Saturday, August 9, 2008

Do they really have a beard?

When my bees first did this, I thought it was a clip from Attack of the Killer Bees.  Since this is my first year dealing with honey bees, I had no idea what this was and was afraid they were about to swarm.  Now I know that it is called "bearding" and it is basically what bees do when they get hot.  We sweat...bees beard.  Some of the bees relocate outside the hive to cool off and give the other bees inside of the hive additional room to fan their wings, creating their very own AC.  Although there are a few things you can do to help with ventilation, for the most part there is not much you can do about bearding.  It doesn't hurt the bees or the hive and is something to expect when it gets really hot, especially here in Georgia where the summers are grueling.  

I just added a second super onto the hive (a second floor to their home, so to speak) but will not be able to collect honey this year.  Since this is their first season in this hive, if I rob their honey this year, the bees will not have any honey to feed them through the winter.  But I can't wait until honey season next year, where I am sure to have a wonderful harvest.

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