So 1 of my 2 hives is doing this today. The 2nd hive in the background has a little more ventilation between the 1st and 2nd brood boxes. This hive however only has the 3-4 inch opening. Its 90 outside today so I hope this is just bearding, and not a swarm getting ready to leave???
It is definitely bearding, and probably because of the heat of the day. Make sure they have a water supply, a shallow tray with stones and sticks they can land on for a drink of water about 7 metres or 20 feet
I can’t give you further advise as you have not given your location in your profile so have no idea if you are in summer or winter.
We mostly use our reducers towards the end of the summer, to make a smaller entrance to defend from yellowjackets and then in the winter for warmth. If your bees are booming, you might want to remove the reducer and see how it goes. Like most bee-related things, no one right answer
I don’t think it would hurt to increase the entrance opening to 5-6 inches. If you think the colony is strong enough to swarm, it would be worthwhile doing a brood inspection to make sure they aren’t getting ready to swarm.
Hey @Peter48, a bloke is going to look for you at the Men’s Shed tomorrow, he lives in Coolum & wants to get into bees.
So open it up half way I think right now its a 3.5 inch opening. The other hive didn’t do this, but their 1st brood box doesn’t form a tight seal on the front, so there is enough space for bees to get through on the whole front of the hive, and they seem to use it a lot. I’ll take a pic and upload so you can see what i mean.
Thanks Jeff, I will see if he is keen and knows that he will need to do hive maintenance, if so I will take him under my wing. Maybe he will come Friday.
Had a bloke up near Boreen Point at the shed today, he thinks he has between 6 and 8 hives but hasn’t been near them for over a year!!! Sounds like another lot I will need a spade to cut under the lid to get to the frames. The guy sounds so laid back and he didn’t know what was inside the hive or how to get the honey out. I kid you not… Why do people take on owning hives when they haven’t a clue or any intention of learning.
The second box has been assembled with a twist in it that is giving the gap between the two brood boxes. If you have a wood plane you could fix it if you had another box to take its place on the hive. It won’t be an issue over summer but come winter it will need to be fixed so that both boxes fit together at all the corners and sides.
If this is happening there must be a reason and I am thinking from what you are telling us the hive is over heating. Remove any entrance reducer, supply a water container with stones and sticks for the bees to land on to drink the water, they will take the water back to the hive and ‘bring it up’ to air condition the hive. Put an empty box with NOTHING in it as a super. Is the hive out in the open sun all day? Put up a shade cloth awning. Lift the roof by about 3/16" with a piece of wood as a wedge so that the hot air can escape through convection air currents. Anything you can do to lower the hive temperature will be a plus for the bees. Even plant shrubs or a tree for shade for future summers.