stay with me forever is standing in the flight path of a swarm of bees. It was like being in the eye of a hurricane. . . so truly awesome.

    We lost that particular hive to the wild. . . . we consoled ourselves with the fact that there needs to be more feral bees! This was years ago. Murray and I were at the old place a couple of weeks ago - and there were the feral honey bees in the vitex trees! So I guess all was not lost.

    Keep us posted about this hive!

  2. Hey Marcy, you guys can add an upper entrance to the hive.
    This will accomplish two things. It will help alleviate back filling (over crowding at the lower entrance)due to an under sized opening and also will aide in ventilation during the hot summer temps. Just shim three sides and a portion of the front side of the top of the brood box below the excluder.

  3. This is off topic, but I got your name from Tanya in panama city today. I would love to have a conversation with you to find out what you sell to the public. Thanks, Cindy