Bees on the roof

I used to keep bees in my youth, so was delighted to learn that my local grocery cooperative (Swarthmore Co-Op) has six hives on the roof. Today I finally got to visit them.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Honeybee hives on roof

Not exactly sure why there is no excluder, the screen that typically keeps the queen inside the deep bodies and out of the shallower supers.  But maybe the excluders are built into the internal frames somehow (I last kept hives in 1983, and things can change).

I like how all the hives are different colors, or at least different combinations of colors.  Bees are famously good at finding their way around, but still, might be good to make the visual cues clear about which hive is yours. I’m curious how the hives will tolerate the first 100 °F day.  Seems like a large sun screen would be really welcome.  My guess is that on hot days a good portion of the hive will be on cooling duty, and that lowers productivity.

About Colin Purrington

PhD in evolutionary biology • twitterinstagram
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