Are My Bees Too Hot?

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Are My Bees Too Hot?

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Dave writes:

I’m new to beekeeping. My bees seem hot in this 90+ weather, they are bearding a lot. What are your suggestions for keeping them cool? I have a screened bottom and a slide in a bottom board. Can I remove that solid board to give them more air?


Hi Dave,
Thank you for your note and reaching out to Backyard Beekeeping. I hope you are enjoying your first year of beekeeping! First off, yes, you can remove that solid bottom board and give your bees more ventilation.

Bees are pretty amazing creatures. They can be found in almost any climate and learn to adapt well. Up here in the frigid north, our bees even survive several days of subzero temps.

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The first thing I want to say is bees know what to do when the temperatures climb. Bearding is a natural part of the process, so if you see bearding it means your bees are taking care of their desire to keep the hive at 95 degrees.

Here’s the three things you can do: 

1) SHADE: Try to provide some shade for your hives. Hopefully, when you set up the hives you thought this through – a good mix of sun and shade is important. 

2) WATER: Bees need water all year long, but water is crucially important in the hot, dry days of summer to keep the colony productive as well as for each bee’s personal survival.

3) VENTILATION: Ventilation is important for the hive all year long. As the bees bring in water, the humidity in the hive rises and it’s harder for the nectar to dry, so they fan more. They use an incredible amount of energy fanning air that can go nowhere without ventilation. These optional pieces of Langstroth hive equipment can help increase ventilation in your hive.

Here’s a helpful full blog on keeping your bees cool in the summer.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Steph

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