Bees Cooling the Hive (Video)

One of the first things I noticed about our honey bees is how they line up in front of the hive, hold their ground and beat their wings to cool the hive. (I assume that’s what they’re up to.) I usually see three or four bees in a row, but today I saw about 6 of them forming one long line from the edge of the bottom board going right into the hive. I suppose you have to hang around bees for while to get excited about this. At any rate, I grabbed the camera and managed to record about a minute of it. The line wasn’t as straight and unbroken by the time I hit the RECORD button, but still, bees are cool…

January 24th, 2011: They are ventilating the hive either to help regulate the temperature inside the hive so the developing brood don’t overheat, or they’re trying to create an air current to evaporate nectar into honey, or both.

November 2018 Postscript: In this video and many of the earlier videos and posts, I use the word “honeybee.” But “honey bee” as two separate words is more accurate. Check out Honey Bee Suite for more on this. That’s an easy fix. The one that everyone gets wrong is the hive, that is, referring to a honey bee colony as a hive. The hive is the wooden structure that the honey bee colony lives in. The hive is not alive. The hive can’t make honey. The hive can’t swarm and fly away, because it’s a bunch of wooden boxes stacked on top of each other. Hive = House. Colony = Bees. Hive ≠ Bees. Nevertheless, I refer to my colonies as hives all the time. It doesn’t make any sense when you think about it, but everyone does it, so I just go along with it. To this day, whenever I say hive, I correct myself and say colony, but it’s a losing battle.

3 thoughts on “Bees Cooling the Hive (Video)

  1. The bees are fanning to remove the moisture content from the syrup and /or nectar – making honey….cells will be sealed with wax when moisture content less than 20%.

  2. Thanks Donna. At the time, I didn’t really know what they were up to. But I’ve learned a lot since then. I’m looking forward to watching my bees in the spring — now that I understand most of what they’re doing. I won’t be so worried like I was.

    • This reminds me, I need to update many of my old posts from this past year where I talk about some bee behaviour I didn’t understand. I understand a lot more now.

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