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Do Honey Bees Get Hot in the Summer?

bearding bees

When the Southern California summer heats up, it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach well above 90 or even 100 degrees. Most humans have the luxury of escaping indoors or taking a dip in the pool or ocean to beat the heat.  As one of the leading live bee removal companies in San Diego County, we often get asked the question: Do bees get hot in the summer? 

The answer is yes! Although bees can thrive in high temperatures, they don’t prefer heat that is much higher than the mid-nineties. The ideal conditions within a hive are about 93 degrees and 50% humidity. When the environment gets much hotter than that, it can potentially threaten the well-being of the brood. 

What Causes a Hive to Overheat? 

During the dog days of summer, bees have to take various measures to regulate the climate and keep the hive from overheating. The heat of the sun shines down on the hive throughout the day creating intensely hot conditions. Plus, with colonies typically at their most populous during this time of year, overcrowding can generate high temperatures. Some of the most common causes of overheating in a beehive include: 

  • Intense heat from the sun
  • High humidity levels 
  • Overcrowding due to large bee populations
  • Lack of ventilation in the hive 

How do bees keep cool during the heat of the summer? 

Honey bees have a couple of different techniques to help them keep cool and protect their broods from overheating during the hot summer months. If you have any questions about typical bee behavior or if you have a beehive that’s become a nuisance on your property, call D-Tek Live Bee Removal. 

We are your local bee experts! Using only safe and humane live bee removal techniques, we can remove the bees and honeycomb completely so you won’t have to worry about future infestations in the same location ever again. And with our live bee removal methods, the keeps are kept alive and rehomed with a San Diego area beekeeper so they can continue pollinating local crops. When you need affordable and quick live bee removal in San Diego or San Diego County, your first and only call should be to D-Tek Live Bee Removal. 

Evaporative Cooling 

Bees thrive when they are near a reliable water source. One of the reasons they require water is to aid in keeping the hive cool when the temperatures rise. Bees collect water and bring it back to the hive. Worker bees will get to work fanning the water pools to encourage evaporation and air ventilation. This process lowers the temperature inside the hive. It’s a very similar process to the way humans sweat! 

Sometimes evaporative cooling is just not enough to reduce the temperature to the degree necessary to keep the bees and the brood happy and healthy. This is especially the case when the colony is at its peak population. When this occurs, bees may choose to use another cooling technique known as bearding. 

Bearding 

It might sound funny, but bearding is a common and effective way that honey bees keep the hive cool in the hot summer months. Bearding is when bees gather on the outside of the hive, usually near the entrance, forming a structure that looks like a thick and bushy beard. By staying outside of the hive, they are reducing the heat created by overcrowding and increasing the airflow, further cooling the space. 

Bearding usually happens in the mid to late summer when the temperatures are at their highest. It also typically occurs late in the afternoon or early evening. At this time of day, most of the bees have returned to the hive after a long day of gathering water and nectar. The numbers inside the hive reach their highest point at this time, so it makes a perfect opportunity for bees to sleep outdoors. 

Humane Live Bee Removal in San Diego and San Diego County 

Do you have a large swarm that is causing trouble on your property? Have you found a large beehive that has become more than just a nuisance? Give D-Tek Live Bee Removal a call today at 760-224-3040. We specialize in safe and humane live bee removal, bee removal repairs and bee proofing services for homes and businesses throughout the San Diego area. 

When you need fast and reliable bee removal services, don’t wait!

Contact D-Tek Live Bee Removal for your free quote today.