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Keeping Hive & Bees Cool

With some 40c+ days coming up here in Perth any ideas to keep my bees as cool as possible.
I’ve put out lots of water stations and some shade over the hive.
Should I take off the board on top of my frames and give the bees access to the roof space?

I think you’ll be pleased to find the bees will self regulate the temperature in the hive.
They may form a beard on the outside, or even have a carpet of bees on the ground around the hive, to help bring the numbers and temperature down. Then when the temp drops at the end of the day, they’ll go back inside.
Best to make sure there’s shade around, so they’ve got somewhere on the ground that is not broiling hot.

I’ve also added a panel of insulation between the hive lid and roof (it’s like styrofoam, bought from Bunnings) which helps keep the hive a more consistent temperature, so the bees have less work to do. Thus followed me seeing some researchers in Australia trying it.

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Shading the hive itself would help more than shading the ground near the hive.

If they have water and the hive is shaded during the midday and afternoon they will get by just fine. Once the ambient temperature starts approaching 50°C then active cooling may need to be employed.

The ambient humidity also affects their ability to use their own cooling mechanisms - if the surrounding air is dry then their evaporative cooling will be more efficient. I imagine Perth is quite dry.

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Great idea. I’ll do some measurements and see what Bunnings have.
Thanks.
Merry Christmas :honeybee::christmas_tree::honeybee::christmas_tree:

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I’ve got lots of little watering stations everywhere and I’ll check them in the heat of the day.
As an emergency plan and If it goes over 45oC how about a wet towel or sheet draped over the roof of the hive and down the sides. Obviously nowhere near the entrance. Then I could just wet it regularly as it dries out.

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I have added 25mm foam board insulation into the lids of all my hives with another piece on top secured with a brick.
The hives are in full sun all day and have never had an issue. I think they set up their own air paths to maintain the conditions within the hive and altering the hive layout will hinder rather than help in some cases. All of the lid vents have been propolised closed and I’m not going to clear them because I think they need airflow.:wink:
Yes they will beard but so do the feral tree colonies, to me it’s just normal.

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Thanks for the info. Merry Christmas :christmas_tree:

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