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Bees fanning at night

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clong:
I have a fairly populous colony in Beemax 10-frame mediums.  There is a 4"x3/8" entrance.  No ventilation at the top. There are enough bees to occupy 3 of the boxes.  I recently added 2 more.

Twice in the last week or so, I have encountered the bees fanning at the entrance.  Should I consider providing top ventilation?

Based on Derek Mitchell's recent work, I am inclined to leave them as they are, but I would like to hear from others, especially those that use insulated hives.

I know he posted on here in the past.  Does anyone here know how to reach Derek?

Thanks.

paus:
I have found that a screened top board with vent holes stop bearding and entrance fanning.  There is a write up describing this in this same Equipment thread.  It works and add shavings or saw dust has many winter benefits.

sawdstmakr:
Paus,
I run all of my hives with STBs. I have learned by accident that they have the opposite effect. 2 years ago I brought my hives back to the farm and half of my hives had winter insulation boards still in the STBs. One hot day I noticed that half my hives were bearding. I checked to see what was different and the ones with insulation were not bearding and and the ones with open screens were bearding. I added insulation to all my hives and the bearding stopped. I now have insulation in the cover and in the STBs. I rarely see bearding now.
Jim

clong:
sawdstmakr and paus,

Thank you for the replies.  I didn't really consider the issue of bearding.

Since the bees are only fanning, I'm guessing that the bees need fresh air, not relief from heat.

I'll keep an eye on them.  It will warm up quite up bit this weekend.

paus:
Most of my telescoping covers are well insulated, but after Jim's observation I think I will leave a few of the top boards with the shavings in place this summer and see what happens.  This sounds like a good idea especially on splits and weak hives.

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