Bee School March 16, 2024
With temperatures well into the 90s for the foreseeable future, what can you do to help your bees be more comfortable?
First, make sure your bees have access to a water source. Near the hives but not too close. Bees generally don't like to have their water too close to where they do their cleansing flights. Bees also don't like to have their water too clean. They need the minerals found in mud puddles. There area number of ways to do this. I have a large, shallow plant saucer that has a layer of soil, rocks and leaves and then I fill it with water. Never underestimate the ability of a bee to down herself! Make sure there are plenty of places to stand and rest while she's getting a drink. She will take water back to the hive for the other bees and everyone will use it for cooling the hive.
Next, help them ventilate the hive to keep the temperatures in the safe range for the larvae. If you have a screened bottom board, met sure the slider is out. If you use an inner cover with a notch, I place it down and to the back. this directs air from the entrance crossways up and through the hive. On really hot days, I cock the cover open. This works for telescoping or migratory covers. Placing a popsicle stick between the boxes can also help. If you have a hive that likes to propolize things, they will glue this back together, but you can pop it apart again when you inspect.
Hope your season is going well!