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Too hot in a deep floor hive?

 
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nannybee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Deeping St. James Lincolnshire UK

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Too hot in a deep floor hive? Reply with quote

I have two tbhs - one with a mesh floor and a moveable bottom board and one with a deep floor filed with leaf litter, compost and wood shavings. The latter has had bees in it since the beginning of April and they are doing well. Both hives have insulation under their roofs (pillow cases filled with shavings).
Since we have been having (unusually!) warm, sunny, dry weather this month (it's about 24C in my garden and the hives are in the sun and facing south, although the roof shades the faces) I've noticed that the bees in the deep floor hive have been 'sitting' over the face of the hive above the entrances when they first come out, with their abdomens up and pumping up and down. After a while, they either fly off as usual or go back in. The other hive (which has the bottom board lowered by about 1cm) doesn't show this at all. They aren't bearding, since they just spread over the wood in one layer.
Is this because they are too hot? And if so, should I lower the deep floor onto its catches for a while? Or are the bees just doing what is needed and don't need me to upset things? Confused
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google washboarding
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nannybee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Deeping St. James Lincolnshire UK

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's it ! I wonder why only the deep floor hive shows this? Or why at all, come to that. There is a nice explanation by someone on the Youtube video, which appeals to me as an ex-headteacher, that it's 'punishment for improper inside behavior ... these kids are sent outside to clean the entry face with their spit and tiny toothbrushes ...'
Laughing
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MilanBencúr
Nurse Bee


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 38
Location: Slovakia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just today. Photos show Warre hive in the hive, which is sitting part three 285 mm deep. Horizontal hive, the JU-Czechoslovaks frame 30 cm high. It is this year's swarm on the 15th frame. Bees basking in the sun on the beach as the Adriatic. Daytime temperature of 32 ° C. Weight has been stagnant for several days. What they bring bees, consume it. Are holidays. Daily Varroa natural inclination is zero. Comfort, relax, baccy,


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Swing Swang
Foraging Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Hampshire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my Warres is looking just the same too.
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Swing Swang
Foraging Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Hampshire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my Warre's is looking just the same too.
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that this is just normal summertime "bearding."

FYI, my hives have closed bottoms and no observation windows. I think that bees are expecting to live in enclosed wooden spaces whose environment they can regulate. If the bottom is open, for whatever good-sounding reason, my "take" is that they can no longer do that. The space is now "one with the outside world," and when any breeze blows past it, all the climate-control will be blown away. Not so good, I think.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In summer - when hot - I remove all bottom boards, Bees stop bearding then.

If open air was so bad for bees - in summer - they would surely not fan or beard? Smile

Rest of the year, bottom boards in. (OMFs)

I have some hives with the sides extend 10cm below the mesh floor## and here the boards can stay in: the extra depth of air at the bottom gives better summer cooling. So bottom boards stay in all the time.

## my rejigging of design based on experience.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bees on outside of hive. http://youtu.be/oar9z8ofMUQ. They look perfectly happy to me and I see no need for any intervention. I don't think they are washboarding or even bearding particularly, just doing their thing in the shade on the outside of the hive.
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Jon B
New Bee


Joined: 19 Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Location: United States/Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madasafish wrote:
In summer - when hot - I remove all bottom boards, Bees stop bearding then.

If open air was so bad for bees - in summer - they would surely not fan or beard? Smile

Rest of the year, bottom boards in. (OMFs)

I have some hives with the sides extend 10cm below the mesh floor## and here the boards can stay in: the extra depth of air at the bottom gives better summer cooling. So bottom boards stay in all the time.

## my rejigging of design based on experience.


You also mentioned that the weight was remaining the same, even though they're bringing in plenty of food. Part of this is of course growing brood, but not all. It sounds like your bees may be having to 'burn' honey to actively warm the brood nest. Fanning isn't a bad sign, it's just part of their hive management. Not having to fan in the heat would mean to me that they've been running cool in normal weather. Just my 2 cents, I realize I'm new to the forum!
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Adam, is that one of my swarms?
Find it hard to believe they have that many bees to spare for lounging around on the front porch, already. Can you tell if they have built much more comb?
They certainly look to be strong enough, I just hope they don't swarm like Steve's did.

I'm not seeing any behaviour like this with any of my hives (conventional or TBH) and they are almost all in full sun with solid or deep litter floors and it's been pretty hot here.
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stevecook172001
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Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if that black plastic roof cover is sucking in heat? An easy way to test that would be to temporarily place a white board on top for a day and see if there is any difference in the amount of bees hanging about outside.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
Wow! Adam, is that one of my swarms?


