I’m such an awful wimp when it comes to heat and humidity. I was planning to inspect both hives today since I would be replacing the empty feeding buckets with full ones. I put additional supers on both hives but I thought I should see how much comb had been drawn in them.
With a heat index of 102°F (even with the humidity relatively low–well actually low for here) I didn’t last long in the bee suit. It’s really frustrating trying to see the world with sweat drops on the bee veil (yes, I was wearing a headband to try and sop it up).
Instead of the more detailed inspection that I had planned, I opted to simply remove the inner cover and see how many frames had been drawn in each one. The Durham bees (the ones from here in town) had drawn comb on almost every frame in the super. The Georgia bees (the package) had drawn enough comb in the super that I decided both hives needed to have a super added before I put the feeders back on.
I still need to do a full inspection before long to check for mites and all that good stuff, but for now, I think I have two healthy hives that are doing what bees do.
The bees are displaying an interesting bit of honey bee behavior: both hives are washboarding. It’s something honey bees do (apparently adolescents), but no one knows what they are really doing, or why. I found a reference that said the do it more on surfaces with more texture, but nothing to say what they are really doing. They just spread out on the hive (usually the front, though the bees from one hive are spreading over onto the sides as well) and are rocking back and forth, doing something with their mouthparts and front legs.
Is it just the adolescents out for a disco day?
I noticed they do this on hot and humid days more then other times. I think this is their measure to maintain a certain temperature in the hive .