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bees upset by shading the hive in hot weather ?

 
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject: bees upset by shading the hive in hot weather ? Reply with quote

I am sure they will settle down but trying to help them a bit. The hive (actually a birds roosting box they took over years ago) is on a west facing wall at the end of my garage.
They keep coming back every year but getting very hot here in central France. Currently 30C air temp but predicted 39C by Friday.
Bees regularly bearding outside late afternoon at 25C as the sun hits it about 1pm until 9pm.

So as a quick fix I have just rested a large piece of timber with some cardboard on it, at an angle clear of the entrance, to throw a shadow on the hive and keep the direct sun off it. About 30 bees milling around it for the last 40 mins. I assume they will settle down in time once they get used to it.
Or should I remove it and let them deal with the heat themselves. I keep a water supply nearby that they use regularly for this. It is a wild hive and I generally leave them to it.

Any thoughts appreciated.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would leave it, especially if there is no insulation in the bird box and it is in full afternoon sun.
They are probably just re-orientating because the hive appears different. It should settle down.

I remember your previous posts regarding this bird box. When you say, they keep coming back, I assume you mean that they are not surviving winter and the box is being repopulated by a swarm the next spring? If this is the case, I would be inclined to dissuade them from inhabiting it again as it seems like it is not suitable for them to over winter in. I do think a bird box may be a little small for them but once it has been populated and contains old comb, it will become more attractive to other swarms. You may be setting them up to fail each year by leaving it as it is to attract them.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, I will follow it as best I can. I will leave the shade in place as I think they will need it.

Not sure on whether they hibernate there or not, I never see them in winter but then I am not really looking. The box is just about the opposite of what they should be using. The irony is I have two top bar hives waiting for their first residents, been there 18 months now.

Too late this year but I will make a real effort to attract them next year and will pose questions after Xmas as to what to do when as I believe March ish is when they will be looking.
If I had been quick enough I did plan to move this hive/box next to the top bar ones to see if they will then use them. The top bars are in a corner protected by a hedge on the north side and a small stand or trees to the west. They are under a tree which is currently shading them perfectly, they get sun in the am and shade all day. In winter they will get sun all day until about 1pm. Like I say more of these later as I think I need to modify them a bit.

Good to know the current lot should be happier in the shade.
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