This past week this past week, temperatures have climbed above 90oF causing a phenomenon known as “bearding”. Honeybees have a remarkable set of tools to regulate the temperature inside the hive. The ideal temperature for raising brood is 94oF to 96oF. When the closed hive sits in the sun on a hot day, without action by the bees the temperature can climb to over 130oF. to cool the hive, bees use a variety of strategies. Perhaps the most obvious is” bearding”. Bearding is when many bees exit the hive but congregate near the entrance. They do this to create more open space within the hive to improve air circulation. Usually, you will see bees employ other strategies along with bearding such as “fanning” where the bees will face the entrance, raise their abdomens and beat their wings rapidly to move air through the hive. They will also bring in water, which, when it evaporates, cools the hive.
This week on inspection, all three hives looked good. We did not observe any new eggs in the brood in Hive 1, and there was considerable congestion in the lower brood box. The girls have drawn some new comb in the new brood box they were provided and We will check to see that the queen is laying in it next week.
Save the 27th of August on your calendar for the Great Falls VA Honey Harvest