Bees outside hive for the first time

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Kevin, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    Hey all you lovely guys.
    All ready for Xmas?

    We have mid summer here now and my bees were all outside the front of my hive today, never seen it like that before. It was the hottest of the year so far. This evening they have gone under the hive between the base and the hive. Does this sound like swarming prep or getting too hot?
    IMG_5129.jpg
    All the best and a merry festive season! Kevin
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    sounds to me like too crowded and too hot
     

  3. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Looks like normal bearding to me. The image below is one of my hives at "peak" this past summer.

    EDIT: if it were swarm preparation, you'd likely have fewer bees "washboarding" and clustering and a strong cloud of bees between you and the hive. They literally seem to POUR OUT of a hive when swarming.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Bearding because of the heat. Check their hive for empty space and if none exists, add a box.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours.
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    looks like a good healthy hive needing some room
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    As others have stated check for room and add small block of wood under one end of the cover to provide for extra top ventilation. if the bees are crowed check that they haven't started queen cells if they have how developed are they?
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I vote with everyone else--hot and/or crowded. Aside from adding another super for room and making a space for improved ventilation (an easy way is to slide the upper super back or forward a bit, making an air slot along the joint) it would be wise to paint your boxes white. That helps reflect the sun's radiation and reduces heating from the sun's rays.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Good call on the white paint efmesch especially that close to the equator.
     
  9. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Popsicle sticks under the top cover adds a little space to aid ventilation.
     
  10. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    Thanks guys! It happened again today, oops, I went out for the day and the weather changed from an overcast morning to a super hot afternoon. I had a look in this evening, loads of brood and loads of bees, definitely crowded I'd say. No Queen cells which is great, knowing that Africans love swarming. So I added a super and got an umbrella set up for now. Ill have to come up with a plan. Not sure I can paint my hives now if they are already oiled and in use :) Would silver paint work too?
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    heat will do that to the girls. they are always looking for any excuse not to work and then they invariable begin looking for some place to hang out

    :wink: .

    with the exteme heat here I have found running 9 frames in a 10 frame box give you a bit more circulation up thru the stack. this is fairly standard practice with a lot of commercial folks although ventilation is not the primary reason they do this.
     
  12. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Sounds good--it should be reflective.
     
  14. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Kevin has scutellatas. I would be wary that the heat does not trigger the absconding or swarming impulse.

    I would ensure that there was a source of water nearby (but not next to the hive). Bees gather water, return to the hive and by evaporating the water have a cooling effect in the hive.

    Some ideas for cooling the bees have been posted. Perhaps other members working in hot conditions could post their tips.
     
  15. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    Added a super

    So Ive added a super now, the hive was more packed than I have ever seen, all a learning curve. I also put an umbrella over my hive, ha, its working well atm, no bearding anymore.

    The 1st super was full of honey, but not capped yet. Will they cap it before filling up the new one?
     
  16. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    You could do some preventive swarm control by removing a couple of frames or bees and brood and starting a nuc and let them raise their own queen.
     
  17. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    That could depend on the amount of nectar coming in. If it's really a heavy honey flow they might have trouble keeping up with the quantities. But under normal conditionx, the two processes move along together: earlier ripened honey will be capped while more nectar comes in. As the honey flow tapers off, the bees will catch up with the capping and less open cells will be visible.
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    Very good idea there, Apisbees, I still have a queen less hive round the back which I am neglecting as I have no spare queen, previous attempts to requeen and provide a frame of eggs failed. Hmmmm
     
  19. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Nectar Flow

    I echo ef's comments. During a good flow the foragers will bring in nectar faster than the house bees can process it. The house bees store the nectar in empty cells for processing later. One sign of this, is nectar stored in empty cells in the brood area.

    Don't laugh at your umbrella. If you look at the video on the Apinaut post, I think there is a sunshade next to the hiive.
     
  20. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Kenin if you are going to make a split put the new nuc where the queenless hive is now and take the queenless hive and shake the bees into the air 20 ft 7 M from where the hive and let the bees fly back to join the brood in the nuc.