Friday, August 18, 2017
Bees Hanging out on the front porch: Bearding
New beekeepers can get a little worried on hot summer days when they see a thick mass of bees that resembles a swarm hanging off the edge of the hive or hive platform.
That's not a swarm because when swarming the bees fly out away from the hive and land somewhere else close by and then gather together with the queen in a mass.
On hot days when the fanning bees are busy cooling the hive, the other bees that are home and not doing chores stay out of the hive. Sometimes they hang out on the front porch. Other times they gather in a mass.
Bees create air conditioning by bringing water into the hive. They coat the water on the combs and then fan it. You can try this at home by spraying water on concrete and then setting a fan on it at a safe distance.
Having the extra bees out of the way gives more room so ventilation is greatly improved.
And who doesn't enjoy sitting on the front porch on a nice day?
The bees will go back inside when they're ready. Sometimes they'll stay out all night.