swarming or is it just too hot??? (bees)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Life is never dull on a homestead, is it? I will try to summarize the situation clearly.
We have 2 beehives. This morning the larger of the two (2 deeps,2 shallow supers) had a rather large gathering of bees outside - approx. 3000 or so bees. The group did not disperse until about 10:00 am. There were still quite a few "hanging" around, but otherwise nothing to speak of. At 1:00 pm, I looked out the kitchen window and the front of the hive was literally COVERED in bees!!! At this point in time (4:30 pm), the majority of the bees have moved up to the upper third of the hive, again in the front.
To assist in the deciphering of this query, a brief history:
this hive lost 90% of its bees (including queen) this past spring (due to poor ventilation and the cold snap we had here in the northeast in May). We ordered a new hive and a new swarm from an apiary in GA. We merged the new swarm and the old one successfully in June. New queen has done remarkable well. We have already gotten a full shallow super of honey, and put the 2 shallows on in late July.
The weather here in CT went to hell in a handbasket for most of the month of august - rain,rain, and MORE rain. Cool temps too. We have had pleasant temps and weather for the past week to 10 days, but today it got extremely humid and hot...low 90's. Could it be the heat?
One other note - we have the queen excluder between the two deep supers - could that have caused overcrowding in the brood chamber? I have a swarm trap - should I drag it and the attractant out and set it up just in case????
Thank you for any and all help. Judi
-- Judi (email@example.com), September 01, 2000
I think its just the heat and humidity the last few days. I noticed mine all out on the front of the hive too. Sort of like you setting out on the front porch on a humid breezeless day. Also, I would take out that queen excluder between the two deep supers. Put the queen excluder above the deep brood chambers and below the honey supers.They also could be running out of brood chamber room.
-- Kate Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 01, 2000.
Kate is right. My husband's bees do the same thing on really hot days -- I didn't go out to look at them yesterday, but as hot as I was, they were probably clustered on the outside of the hive, trying to cool off. I will try to have my husband remember to look at this post when he gets home from work, and see if he can advise you about the queen excluder. Also, hopefully can convince him to finish extracting honey, so I can have my kitchen back!! When we get our new place, the first thing we will build will be a honey house!
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), September 02, 2000.
I don't keep bees and never have (yet), so if this is too far out in space, please disregard. However, reading the posts, some little, deeply buried brain cell blipped and said "they're shading the hive with their bodies". Do you think that could be it? The little brain cell is insisting I read it sometime or other. Or am I totally nuts? LOL!
-- Joy Froelich (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 02, 2000.
Judi, This could be a combination of heat and not enough room. I would take the queen excluder out IMMEDIATELY. I've had to use 3 deep supers for brood chambers. Put the excluder between the deep and shallow supers. I couldn't handle the deep ones full of honey anyway. Also add another shallow honey super if you have a good flow. What do the frames look like? Are they full of capped brood? If you don't give them more room they WILL probably swarm. Do you use a summer cover? (More ventilation.) And have you opened the bottom entrance as much as possible? You could put up a shade screen for this very hot weather.
The one time my bees swarmed, we could hear the roar!! Incredible noise.
-- Peg (NW WI) (email@example.com), September 02, 2000.
True ! All the above is true but why use a queen excluder ? We gave up using those 20 years ago. The queen rarely leaves the brood chamber--excluders are a myth !
-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), September 02, 2000.
I found this whole page of beekeeping info sites while I was searching for Hornets.
-- Cindy in Ky (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 02, 2000.