It’s the end of May now and starting to get pretty warm. We’ve been fortunate actually that it hasn’t gotten hot before now, so I’ve enjoyed the cooler weather. I can tell the bees are getting hot too because they’ve been hanging out on the outside of the hive. I’ve read about bearding, which is when the bees cluster so thickly it looks like there’s a beard on the hive, but the books I have are written by people in the north and they only talk about bearding that happens before a hive swarms and runs off with the queen. So, naturally, I’ve been worried that my bees were about to take off. Thankfully, I came across the Bush Bees website, and the writer talks about bees bearding because it’s hot and not to worry about it. Whew!
I had intended to use a shallow brood chamber on top of my deep hive body, but I had read that I needed to use frames from the hive body as bait to draw the bees into the new chamber. I don’t think that really makes sense, especially since bees will apparently happily keep their honey in a shallow honey super. But, whatever; I’m a novice so I’ll follow the advice of my book. The problem is, I’m still waiting for the deep brood chamber to arrive in the mail. It’s been two weeks since my last hive inspection, and considering how fast they’ve been working over the past four weeks, I’m sure they are ready for more room.
In the mean time, I’ve removed the entrance reducer and the plastic board from below the screen bottom to provide more ventilation. They seemed happier almost immediately. Not as many hanging around the outside.
I did a quick hive inspection May 5 and May 15. Next inspection is May 28. Hopefully my brood chamber will arrive this week so I can give them the extra space they need.