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Bees Drowning in the Rain


My bees normally hang out en mass on the front of their hive in the afternoon, probably having a chat about their days hard work! :grinning:…but this arvo it rained for a while, which we haven’t seen for many weeks and a lot of bees appear to have drowned on the landing board.:scream: The rain wasn’t that sudden to catch them out, I’m sure that if they had wanted to, they would all have had time to get into the hive. Is this because they don’t know to get out of the wet and simply drown?


My Bees will sit in the rain but they don’t drown. There will be a logical explanation for it I am sure. I would not worry about it Bees are smarter than we think :slight_smile:


They don’t look dead; are they? The few bees on the landing board that might be dead were probably carried out by the undertakers.


Yes. Not many bees are there? Don’t worry


I agree with the other comments above, however in wet climates, some beekeepers put a sort of “porch roof” over their landing boards. When we kept bees in the UK, we used WBC hives which have exactly that concept:

It should be pretty easy to fabricate something similar for your Flow hive if you were really worried. Perhaps a nice piece of copper flashing, carefully shaped and screwed or nailed onto the bottom box? :wink:


Thanks for all the feedback, I probably over reacted a bit seeing them all soaked and not moving. After it was all over there were some dead bees, but probably as suggested, just normal undertaker routine. I’m in a tropical environment where the wet season is soon to start and when it rains it rains heavy. I’ve already got a shade cloth roof over the hives to soften the pelting rain, but I might explore the porch roof idea for the landing board.


Hi Rod, you have nothing at all to worry about. Bees are experts when it comes to rain. You’ll notice in your photo how the bees are positioned so as to deflect the water off them. Sometimes a swarm will hang on a branch in the rain for several days. I know that for a fact after someone phoned me about a swarm that had been hanging on a branch for 4 days. All we had for that whole 4 days was wind & rain. I remember thinking how amazed I was. This was about 25 years ago.

We get lots of rain, I don’t have any porch roofs, I don’t even have any porches:) You might see the odd porch on my videos, but they are on bottom boards that were given to me. The bottom boards I make myself always end up flush with the hives.


I like a decent landing board so I can see what the bees are throwing out. Not all of it gets carried away. Sometimes they just dump stuff outside the entrance. Drones overnight in the autumn comes to mind


Dawn n others,

As it get wetter n wetter up here in the gray, damp Pacific NW of Puget Sound I add an extension on the roof that helps devert most of the RAIN !

. This is also part of my Winterizing prep for my previous girls. A few still get damp but during the winter most of the bees are clustered above. Also I open a small small entrance above the honey super.

Ta ta,



Please install a patio cover over entrance of hive, cut piece of wood so angled and size that overhang will extend past landing entrance board, water drip onto ground leaving the entrance dry. With the tilt of needed for flow the entrance is leaning back into the hive. This helped with my hive installation of flow box.