Summer Beardingby Ruhl Bee on 08/17/12
If you are new to beekeeping, you might be alarmed to see a large portion of your colony hanging in a cluster outside the hive during these hot days, particularly in the evening. It looks as if your hive has grown a beard, thus it is called "bearding." Some people associate this behaviour with swarming, but more often it is their normal response to hot summer days. However, if your hive is particulary strong, you will see more bearding, and the probability of swarming is generally higher in a strong hive. Some people use slatted racks to reduce bearding, and slatted racks are often credted with reducing swarming. Whether they deserve the credit is debatable.