Today’s temp. will near 100 degrees. Now I know for a lot of you that may not be a big deal as you’ve probably already seen temps like that this year, but in Central Oregon this is our first real wave of hot weather this year. So here’s a little trick to help your bees deal with the heat.
Naturally you always want to have a good source of water nearby. The next thing you can do is to push back the top box on your hives to create a top entrance for the bees. This helps air flow through the hives and improves ventilation. That means more bees working to store honey and fewer bees working to cool the hive.
Secondly, a top entrance makes it easier for the bees to access the upper boxes. By this time of year the lower boxes are filling with brood and when the field bees come into the bottom of the hive they must struggle against a hive full of bees to get to the top boxes. Often times they will store the pollen and nectar they carry in the brood nest at the bottom of the hive and force the queen to move further up into the hive as she runs out of room to lay her eggs in the brood nest.
Consequently a lot of people put on queen excluders to keep the brood our of their honey boxes. I’ve never used queen excluders and have found no need to do so as long as I open up the top of the hive like you see in the pictures.
So do your bees a favor and give them a little air conditioning. It’s easier on the bees and they will reward you with beautiful clear honey.