Bees get stressed by many things, and stressed colonies often collapse or leave. For the last year we’ve been working on creating a single product that, with one change to your setup will reduce the most stressors. The result is the Beebuilt Premium Langstroth Roof.
First, let’s talk about the stressors:
Heat in the Summer: Bees spend a lot of energy in the summer keeping the colony cool. During the warmest hours of the day, they will coordinate fanning their wings to move air through the hive and provide ventilation. They will spend a lot of time and energy on this, reducing honey stores as well as stressing the bees.
Cold in the Winter: Over winter, bees will spend a lot of time and energy with uncoordinated fanning to heat up the colony and keep it healthy. This stresses the bees, causes them to eat much more of their honey stores, and results in a high percentage of colonies not making it through the winter.
Water and Wind: Ever notice where bees make their colonies in the wild? Always in place with plenty of protection from wind and water. The wind makes it hard for them to regulate temperature and the water [does what?] and they will spend time and energy damming up the holes that allow water in.
Invaders: Other insects like ants and [what?] can find their ways into hives. They can eat larvae, kill bees, and [what?].
Lack of food: At multiple times in the year, but especially in late summer and through Fall there are times when there just isn’t enough forage for bees in some regions.