Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A hot, North Carolina summer night!

Yet another hot, humid and hazy North Carolina summer is here.  Today was the hottest day of the year so far.  Unofficially, here at my house, the daytime temperature was 101 degrees.  And tonight its not much better.  As of this moment, the temperature is 86 degrees and the relative humidity if 65%.  All you have to do is step outside and you're soaking wet.  A lot of air conditioners, fans and front porches are getting workouts in this miserable weather.

Not to be outdone, bees in the Old North State also look for means to keep cool.  That includes covering the outside of the hive to get some sort of air.  It was such a hot day that the bees covered the front of the hives both day and night, the ones on the landing furiously fanning their wings to circulate air inside the hive.  As you can see in the photos, the bees in the green and orange hives have larger populations, while their sisters in the blue and yellow hive are newly established hives with lower populations.  

Mother Nature is giving us a reprieve though.  The daytime temperature in the next few days will be in the upper 80s and lower 90s with a chance of showers.  But remember, we're just in mid-July.  August is usually worse temperature-wise.

Wonder if they make mini air-conditioners for bee hives?       


  1. It is amazing how they can can regulate the temp like that, especially if you think of them individually. Alone they are too small but when the community works together...

  2. I'm assuming you run screened bottom boards? But do you use ventilated inner covers too? I have some but my bees haven't needed them yet, they are still essentially still nucs. It can get pretty awful in Maryland as well. Anna

  3. I thought my bees and I have had it rough in Maine with temps just hitting 90! do you ventilate your hives when the weather is so horribly hot?

  4. Bethany and Anna: I use screened bottom boards with all of my hives and leave them open all summer and winter. I don't use the screened ventilated top covers. I was going to buy some, but received a shock when the person selling them said they were a waste of money. My inner covers do have ventilation notches in then to help with air circulation, and I used to glue popcicle sticks to my inner covers to help create a space for air to enter and leave the hive. Unfortunately, I don't believe anything will help with this hot and muggy air pattern we're in until the system changes. I have seen where people open the top of their hives, slant the cover, and that helps move the hot air out of the top of the hive. I may try that and see if it works. Thanks for posting!

  5. Tim: You're exactly right! They seem to be doing well as a team. I'm proud of all four colonies! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I wish I could blame my bee issues on the weather but we have had very little in the way of heat this year. I collected a feral hive in June (elmer's bees) they were very gentle when collected but gradually got meaner and meaner. Even though I add fourth super for them it never stopped. They would buzz anyone within 20 feet of the hive and have even bumped my head, 60 ft away around the corner by my house. I was going to smush the queen this weekend but when they stung the gardener next door it was time to act. I was going to terminate them but we found someone to move them to the desert away from people. They were hard working but with bad attitudes for urban living.
    I will now keep a single hive



Thanks for visiting Mark's Bees. Feel free to leave your thoughts and ideas on my posts. I'm always open for ideas from other beekeepers.

All comments are moderated to eliminate spam so that's why they may not appear instantly.

Thanks again and please visit often!