What is Bearding?
The average temperature on a hot day inside a beehive can range between 90 and 95°F. Temperatures above that can threaten the health of the hive’s brood. That’s why bees employ a few surprising strategies to keep their hives cool when it gets dangerously hot outside. Sometimes bees will air condition their homes by placing water droplets in the hive and fanning their wings to generate air currents that evaporate the water and cool the air inside. But on really hot days, honey bees will go outside and huddle together while furiously beating their wings to facilitate airflow and cool off the hive.
Bearding is perfectly harmless and a remarkably effective way for honey bees to keep their hives cool on hot days even though their swarm-like behavior looks intimidating. If you see bees bearding on a hive don’t disturb them since they are collectively working together to ensure the safety of their home and offspring. You probably wouldn’t want to be disturbed either if you were trying to stay cool while living in a hot, windowless room with a few thousand of your closest friends and family.