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bearding at night in late September

 
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Martin White
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jul 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Co. Meath, Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:12 pm    Post subject: bearding at night in late September Reply with quote

I have persisting significant bearding on the front of my Langstroph Hives in the last 2 weeks at night. I took off the supers 4 weeks ago. The weather has been much warmer than usual for Sept.I know it has to do with space and temperature control. I was reluctant to put a super back on the single brood box. Should I intervene, and if so what should I do. Martin
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martin

I don't have any experience of Langstroth hives but I don't think they can be too different from Nationals, which I do have.
Generally I would over winter a full size colony on a brood box and a super, with no queen excluder in between.
If this is an established colony, it sounds like you may have left them short of space and possibly, more importantly stores. Have you extracted the honey yet, because if not I would put that super back on?

Regards

Barbara
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too humid inside the hive? Too high relative humidity drives the bees out of the hive.
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Martin White
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jul 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Co. Meath, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbera,
I took the honey/supers off 3 weeks ago, only a brood box on all 3 hives.2 off the hives bearded all night last night.Both strong hives. Should I put a super with extracted comb, and feed also.

Martin
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a difficult call to make as it is getting late in the season to feed them now and I don't know your local conditions. Adding extra moisture now in the form of syrup will only add to the humidity although it will give them some space for air flow too. Do you have open mesh floors on these hives and if so, are they open or is there a bottom board in place. If they are not open, try opening them and see what happens to the bearding. If they are open I would try a super and heavy syrup feed on one of the 2 hives and see if that makes a difference. Use syrup as thick as you can make it without it solidifying.... at least 2:1 You will need to boil it to get it into solution. The thicker it is, the less water they have to evaporate. If it looks like that is doing the trick, continue to feed them until the first frost. Make sure you put insulation in the eke around the feeder jar above the super, because that super of empty comb will draw their warm air up and you need to trap as much of it in there as you can.

I would also speak to local conventional beeks and see how they over winter their hives in your area. Maybe I am just overly cautious leaving them a brood and a half of honey. I suppose it also depends on the size of the brood box. If you have 14x12 frames then a single brood box will probably do it. I guess I should have asked that first.

Anyway, I hope that makes sense and is of some help.

Regards

Barbara
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Martin White
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jul 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Co. Meath, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbera as ever.

I will try to improve ventilation and add en eke.I will also Change my practice next year and leave a super on for the winter, as you do. How do you introduce the queen excluder the next spring if the queen is unmarked. Needless to say all is well with my 3 TBH's.

Martin
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did stop using a queen excluder in my national hives, but this year I put one on the top of their brood and a half in spring, and then a super on top of that so whatever they put in the super above the queen excluder is mine and whatever is below is theirs. I like to keep things simple.

Just to clarify, You should only need to use the eke and feed them if you are giving them their empty super back. I would doubt they have much room in their brood box for syrup by now, if you took their supers off 3 weeks ago. So.... brood box, super with empty comb, crown board, eke with feeder and insulation. If they don't manage to fill all the combs in the super, remove the empty ones, place all the full ones together, cover the brood bars below the empty area in the super with heavy duty cardboard or light plywood and insulation, so that there is no empty air space in the super. Hope that made sense.

Regards

Barbara
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that I know whether bearding is good or bad (or unusual) - it's my first season with two hTBH - but there are more bees outside both hives than I've seen before this evening after this rather exceptional warm & humid late September day in my part of the UK.

Last time I looked in the hives, they were still raising lots of brood, including drones. I think maybe it's because there's lots of ivy in flower in the area. I've got no more space to give them. I've got bottom boards below mesh floor - sufficient gaps that bees are probably getting between the two. Suppose I could take the bottom boards off for a while - I expect they'd cluster below the mesh floor then.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of weeks ago I had bearding like behaviour, although it was inside the hive, between the follower and the end of the hive, rather than around the entrance.

I gave them an extra couple of bars in case they were running out of space - there was certainly honey packed right up against the follower at that end of the hive. Until then I have left about five bars space between the follower and the end of the hive, normally I would only leave about two.

It will be interesting to see if they built any comb on the extra bars so late in the season. My bet is not, but we shall see.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Last time I looked in the hives, they were still raising lots of brood, including drones. I think maybe it's because there's lots of ivy in flower in the area.



Interesting that yours are still raising drones, a friend in Waterbeach, not too many miles from you tells me the drones have all been kicked out for the winter now and I have heard the same from another Cambridge conventional keeper. Some bearding on one of the nationals in the Apiary here in Trumpington on the Southern Edge of Cambridge. Not one of my own hives but according to the bee inspector who looked at them recently quite a heavy varroa infestation though outwardly the colony appeared strong. No signs of significant varroa problems on my Warré though.

Reason site inspected was AFB within 1Km of the site.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally we have had our first frosts by now. Our lowest nighttime recorded temperature was 6C a week ago.

Lots of drones still present in some hives. Unheard of for this time of year..

HB still flowering : first frosts kill it.
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