This is bearding... right?

I went out last night and took out the entrance reducer. Hope this helps. They have water so maybe just need better air flow.

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Hi Tim,
Hope your beard is now happy :blush:
If you do decide to make the entrance smaller, my bees seem fine with the rustic aesthetic of a wood chip reducer


I wonder if we could use something like what I saw on Gardening Australia last night with the native stingless bee in Queensland. The beekeeper used propolis from the hive (almost like plasticine) to make the entrance hole smaller to help the bees fend off intruders, and the bees open it up as required as the colony grows.

Yeah i might do that once the temps go down. We’ve been high 90s for a while now. I noticed today both hives had a lot of activity around 4pm. I’m guessing orientation flights for the brood that hatch out a while ago. I did an inspection today, 3rd one. I added the 2nd brood box after the 2nd inspection because the 1st brood had 6 out of 8 frames just packed with capped brood. Now its all empty and about 2 frames of fresh capped brood. Only 1 frame of honey thought, then pollen. Seems they are filling up the empty brood cells with more honey in the first box. In the bottom there is 2 frames that have some drone cells, so i guess the queen is going between both. Didn’t notice the queen, but did see all stages, except eggs. Tomorrow i go into the 2nd hive. I’ll get some pictures of that.

Thanks for sharing that Dan, I ended up watching SBS instead. If I had of known that part was on, I would of watched it. Those bees, especially the Hockingsi were incredibly quiet. Hockingsi’s are normally very defensive. I wonder if they took them well away from their positions so that the defensive bees would go back there before they started filming.

Hi Jeff, I meant to post that it was going to be on. They are great little things aren’t they! They seem to be a great success for Jerry with all his splits. The stuff they put around the entrance to reduce it is actually a mixture of wax and propolis. I just wonder whether we could use something like that for our bees…they can then open up the entrance in spring/summer as they see fit. When I used a smaller entrance last year the bees tried to chew it away. Since the flash floods washed my entrance reducers away I haven’t replaced them. The frosts have knocked the wasps back anyhow.

I’m sure that would work Dan. I like @Dawn_SD’s idea of a 6" entrance for full time. The thing I’m doing different now is putting the entrance reducer in the middle so I have two small entrances. One on each end.


I just took out my entrance reducers on the two big hives this morning. @JeffH - about having two entrances at either side of the opening, I have this on one of my swarm capture hives, somewhat inadvertently. It’s the one I had to rig up a bottom board for when I transferred them into an 8 frame deep. I was lucky to have an almost perfectly sized rectangle of plywood lying around, that was only just a bit too short - by the perfect amount for me to tack on a standard entrance reducer. So, the box overhangs the entrance slightly and there are two openings, the larger one underneath and the smaller one facing upward. I’ve noticed that the bees use the smaller one mostly to exit the hive, and the larger for entering, with a few also exiting there. It made me wonder if all the colonies might prefer two openings.

There could be something to that thought @Eva, bees prefer small spaces in the hive so why not at the entrance? I might experiment with a couple of my hives but there is a lot of take off and landings at the moment although we are now into what we call our winter. No longer working my hives in shorts and a T shirt for a month or two.

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I think Jeff is onto something with this, particularly with perhaps drawing air in one side and fanning it out the other …


Hi Eva, I got the idea from a new beekeeper when be got me to put some bees into his brood box. He said he got the idea online. He said that the idea being the bees draw air in one side & exhale it out the other side. I liked the idea straight away, because I know how bees like to do that.

I think you will find that as bees start using the smaller entrance to orientate, those bees will leave that entrance & return to it. I think all your bees are currently returning to the larger entrance because they are oriented to that entrance.


Was happy to find this thread, ladies have been busy and we have a lot more bees these days. And it’s been getting warmer here in Houston. And today we saw this.

We took the slider out of the screened bottom board today, I’m going to miss looking at that every day, but I’m thinking they need the ventilation.

We plan to remove the entrance reducer tonight or tomorrow… when we think it may be time to add a super (based on what we find after taking a peek inside).

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I think your entrance size is fine. Those bees look like they are washboarding = tons of new teenager-type bees, not piling up on the outside, but all standing side by side. Usually they rock back and forth, if you stand and watch. Short video would make it easier for us to be sure. They are not bearding from what you show, just proliferating inside the hive, and need to get used to the bright light outside. What you have photographed is not a sign of swarming either. When they beard or swarm, they heap up on the outside walls of the hive.

Chill out, and let your bees do their stuff without rearranging their home any more than necessary. :blush:

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We got in the hive today and there were lots of bees. They completely drew out the comb on the second brood box in about tens days… though I didn’t see any brood or eggs in the second brood box yet. We didn’t deep dive every frame this go round. Just noted that there were a few hive beetles in the beetle traps (expected), noticed there is still some blue towel present on the lower brood box (also expected), and added a queen excluder and a super.

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@Dawn_SD saw your post after we got in the hive yesterday, added a super, and removed the entrance reducer. It’s a little less muggy today, and a lot breezier, I had a few of the ladies blown into me while I shot this quick clip. They seem to be coming and going at speed, with fat pollen legs. I guess we could slide the reducer back in?

Oh, dang it. It isn’t taking the clip I shot with my iPhone. Hmm.

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It will if you upload it to YouTube, then post the YouTube link here. Otherwise, you can only post photos, not videos. :wink:

Yes, you could put the entrance reducer back in place without opening the hive. No problem. :blush: If the second box isn’t full, you don’t need the super. I would take it off. If you leave it on, the small hive beetles will have a fiesta. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Hmm. Let’s see if this works. The video seems to look worse on YouTube than it does on my phone… be patient with me.

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Video looks great. I just see a normal hive entrance. Nice job with filming it. :blush:


When we got in the hive, the girls had completely drawn out the second brood box, and there were a ton of bees in there. They didn’t completely cover the frames in the second brood box, I’m going to call it about 70%…

Based on the local apiary we tend to take guidance from, we decided to leave the lower brood box alone, but when we pulled a few frames from the top box, we could look down in there, and the bottom box was packed pretty tight from what I could see. (And they were all lined up giving me The Eye.) The growth in the number of bees was pretty extraordinary. We were thinking give it a couple days, then peek in the super to see what’s happening in there?