Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Honeybee Behavior in Summer Heat

I had intended on posting this back in July but it seems this post got buried among everything else.

During the hot and humid spell in early July I noticed 2 things:
1. One hive bearded significantly more than the other.
2. Honeybees were seen motionless on flowers in the evening.

I'm not sure if this behavior can be contributed to the heat or if the flowers they were visiting were poisonous? I tried identifying the flower but couldn't find an exact match.  These were the only flowers I noticed they were visiting.  Both hives have a large population of bees and I didn't notice any nosema so I don't suspect disease but it's hard to be sure of that.

The blue hive definitely drew more beards than the other hive in the evenings. The bees form a beard to help cool down the hive. What's interesting is when I took a picture underneath each hive, the blue hive had more bees outside the screen; perhaps this has something to do with the bearding?  The white (Warrior) hive only has a few bees outside the screen.  The white hive also has an extra super which could also contribute to the lack of bearding because they have more space.

White (Warrior) Hive

Blue Hive

What's left of the beard in the morning.


warren August 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM  

Bees usually stay away from stuff they can't eat so I wouldn't worry about the poison factor...that's not always true but it wouldn't be my first thought. And the bees under the hive...def related to the bearding. I love to see the hives done up that way though it's got to be unpleasant to be so hot you need to get outside!

Christopher August 28, 2013 at 7:44 AM  

I kind of like seeing hives beard too, it tells me there's a large population, large enough they don't all want to be hot together inside the hive. :)

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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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