Does It Ever Get Too Hot For Bees?

Today we are under an Excessive Heat Warning in Southern Ohio. Temperatures are expected to reach 100° Farenheit.

Which made me wonder…  Does it ever get too hot for bees?

The answer is “yes.”

Bees are very sensitive little critters. They are highly sensitive to temperatures, just as they are to odors, colors, noises and movement.

They particularly don’t like heat. They keep the hive temperature around 95° F, and they become stressed by temperatures over 98°.

In hot weather, bees collect water to cool the hive, and fan their wings at the entrance to reduce the inside temperature.

If it gets too hot within the hive, they will crowd outside the hive on the landing board during the day and even in the evening. This is called ‘bearding.”

Bearding

If the bees are unable to stay cool, they will expire. Not good.

So what can we do?

First, we should make sure the hive is properly located.  If you live in an area where it gets very hot in the summer, you should avoid placing the hive where it will be in full sun all day.  Sun is generally good for the health of the hive, but too much sun can be deadly.

Second, make sure there is an ample supply of water nearby.  Bees need water to cool the hive, and they need it relatively close by.  I have birdbaths near my hives and have been running the water sprinkler for a bit each day during this extreme hot spell.

So far my bees have been looking okay, but I won’t feel comfortable until the temperatures get down to the 80’s again!

7 thoughts on “Does It Ever Get Too Hot For Bees?

  1. Becca says:

    Reblogged this on Little Green Bees and commented:
    This should look familiar to you beekeepers here along the Gulf Coast! Thankfully, our temps have been slightly below that of the rest of the country but we are no strangers to the heat wave!

  2. SaraC says:

    I didn’t know this, although just common sense has got me worried about my bees in the heat of summer. They do have water but it’s not super close – I’m going to bring them a new water source today!

  3. Joe Rex says:

    Screened bottom boards and screened and vented inner cover will go a long way in keeping your bees cool. Here near Houston they seem a requirement to me.

  4. Donna says:

    I am a new-be at keeping bees (this is my first summer) and have had a lot of help with a seasoned bee keeper. My bee guy put a board with a oblong hole in the center in the top box and propped open top lid. They also have an entry at the bottom. I keep water right next to their hive , the water is in a pan with small stones. The stones in the pan are so they can walk on them to drink without drowning.

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