Inside the Hive #2

inside the hiveRegulation of temperature and humidity in the hive, and ventilation of the hive are very important to the health of the hive. Humidity of the hive, which gives honey its protective quality, must be kept within a certain limit. If humidity is over or under a normal limit, then the honey will spoil and lose its protective and nutritious qualities. In addition to humidity control, during the brood raising season, temperature in the hive has to be kept at 94° regardless of the outside temperature. Bees raise the temperature within the hive by vibrating their flight muscles to generate heat. They lower it by fanning their wings. On hot days bees can be seen clinging in a ball outside the hive. This is known as bearding. Using a screened bottom board, along with other openings, help with ventilation in the summer, reducing bearding.

The effort of the bees to preserve the quality of the honey is not limited to humidity and heat regulation. A health system within the hive also keeps under control all events that may result in the origination of bacteria and disease. Guards at the door keep out foreign bees and other insects. Diseased larvae and pupae are removed. Bees that have died in the hive are also removed. Objects too large for the bees to remove, such as mice, are covered in propolis.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Wooten
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 00:38:27

    fascinating…This is my “learned something new today” thingy 🙂


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