Where’s the A/C in this hive?

Hot day for the bees! It got up to 100 degrees in Michigan today, record breaking weather! The bees were exploding with activity early on in the day (for you local people, of course this was just prior to the crazy, severe thunderstorm we had that produced lovely hail and downed trees), and so I went to do my (now) usual check of the bottom board to clean it off. To my surprise, I found four workers just kind of walking around on the white board. I thought this was kind of strange since it would take them a little bit of effort to get in there, but being that it is the lowest point of the hive it seemed to make sense that they would want to congregate there if it’s really hot out. In my usual burst of curiosity, I explored on the web why they might be doing this and one blog mentioned that on hot days with all the bee bodies inside the hive the temperature can get too high so some of the bees will congregate at the entrance and bottom boards which allows for the brood to remain at their necessary temperature. They also can do a thing called bearding where they all clasp onto one another and dangle in a beard shape from the entrance of the hive – I haven’t seen my girls do this yet but the blog compared this act to chilling out on the front porch with some cold ones – ha! I feel your pain, my little ladies, where’s the a/c when you need it?

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3 thoughts on “Where’s the A/C in this hive?

  1. Yeah, if it gets too hot the girls go outside. I’ve never seen them ‘beard’ on my langstroth, but it’s supposed to be really common and obvious with Warres. If it gets too hot in the middle of summer and a lot of girls are outside fanning air in, I’ll hose down the hive to cool them off. Dozens upon dozens of bees come out to ‘play’ in the water. Its kind of fun, and cools off the girls while giving them water to take into the hive to help cool things down. The hives also get wet if I turn on my sprinklers, which the bees come out to play in as well.

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