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How Bees Keep Cool During the Heat of Summer

Friday, July 12, 2019

Have you picked up from any of our previous blog posts how interested we are in honeybees? Even as one of the leading pest controllers in Berkshire, our fascination with these incredible creatures and our passion to help rebuild their numbers leads us to be particularly cautious on bee calls. We make it a point to never destroy a beehive. We would much rather relocate instead.

Unlike wasp nest removal that generally involves destruction of the nest, it is better for honeybees and humanity alike to find ways to help honeybees survive. They already have a tough enough time as it is. For example, extremely warm weather during the summer months can be devastating to beehives.

Above 40°C is Dangerous

Summer temperatures above 40°C can be extremely dangerous for bee colonies. Temperatures that high can lead to larvae dehydration. When a larvae gets dehydrated, it can die. The good news for honeybees is that nature has built into them some remarkably effective tactics for controlling temperatures in the hive.

For example, some of the bees will purposely leave a hive when it gets too warm in order to improve air circulation. The fewer the bees in a hive, the more air can circulate inside. But simply leaving is not all that bees do. Some bees have the task of fanning the hive while others go out in search of water.

The water gathering bees will fill their stomachs with water before returning to the hive. Some will enter the hive and regurgitate the water throughout. Others will regurgitate outside the hive to get it went. Evaporation then naturally cools the hive.

This is one of the reasons natural beehives are located within reasonable proximity to water. Bees need that water to not only prevent dehydration, but also to keep their hives cool. Bees will not do well under high heat or in drought conditions.

Addressing Nuisance Bees

The ways bees keep their hives cool is just one of the many things that fascinates us about these creatures. We find them incredibly interesting in everything from their hierarchal structure to the way the queens are chosen. What many people do not realise is that honeybees are incredibly social insects with intense loyalty to their colonies.

For us, addressing nuisance bees is about finding a new place for the hive in question. We are always on the lookout for acceptable locations that give bees access to plenty of water and food. If we can find a good relocation spot, a relocated hive stands a much better chance of survival. In the end, that's what we are all about.

If you are dealing with nuisance bees in Berkshire, Reading, or any of our other coverage areas, please contact Control Services for assistance. Please do not attempt to destroy the hive. Rather, let us come and relocate it for you. Bees are critically important to our ecosystem and we need to keep them alive and thriving as much as possible.

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