Hot, Extroverted Honeybees!

The Hive Orange bees have been hanging out in increasing numbers outside the hive entrance--in a behavior known as bearding. Two days ago, there were a couple dozen bearding bees. But today...

The helpful folks on my organic beekeeping listserv have put my mind at ease. They don't see a major problem with just a few bees hanging out like this, given the humid weather we've been having. (In beekland, apparently, a couple hundred qualifies as "just a few.") Still, they recommend improving the ventilation inside this hive, so tomorrow I'll remove the piece of duct tape that covers an additional ventilation/entrance hole. I may also do some minor manipulations inside the hive to create a bit more breathing space in there.

I think at some point, someone on the organic beek list likened this behavior to sitting out on the front porch to cool off on a hot summer night--an image that gives this picture a more comforting, down-home feel.

By the way, the organic beekeepers listserv has been a life-saver throughout this entire adventure. If you're thinking about raising bees, check it out. It's an extremely informative discussion group that (thankfully) goes against the grain of most "modern" beekeeping approaches, which douse bees in antibiotics and other treatments that don't exactly support the genetic development of strong, healthy, disease-resistant bees.

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