Can you believe it – the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK in July happened yesterday, a sweltering 36.7 degrees celsius. Phew!! We were certainly baking in the heat as we inspected our Connaught House hives, joined by a group of visitors from LSE’s Library and from the Information Management & Technology team.
Once all suited up, the visitors probably found it as hot as the bees. It was really interesting to see them fanning their wings on the hive landing boards:
Once it hits 35 degrees inside the hive bees tend to get too hot and try to cool themselves down by hanging out outside the hive. Luke explained that this is what’s called ‘bearding’. It means the colony is strong as the population is at maximum and honey production is in full swing. By being outside, the bees are basically helping to reduce the heat on the inside of the hive by allowing more air to circulate, and also to keep the honey at the correct temperature. What was also happening with our hives were some bees fanning their wings which helps to push cooler air back into the hive itself. Lots more info on bearding on this blog if you’re interested.
So we’re now pretty confident we should have at least a bit of honey at the end of the season. Looking forward to it!