Greeting to all. Any advice will be appreciated considering i am a new bee. Just recently joined not trying repeat what ive read thus far on the forum, however just want to get it right. Have two langstrom hive consist of freeman bottom board, deep body, medium, queen extruder and another medium. My question deep bottom is full of brood,2nd medium is capped honey and brood,above qween extruder is pulled comb and honey. My bees are bearding up at night and i feel like they are crowded so as not to disturb the brood. Would it be appropriate to add a second large super under the brood for more space
So you are already running a hive with brood in a deep and a medium. By the way, that is a queen excluder - queen extruders would be messy and lethal (teasing you)
The first thing to find out is what your local beekeepers do. If they use double deep brood boxes, you should too. If not, you don’t need to either. You would need to switch out the medium box of brood, because you will have a massive hive otherwise.
One thing to realize is that double brood boxes will not prevent bearding in hot weather. You may need to set up a shade cloth or something to help the hive stay cooler in the afternoons, or just let the bees beard.
We got a similar question recently when many on the forum were trying to give advise about the hive constantly having queen cells being built. It was only when he posted a photo that it was seen that the queen excluder was on top of two doubles and a half box.
It was advised to him to reduce the brood area down to just a double box and to put the 1/2 box above the queen excluder after brushing off the bees, the reasoning being that the scent of the queen was not capable of spreading throughout the hive. Doing that fixed the problem and the bees in the hive calmed down and stopped making queen cells.
If you have a box full of capped honey you could extract half of the frames then replace them back into the hive.
If it is heat causing the bearding then rig a shade cloth over the hive to protect it from the mid-day and afternoon sun and provide water for the bees in a shallow container 80% covered with floating sticks or wood for the bees to land on to drink. Also provide a wide entrance if it is adjustable to provide maximum ventilation.
Welcome to the forum John. Look for a local bee group for accurate local advise, they are valuable as a source of information for beginners.
That is the best laugh i’ve had allday. An extruder would make a mess of things. Thank for your advice .
Will check to see if honey super is fully capped and close to 80% filled this evening. Will probably be able to rig up shade of some sort. My bees like the water that drips from garden faucet i guess because it is cooler. Thanks peter appreciate you👍
Not a problem John, glad to be of help. I like the dripping faucet, a damp patch is ideal for the bees to suck up some moisture and not drown.
Your bees could also be bearding because they are getting ready to swarm. Don’t be frightened to disturb the brood. You need to disturb the brood in order to check on the brood from time to time, as well as swarm prevention.
So peter did check my hive this evening top medium super ( the one above the queen excluder) is only 30% full so there is plenty of room. However on bottom of large brood super i did cut burcomb(drone) off four of the frames in middle of hive perhaps it was just occulding the entrance. Your thoughts?
Hi John, The bur comb in that location is normal and needs cutting out periodically when you do an inspection of the hive. I do a full hive inspection fortnightly and a check on things weekly so that I can preempt what is going to be needed into the future.
I am a great believer in wired frames with bee wax foundation, it gives the bees less work to draw a frame of foundation as well as a guide on building the cells, I firmly believe it cuts down on drone cells. A hive needs some drones and the worker bees will control the numbers.
Make sure on inspections you remove any bur comb or crazy comb and refit frames as they came out of the hive if all is good, there is times it is good to swap frames about.
If you see small hive beetle use you hive tool to squash them but generally the bees will control them, I have never seen a hive that doesn’t have a SHB and expect up to 10 as ok, beyond that there is a problem with the colony, maybe weak in numbers.
Have you put up a shade cloth and has that cut down the bearding??
Bearding of calm bees is ok and in hot weather it is normal, they go outside to reduce the body heat in the hive, you might also see fanning at the entrance to circulate air in the hive. Ideal bee brood temperature is 93F.
Hit me any time if you are not sure what to do or something seems out of kilter. What is you boxes, 8 or 10 frame?
As a matter of course I would put the half box above the excluder and check regularly to let any drones out. Try keeping all of your brood boxes the same size so you can easily move frames around, especially when you have more hives. Once the bees have emerged from the half box let them fill the frames with honey then harvest it and cut out the comb. You can then put in clean foundation or let them build fresh comb for your next crop.
Valid point Dawn. I noticed early on with my hive, when it got HOT, (100 deg F) a lot of bees came out side the box and hung around the entry, sometimes three deep fanning air into the holes. I placed and old beach umbrella sited to ensure shade on the hive throughout most of the day, and it worked a treat, only a small amount of bees were then outside. BUT, the smell of honey could be smelt all over my back yard. I was expecting it to leak out. L.O.L.