Summer is on the horizon, which means we’re all looking for ways to beat the heat. Honey bees work best with a warm hive, but you don’t want your colony to overheat. Proper ventilation is a great way to protect your hives from the summer heat and the overwhelming humidity and condensation it might bring. Much of your honey bees’ livelihood depends on a productive summer, so make them as comfortable as possible with these tips for giving your beehives enough ventilation this summer.
Prop It Up
To achieve proper ventilation in your beehives, air must be able to flow through and around the entire structure. A hive bottom and beehive stand allow more air to reach the bottom, encouraging more circulation up and through the hive. The beehive stand also gives your hive some distance from the wet ground and any excess moisture the spring and summer rainfall might bring.
Use Screen Doors
We use screen doors in our houses to let in the comfortable summer breeze without welcoming unwanted pests or critters. You can do the same thing with your beehives by installing screened bottom boards. These let the air rise up and through your beehive, providing much-needed ventilation as the air gets warmer and more humid throughout the season.
Let Air Flow Through the Top
As you increase airflow in the bottom of your hive, you have to provide an escape for all that hot air at the top. Add upper entrances or use a notched inner cover to let the air rise up and through the hive. This will also reduce traffic jams at your hive’s entrances as the forager bees move in and out of the hive.
Trust Your Bees
One of the best tips for giving your beehives enough ventilation this summer is to simply trust your honey bees to handle the weather. Honey bees are remarkable creatures that know how to take care of themselves. They’re experts at managing their own temperature and productivity, and they don’t always need your help. Don’t inspect the hive so often that it ruins your honey bees’ productivity. Instead, give them the resources they need—such as a clean, safe water source and some shade on particularly sunny days—and let them do what they do best.
Are your hives ready for summer? Mann Lake has everything you need to keep your honey bees cool, comfortable, and productive this summer. Check out our resource books, beehive equipment, and more so that you can equip yourself for a sunny, successful season.