Bearding bees at Bridgetown, WA, Australia

Should I bee concerned at this extent of bearding here in Bridgetown Western Australia? Would appreciate any feedback. Temp 31 here today. Have given the girls an extra super to spread out and get ready for winter!

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holy COW! that is a massive beard. I think I’d be concerned if I saw one that big- concerned that the hive might swarm? Perhaps you might consider making a split? You might want to look in the brood box to see if there are any queen cells?


This is normal for hot days, the temp inside the hive will be considerably higher than 31. Are the bees hanging on the outside like this in the cool of the evenings? You have a good number of bees, perfect for gathering nectar to fill the new super.

Thanks Semaphore. Off to NZ tomorrow for 3 weeks so will have to let nature take its course!

Thanks Rodderick. Yes they mostly go inside at night. I took 8kgs out of the flow hive yesterday so have given them a bit of space.

Hiya Jim, were the bees bearding like that before you harvested the Flow frames?

Hi Skeggley, yes, and just had a look and still are bearding at 5pm! Enormous amount of flower down here at Bridgetown on the gum trees. Wondering if that’s what’s driving it?

My hives beard on hot days- but 31c seems a little low to generate such a massive beard. Your hive must be absolutely teeming - a huge population! If there’s a lot flowering then your hive seems perfectly set up to take advantage.

That’d be the Marri or Redgum flower, our main flow, great honey too. With some cooler days this week it may be worth a peek. Are you seeing many drones lately?

Thanks again for your input. After tapping the flow hive on Saturday I had a quick look in the top super I had added to give the girls a bit of room. Absolutely chocka block full! Was due to head back to Perth first thing, but took the time to pull four frames. They now have the 6 flow frames and 4 standard to work on until I get back from NZ in mid March. And I was concerned about them starting to stock up for winter!!! And yes, a few drones on the outside!

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@jimh How about an update on you hive Jim. Did you add an extra super? Do you think they may have swarmed? I have had that experience in the past with bearding over the full hive all round so I would drop another super on with mixed foundation and comb when I couldn’t keep up with extraction.

Hi Peter, a bit cooler over here in WA now. In the 3 weeks we were in NZ(late Feb to Mid March) the girls totally filled the extra (standard) super I put on top. Emptied that and then 4 of the flow frames. Between that and the cooler weather things seem to have settled down. I don’t think they swarmed and still plenty of bees in there! One full year now with the hive and have ordered Mark two Flowhive!

@jimh I have 2 of the mark 2 flow hives sitting in my lounge room that I will put on the hives in the first sign of spring when the hives are full of young, honey and pollen.
At that time I might also do splits on the hives I have and produce my own queen cells as I am really happy with the quietness of the bees I have.
Weather over here is wet and unusually warmer than normal with wattle flowering that normally happens in the Spring, I have my hives in old growth bushland and coastal heath and there is plenty of pollen and nectar.
My thinking is that your hive was short of room in the hive for the bees and that could be the reason for the bearding, if that continues bung on another super with foundation right on top of the brood box and they will work on that.
Amazing the number of guys that are 70+ and getting into bee keeping, I turned 70 a couple of months ago and this is my second time round with bees but this time just as a hobby and interest.

Good advice. Thanks for that Peter. Will do if it happens again in Spring.
I get the “Peter48” tag. That was my birth year (January)too. Great hobby to keep the geriatrics off the streets and out of mischief!

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When I say I produced my own queens that was when I had hives 30+ years ago, I still know how and might go that way again in this life. The biggest problem I find is finding the old queen in the colony, the rest is easy, but only do it to a hive that has the traits that you want passed on to a new queen.
When I was signing up to the forum I tried Peter1 etc so I ended up trying Peter48 and hit pay dirt. Gee, you are old, my birthday is February!!
We are still having unusually warm days to 30c and back into some passing rain.