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Bearding…weather or space?

This is my first ever post, after scoring for info :grimacing: on previous posts. I am a new beek, got a five frame nuc in Mid October and transferred to flow hive 2 successfully. On last inspection (13 Dec) they had one frame left to wax, one frame 1/4 full. I have been waiting for these frames to be completed before adding the super, however, today being a warm 31degrees Celsius and 63 % humidity, my bees are bearding for the first time. I reduced the entrance in November using a piece of mesh fly screen rolled up as I saw two bees fighting.
So my question is should I a) drill ventilation holes in the roof space
b) add a super
C) none of the above
Please and thank you :pray: Any suggestions would be welcomed :+1:

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Hi Saraj,
Based on the info provided, I would remove the screen mesh reducer, for now, and put the vent holes in the rear access drawer cover in the up position. You could also remove your inner cover cap, if in place, and leave open or put mesh/screen over the hole if you don’t want the bees in the roof cavity. The bees are bearding because it’s hot and they’re trying to regulate the hive temperature to maintain at 34-ish degrees. Ie. the bees have come out to help bring the inside temp down. These small adjustments should them achieve this. On really hot days some beeks take out the tray altogether temporarily to help with ventilation. The bees should march right back in when the temps back down.
Good luck and I hope this helps :+1:
NB. It doesn’t sound like you’re quite ready for the super yet, but if you get persistent bearding after doing the above, you might consider some afternoon shading (if they’re in the sun in the afternoon) and ventilation in the roof as mentioned. I wouldn’t be too fussed with occasional bearding though.

To answer Q.a) No I wouldn’t drill any holes in the roof as ventilation, in fact I wouldn’t add any ventilation at all. All the bees need is an entrance, no bigger that 15sq.cm. It can be 2 entrances of 7.5sq.cm. each. One on each side, divided by an entrance reducer.

Q 2) I don’t think you’re ready for a honey super yet.

I agree to provide afternoon shade.

Many thanks for the info, I’m finding the more I learn, the less I know :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: This morning looks back to normal, but it’s shaping up to be another hot day.
I did a hive inspection five days ago and all looked good, no sign of queen cups, fresh brood seen and the queen spotted, so I’m planning on checkin again in a few weeks to see how they are filling up the last two frames. Just to have another opinion has helped no end, can’t thank you enough :pray:

Helps no end, thank you :pray:

Your a star, thanks for the info, it’s gratefully received :pray:

JeffH thank you :pray: I’m hoping this reply reaches you as I appear to have thanked the same person three times :grimacing: but it was deserved anyway :joy:

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No problem! It just goes to show the difference in opinions/options amongst beekeepers. Jeff is from the hot as hell north and says it’s not necessary and I’m from the freezing south (still waiting for summer) and have suggested ventilation options.

A good video for you & @Saraj to watch is on Youtube “City of the Bees”. It’s a great video which needs to be watch quite a few times in order to get a good understanding of what’s going on inside a hive. Pay particular attention to the “air conditioning” part of the video. I take what they say literally when they say that bees air condition their hive. With our home air conditioners (not that mine is working), we don’t open any windows or doors for added ventilation while it is operating. I don’t do the same with my hives.

It is my view that added ventilation only works against what the bees are trying to do, by letting more hot air into the hive. Let the bees do their job via the entrance only.

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Thanks for the tip, I watched all the YouTube videos titled City of Bees, and a few more. Many thanks :pray:

You’re welcome Sara, it was made in the 60’s. I’m sure you got the right one. Another good video, made more recently was shared by a forum member. “Nova, Tales From The Hive” or something like that. It’s a lot longer, however has some good information.



Thanks for the suggested viewing Jeff.
For those looking, City of the Bees is here:


Hi & you’re welcome Nathan.

Last night I watched the other video that I shared the link to. There was one very interesting part in the video. It’s about the Death’s Head Hawk Moth. They are able to mimic the smell of a bee & enter a hive unchallenged in order to get a feed of honey. What I find interesting is that it can’t just mimic a bee in general, it has to mimic a colonies unique individual smell. Unless during the night, it doesn’t matter if a bee from a different colony enters a hive, it wont get challenged.

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Agree that adding a bit of shade is your best course of action for now, and keep an eye on your colony population in readiness for a split or extra box if required.
However, I mainly wanted to add that I really like your paint job :slight_smile:

JeffH, the Nova movie is a great insight, loved it & thank you :pray:

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Many thanks Freebee2, the hive was painted by my daughter and looks even better with the super on.
I have rigged up a temporary shade for early afternoon as it’s been another hot and humid day with bearding again. I did check that air can still flow through the entrance reducer and it can. Roll on the cooler weather :woozy_face:


Looks like you’re near us, yes it’s pretty balmy…
The temporary extra shade sounds like a good call.

@Freebee2 Yes indeed, just up the road. How have your bees gone on today, being very hot and humid ? I provided some shade, but they still bearded and some even stayed out during the late rain (thankfully not a full on storm), but now Cane toads are circling :astonished: