Beekeeping Bees

How Honeybees Cool the Hive

Late this past May, I invested in another beehive with a friend, and placed it on my Mother’s property nearby.  Together between the two of us, we now have a total of five beehives.  We are quickly learning that there is safety in numbers!  Having more than one hive allows us to borrow from the others, re-queen easier in an emergency, and combine weak hives that would not survive in the winter.  We can also borrow honey from other hives that are overflowing and share them with other hives that have not been as successful.  My Mom knows only a little bit about the bees, but she is quickly learning and enjoying seeing them around her gardens.

Last night, she texted me this photo.  “What was going on with the hive?”  Bees were climbing up the outside of the hive. At first she thought it could be a swarm. I recognized it right away. We have had record breaking heat. The bees were bearding on the outside deeps. I quickly explained that this was normal harmless behavior. The bees fan their wings as a group. It is how bees cool the inside of the hive and also how they evaporate some of the moisture from the honey.  I then headed over to my hives. I was sure that mine would be bearding too!

 

Yes, as expected mine were bearding too. I sure hope that skunk family does not return again like last year.  No worries, the bed of nails are still in place.
Photo Credits: Tillys Nest and Mom

 

  • That is such a relief, thank you so much for sharing this!
    My bees have been doing the exact same thing and nobody had warned me about bearding.
    This is my first hive and I was afraid that I might be losing my bees!

    Thank you.

  • Mine have been doing this too! This darn heat wave is hard on all the creatures. So cool that you have multiple hives around! We were only able to start with one hive this year, but we definitely want to expand next year for the reasons you mentioned in this post.

    • Yes, it is SO hot here too! Same heatwave I suspect. I have been enjoying following your adventures too! Keep sharing. I love that we all have network together. Love learning from others as much as I share.