Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bearding in July

It is mid of July and I see all of my colonies today bearding at the hives entrance. We had a few hot weeks with temperature up to 30'C which is very hot for Scandinavia and the nectar flow was good enough I would say. Since yesterday it is raining heavily. I went to the apiary when the rain stopped for a minute just to find bees on all all hives (except 2) bearding infront of the hive. I can also see ventilator bees at the entrance which is a positive indicator, meaning they are evaporating the nectar.

 Most of the bees hanging outside are with warn wings and with bold black thoraxes which indicates old forager bees. This can mean one thing; young bees can evict older foragers once the main honey flow is over (which can happen in July) and are keeping them outside to make more space for the nectar evaporation inside and to have less mouths to feed. Such old bees will die soon anyway.

 It is not windy so Im sure they are not protecting the entrance for that reason. Im almost certain this must be the eviction of older bees, but with bees one can never know.
Here you can see a slug trying to enter the hive but to no avail


  1. Looks nice as usual. Can you give a report about your experience with the suppers?

  2. I have never read about younger workers evicting older foragers during a dearth but it would certainly explain what I have been witnessing for the last week or so. I saw worker bees struggling with other worker bees similar to what they do with drones in the Fall. This didn't appear to be robbing by another hive (no clouds of bees over the hive, no corpses or fierce battles on the ground in front of the hive). It definitely appeared to be workers pulling other workers out of the hive. I always thought "bearding" was voluntary but maybe a few of the older bees are given a helping hand out the door. No respect for the elders! Thanks for the great pictures and commentary.

    1. Hi Marysia, I have read about that in the book called At The Hives Entrance. Im not sure if this was the case this time since there still is forage left for the bees. When I contemplate some more all the bees were home because of the rain and of course bees need space in the hive to be able to fan out all the evaporation from honey production so its only natural for them to make space.

  3. At The Hives by H. Storch? I looked on and the only copy available was $222 US !!! Fortunately, someone else commented that it's available as a free .pdf file on Google and I was able to download it. Thanks for mentioning your source!