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3rd week Inspection


#1

Last night my son and I inspected our hives and both appear to be doing well. They both have capped honey and pollen on the outside frames and quite a bid of capped brood. We saw the queen again in the stronger hive. There are larvae in brood frames on both hives. In both hives on the center frames there are quite a few drone cells on the bottoms of the frames. If I had to guess a percentage of drone cells versus the remainder of the cells on the frame it would be less than 5%. From everything I have read in books and on this forum at this point I don’t think this is an issue but I would like to hear fellow beek’s thoughts on this.

In the hive that is the weaker of the two I have noticed the following occurring the past couple of nights. See pictures below. Can someone confirm what this is?

Thank you for the help!

https://youtu.be/y05OQ-4Q2WQ


#2

That looks like a little mini-beard to me - almost a mustache, really! :smile: Must be having some warm days? I would call it bearding, because they are not moving very much. If you don’t see a load of queen cells in the hive, it is unlikely to be swarm prep.

Bearding is a normal behavior in hot weather. Lots of people like to be outside in the shade rather than in a humid, hot room on a warm day! :blush:


#3

@Dawn_SD Yes its been in the high seventies to low eighties the last three days. I noticed a few of the doing the tail dance before and after taking the video. Guessing the girls found something they liked and wanted to tell the others about it.

Both of these hives are really close to 80% full. Once all of the brood on the current frames hatch there will be quite a few more bees. Will be adding the second brood box later this week.


#4

Dawn,

I’ve seen this with my colonies several time since temps raise to the 80’s n low 90’s.

Here’s a couple of bearding pix’s from my bee yard here in Western Washington.






I’ve since added pennies just under corners of the Crown board n yesterday I went one step further n raise the front top of the top roof but lowered this morning as the day not suppose to be that intense heat (maybe low 80’s) Uploading… I’ll have to see how they do again this cooler afternoon. I will do inspections either later today or Tuesday (my weekly) n change entrance reducers from the 1" to the wider 4". I believe that might help too. What you think ?!

Gerald.


#5

Hi Jerry, I think they need a razor for that beard! :smile: Just kidding.

I think the 4" entrance is a good idea. If your inner cover has a hole which is closed off, you may want to consider a hole with #8 hardware cloth or insect screen over it instead. Otherwise, they should cope just fine. Bearding isn’t necessarily a sign of distress - just normal bee behavior.


#6

That is what I thought was happening but having someone with more experience than myself helps! Thank you @Dawn_SD and @Gerald_Nickel


#7

Dawn,

Thanks for the note. My Crown board hole is already covered with #8 hardware cloth n I’ve cut a center section out of the deeper frontside of that inner crown board.

I’ve also added a penny under each corner of the crown boards to allow a dab of air. It really seems to helped ! :+1:

Today I started my weekly inspects but only did Maple Hive my 5 frame ( the swarm I
got a month ago )…

. I wanted to change exchange brood boxes. I been using the one for my Observation Hive. I might need that for a bee class later this month so today was the exchange date ! As I traded brood frames out it was quickly clear with all the new capped brood, larva n eggs this box was FULL ! The honey super had felt weighty as well. I checked that honey super next n it was nearly 95% full too. Lucky there were NO Queen cells yet ! So I grabbed another 5 frame wood Nuc box is built with frames n added that empty super over the brood hive box. Didn’t want to take a chance they thot they were out of room in the Inn ! :ok_hand: then I added the FULL Honey super over the Empty super. Hoping that encourages the girls to start working that super immediately n give the queen space !!



#8

I’m going to try my luck at keeping one or more Nuc’s around to help build comb n bee resources. Wish I could get a second going. I’d down size my split Alder Hive n see what luck I might have wintering over. My 3 Nuc’s I got this Spring were Wintered over colonies. What do I have to loose ?! Maybe I’m too ambisious ! What u think my friend ?


#9

BTW Dawn … If the bearding gets out of hand I have the right tools to use ! :+1::wink:.

I still use these ! The bone handle one was my dads straight razor.

TaTa,
Gerald


#10

It’s interesting your bees beard at such mild temps. The temp around my hive has been hitting 120+ this week with our crazy heat wave and have not seen the slightest bearding. I guess that slatted bottom board may be working really well for me.


#11

I have Washingtonian bees. We don’t like too much heat up here ! :zzz:


#12

I’ve opened up my entrance reducer to the wider 4" n added penny spacers each corner on bottom sides of crown board. These two simple adjustments seem to have given them the added air n veneration needed to stop or at least great reduced their need to sit out on the front porch.



. Have a great weekend !
Gerald.