In the heart of the summer the hive expands to 60,000 bees or more. When this happens the hive is very likely to swarm as there is no room for bees in the hive. In the morning you can see bees on the outside of the hive as the foraging bees are still at home along with all of the other bees. This is called bearding as the bees from a distance look like a big beard attached to the hive. This hive was split into 2 hives and this is the result afterwards. This hive could have easily been split into 4 hives if I had queens ready or more frames with queen cells on them. By just splitting it in two, this hive will still produce more honey this season to be extracted.

Bees Bearding after a split

Bees Bearding after a split

 

 

The purpose of bearding for the bees is to make room in the main hive and at the same time try and help ventilate the main hive. It will commonly be seen that there is a pattern to the bees with them seeming to angle their wings to fan in a certain direction. Most of the bees will be found surrounding the main entrance, and if there are other cracks or openings big enough for the bees to consider them entrances they will congregate there also.

A closer look near the main entrance

A closer look near the main entrance

This close up shows that most bees are facing the same direction to fan

This close up shows that most bees are facing the same direction to fan