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Swarm or no swarm, that is the question?!

Hey, I’m new to bee keeping and had a question. My hive is doing well I think but now hive looks to be swarming on outside of hive? Is it a swarm or not?

What you have is called “bearding” and can happen more in hot weather when a lot of bees go outside of the hive to reduce the amount of heat in the brood area. My guess when you took the pic you are in a really hot weather period, in which case what you are seeing is normal. If you have an entrance reducer you could relmove it to allow more cooling air into the hive.
This can also happen if the colony is getting larger than the space in the hive but you will not know till you do an inspection. If that is the case you could add another super to the hive as a short term fix.
Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of reading as well as friendly bee keepers only to happy to give you advice and tips.

Thank you! I just don’t want to lose them, I ordered another brood box in case space is the issue. I’ve only had hive since April. I’ve checked them daily and new there behavior is different in The last week. Ive not done an inspection but I will. It is hot here around 88 in day and 70s at night. I will shade and give more water to try and help.

The bees will appreciate any shade you can give the hive. Make sure any water container/tray is not too deep as bees are really poor swimmers, plenty of stones or floating twigs etc so they can land on it to get to the water is ideal.
With your temperatures it is a fair bet that it is bearding from the hot weather.
You might do inspections more regularly, a lot can change since April, have you joined a local bee group? They can be very helpful about local conditions.

Thanks! No I haven’t joined a group yet but have gotten in touch with bee keeper president in Our area and waiting for her callback. I will inspect hive tommorrow and go from there! Thx!

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Glad to have helped, that is what we are here for. I’m sure there are members of the forum in your area, as I’m in sub-tropical Queensland in Australia I can only give you general advice but the more you are saying the more sure it is bearding. I do a quick check of the super and check under the roof weekly, if comb is found being built there they need more room. I do a full hive inspection every two weeks so that I can figure if something is about to happen before hand and to check on the capped frames for extraction and so on.
Cheers Shannon.

A really top class girl on the forum is @Martha who lives in Nashville so if she lives not too far away she would be one to really give you good sound advice.

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Thanks! I will do that tonight!

I’m going to ask one more question if you do t mind! I did a hive inspection and I have small black Beatles which maybe the small hive Beatles but they are just in my super not brood box. I feel like it all looks good in brood box, from what I’ve researched just the Beatles in the super and no honey at all in super but there is some waxing going on and they are trying I think.


SHB can be anywhere in a hive, I first start looking for them under the roof of the hive when I first remove it. What you are describing certainly fits with SHB, shy little buggers that run as fast as a race horse. A hive that is low on bee number for the space you have given them is ideal for SHB to build up numbers to the point that can become an issue. A strong colony will keep the number of SHB down, you can help by removing any dead bees as you do an inspection
Another sensible question Shannon,

They crawl all over the hive and the bees chase them up into the supers too


Thanks! I appreciate it!


Are you using a screened bottom board?

No it’s the white board. I put it on bottom level though to allow more air. The bottom is already screened, should I just leave it open?