Barbara,

No, it's not one of your swarms. It's a swarm that moved in of its own accord, I believe from the wild colony in a tree not far away. I think it was a pretty vigourous prime swarm, given the quantity of traffic going in from the beginning and the fact that I saw pollen from very early on.

The entrance to this hive is facing roughly North ( but it's completely shaded from winds by the slope and the trees ) so it's in the shade. My theory is that some of things that would normally happen inside the hive are happening on the outside, so I don't think they are just lazing in the sun ! My theory is that this is happening precisely because they are in the shade and completely out of the wind. Perhaps they're doing this because I have such a small entrance, just a single hole of one inch diameter. The box is 45l internally, so maybe if it was a vigourous prime swarm they are close to filling the box in the massive flow from HB, thistles, Rosebay Willowherb, etc. I can expand the hive by another 15l or so by removing that layer of plywood but I decided not to do that until next spring.

Your swarms are doing very well BTW. Here is one of yours, more or less next to it : http://youtu.be/Ub7IxGTQ7NY. But the entrance to this one is pointing more or less to the West, and I think it was the cast. It's doing perfectly well, but a lot less vigourous.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevecook172001 wrote:
I wonder if that black plastic roof cover is sucking in heat?


I don't think the black plastic makes that much difference since there is a plane of glass, a bit of carpet, and then 4 inches of wood before you even get to the plastic. But I think sucking in heat is no bad thing in our climate. The temperature of the brood needs to be 35C. I know it's been hot recently, but up here in the North it still hasn't got anywhere close to that !
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
I'm not seeing any behaviour like this with any of my hives (conventional or TBH) and they are almost all in full sun with solid or deep litter floors and it's been pretty hot here.


I think you might if they had sun shelters over the entrance.

There's a similar if not quite so dramatic thing going on in the wild hive. There's quite a bit of shade from the way the cavity is embedded in the tree. You can't actually see the entrance hole at all from the outside. So lots of stuff goes on on the outside of the tree that might "normally" take place inside.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Adam. I did think it was a rather surprising growth for one of mine! Good to see some footage of them too though. Slow and steady progress is not a bad thing.

It is very interesting to hear that the wild colony in the tree are exhibiting the same behaviour. Not sure I am following your point about the entrance being shaded. Are you saying they seem happier with their entrance in shade rather than sun? I have always faced mine S - SW in full sun because it takes so long for the sun to come up over the horizon here with being in the bottom of a steep valley. The 3 times that I have put a colony in shade, still with entrances S-SW though, they were never happy (bad tempered) and didn't thrive even though they were only 40-50yards away, so I've stuck with their current position since then, which is much closer to the house, but altogether pleasanter to live next to.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's so much to do with which direction they face, but whether or not there is localised shade over the entrance in the middle of the day.

I have two TBH's in my garden. One has end-entrances which point due South. The other has side entrances and the entrances point more or less to the West. [ The hive bodies are both North / South, meaning the entrances are at 90 degrees to each other, if you see what I mean ].

In the busiest period from 11am until 2pm, the South facing one doesn't have much "outside the hive activity" but the West facing one does. I attribute this partly due to the shade over the slopping side entrance, which is a combination of the sun being in the south in the middle of the day and the slope of the side wall ( and some trees behind ) providing a bit of shade.

I think you could reproduce this effect just by providing a 1 ft sun shelter attached to and overhanging the roof. I'm not saying you should - I doubt if the bees care either way - but you could.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, thanks for expanding on that. I might have a bit experiment with it to see if I can create the shade and if it changes their behaviour. It's interesting even if it we don't know if it's beneficial or not.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I didn't get chance to experiment but I had completely forgotten that one of my hives faces east and the entrance is now in shade and that whole side of the hive is covered in bees 3 or 4 deep at the top. It just looks like a massive swarm covering that side. Don't know if it has been happening every day in the early evening as that side faces away from the house, but it is really quite extraordinary to see. Like ivy on the front of a cottage.

That hive is actually a 10 bar TBH nuc. I checked them last night and they were all inside busy making honey from the noise emanating from it. Maybe it is shift changeover or bait time and the workers are all having half an hours chill before the night shift starts. They do look very relaxed and contented, so I understand what you are saying about it not being an issue, as such.
Out of the cluster of hives, it is the only one with the entrance in shade and the only one that is doing it.
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely think that there's such a thing as "over-thinking" and "second guessing," but it is at-least worth considering that, by removing the bottom of their hive enclosure, so that it's not an "enclosure" anymore, you opened the entire colony to a potential path for invasion which they now can't close up. They're now, in effect, a colony in a tree, but very close to the ground. You perceive the result that you hoped and intended to see, but maybe not from the bee's perspective?
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