As a beekeeper, it’s your job to solve problems. How do you make a hive accept a queen? How do you collect honey without disrupting the bees? Every time you pick up your smoker, you encounter a new challenge. And with this summer shaping up to be brutal, one major problem you’ll run into is how to protect your bees from hot weather. Honeycombs can actually melt in excessive heat, which is why it’s so important to remain cognizant of the weather throughout the summer.
An easy way to provide your bees some respite from the heat is by simply setting up a tent or umbrella over the hive. If you see that high temperatures are on the forecast, you can prevent the combs from potentially melting by providing this easy layer of protection.
There are some drawbacks to a well-ventilated hive. The more air you let in, the more the smell of honey comes out. This can attract robbers. But when your major concern is how to protect your bees from the hot weather, it’s a risk worth taking. To improve the ventilation in your hive, just drill a hole into the top to make an upper entrance. This way, heat can escape through it.
Remove or Block Metal Roofs
Many beekeepers like to use metal roofs because they are stylish and more durable. But when it is dangerously hot outside and the metal conducts heat, you may want to find an alternative. If you can replace your metal roofs with wooden ones, that would be the best way to avoid the issue. If that is not possible, cover the metal roof with a white item, like a storage bin lid, to deflect sunlight.
Give Them a Water Source
Make sure your bees have a sustained water source at the beginning of the summer. That way, they will know where to go when their environment gets really hot. However, the trouble is that bees are very picky about water.
Scientists believe that bees find their water mostly by scent, so strong-smelling sources, like stagnant ponds or pools, are more attractive than water from the tap. To create a water source for bees, fill a saucer with water and a teaspoon of chlorine. This smell will attract them. You should also fill the saucer with marbles so that the bees have a place to rest as they drink. Bees can drown if they don’t have a safe spot to stand.
Protecting your bees from the heat is just one of the many problems you’ll need to solve as a beekeeper. If this kind of thinking and work appeals to you, you can find bee nucs for sale in Williston, VT, at The B Farm.