Is this an idicator of a problem with my bees?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by jaafallon, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I live in Northern Nevada, USA. The temperatures during the day are typically around mid 90's (F) in the late afternoon. The past few days, I have noticed that a large number of bees are congregating on the front face of the hive. This is a hive that is brand new (as am I to bee keeping) and was "populated" with new bees and a new queen on April 16th of this year. I am concerned that this activity may be a clue that I'm failing to understand. I've looked through my books, but can't find information about bees clustering unless it's bees swarming. Therefore, I would appreciate some expert advice as to what this clustering on the front of the hive might indicate and what I should do. I wonder if this practice may reflect that the hive is too warm and perhaps I should open the top a bit to enhance the ventilation, or if perhaps, this is a normal social activity by the bees and is to be expected. I am attempting to include a picture of the bees but am not sure I can. Also the number of bees on the hive face increases as the afternoon progresses.

    This is my first post to this forum and I want to say thank you for any help.

    jim

    It appears from a "preview" that the photo did not attach. Is that my error, or are photos not authorized?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    First, do a search for "bearding". It is a normal bee hive temp. control. Most beeks will tell you how to correct it. I will tell you to sit back and enjoy it. It's a sign of a good, strong hive.

    Secondly, links and photos are allowed from day one, so you must have punched the wrong button.

    Third, and most important, welcome to the forum. You have found the right place to be.
     

  3. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd throw in my 2 cents also, however the word expert, you refer too shuts me down completely !

    Take Iddee's advice :thumbsup:

    Welcome again.

    Murrell
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    welcome to the forum. Nothin shows the strength of a hive better than bearding on a hot day
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just common bearding, too hot in the house so they go outside and sit on the porch.

    forgot to say ......welcome to the forum :wave:
     
  6. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A big Thank You to everyone for their answers. Since I can expect daytime temperatures to be as high as 106° F during July and August (generally that would not be a continuous situation, local record is 114° F), is it necessary to vent the hive? It seems like it would be appropriate (lows would be in the low to mid 60s most nights). If I should vent it, what's the best way to do so?

    Also, is their a size restriction on pictures that can be attached to this forum?

    Thanks again all.

    jim
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I may add to the discussion, Jim hasn't stated as to how large the hive is that he installed the bees in on April 16th.
    If it was a nuc or package put into a single langstroth deep, it might be very crowded by now. Is it in a double deep configuration?
    Have you been inside the hive much since you first installed them and if so, give us your observations so we may better understand what may be occurring.
    It sounds like bearding, but ........................?

    Also, WELCOME :wave: to our forum, a great place to ask questions, and as you have already found out, a great resource to get answers.
    Congratulations on your choice of a hobby! :mrgreen:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    jaafallon writes:
    is it necessary to vent the hive? It seems like it would be appropriate (lows would be in the low to mid 60s most nights). If I should vent it, what's the best way to do so?

    tecumseh:
    you are in a fairly unusual bit of geography. there are some basic that you will need to consider for your hive(s) to survive there. venting and protecting a hive from 100 + temperatures will be essential. most standard hives do not allow for the circulation required at those kinds of temperatures. you can provide vents by producing cracks by 1) misaligning (front and back) the boxes or 2) adding building shim (trangular wedges that you use to shim up doors and windows) between the boxes (I find these most especially helpful when placed towards the top of the stack). you may also need to provide a bit of screen shade to protect the hive from the sun somewhat. lastly I have found reducing the number of frames by one (ie 9 frames in a 10 frame box) also helps in promoting good air circulation within the hive.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There are different ways of venting...............

    Prop open the top cover a little with a stick or shims.
    Drill a hole in the front of your honey supers.
    Offset the boxes a little.
    Some of the telescopic covers have enough play in them to slide forward leaving a gap between the front inside of the telescopic cover and the front outside of the inner cover, a small notch (about 2") is cut out of the rim on the inner cover.
     
  10. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My wife and I opened both hives (A & B) and found one to be nearly full and one with three frames practically untouched. In the second one (B), we removed one frame and balanced the other nine across the hive. We added a second hive body (tall style) to the first hive (A). I was shocked that there has been so much "work" done in so short a time. Lots for my wife and me to learn. We also used two nails set across one end of the hive to help vent them.

    Thank you again for your help on this. It is so nice to be able to ask a question and get a number of answers right away as opposed to trying to find a local bee keeper to ask.

    jim & jane
     
  11. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I will be putting a second-floor (hive) on hive "B" in the next few days. I'm going to try the "hole in the front" method of venting. Once I drill it, does it need to be covered with a piece of screen (on the inside) or do I simply leave the 3/4" hole open?

    jim & jane

    BTW, after venting the hives yesterday morning, the number of "bearders" dropped dramatically. Thanks for all the tips. They worked!!!
     
  12. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Leave the hole open, they will use it as a top entrance also. If you leave it on over the winter a cork will fill it in nicely.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    if you have conventional equipment with hand holds then the hole needs to be below the handhold. I personally do not like to drill holes in hive bodies.