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Too hot on the roof top


I was wondering. My hives are on my roof. full sun most of the day from early morning to late afternoon. Roof being tarred Zinc.
Temperature in the shade in the garden is back to 27+ deg C. I do not dare putting a thermometer up there…

Can it become too hot for the bees ? shall I install a shade system somehow to reduce direct sun impact on the hive ? I did that last year with a kids sun umbrella and worked it seems. But now with 2 hives, it would look like a private beach on the French Riviera up there.



Hi Thomas, I reckon the hives will be ok, but another option rather than umbrellas might be a couple of car windscreen reflective heat shields draped over the hives with a couple of bricks or something to hold them down.


Anything you can do to help the bees keep their hive cool will be good. Whether it’s shade or insulation from the hot tarred roof. Whatever it takes. I’m a believer in no ventilation, no screened floor. Just a nice entrance.

I’d probably be correct in saying that the bees bring literally gallons of water back to their hive in their quest to keep their hive/brood at a constant temperature.


My hive is on a tin roof albeit semi-shaded for over half the day. Had no problems this last summer (max 42 dec C / 103 deg F). But will lay 2sqm of carpet on the roof, under the hive, this summer and may lightly water the carpet on hot days (but that will increase humidity?!). If we get a heatwave I may cover the hive with a reflective heat shield as suggested by Dan2. With or without I think they would be OK.


I spend a lot of time on tin roofs and the temp soars with direct and reflected heat. As has been mentioned frequently on this forum painting the roof on a hive can markedly reduce the heat absorbed by the tin roof. Painting or placing a white surface beneath the hive could only be helpful on those stinking hot days.