bees bearding in the rain

Bees Bearding in the Rain: What Does it Mean?

You are a beekeeper and your bees are bearding in the rain. And now you are confused about their behavior and don’t know what to do.

You don’t have to be anxious about it anymore. Many beekeepers like you face this and we have a solution here.

You’ll get to know if this activity is normal or not. If not then what do you have to do for the bees? I will be covering all of these in this article.

So, what do bees bearding in the rain really mean?

Normally bee bearding can be a common activity for the bees. But sometimes it also means that the temperature inside the hive is too much for the bees. And they are doing this to cool down the temperature.

So, let’s get into a detailed article to make sure what’s the problem. And find out the solutions to it.

Bees Bearding and its Signs 

Bees always try to tell you something with their behavior. Their behavior changes depending on the situation and we understand many of them. But you don’t have to worry about all of their behaviors as some of them are pretty normal.

One of the common behaviors that many notice is bee bearding. Many hive owners face this and they get confused about it. But many of the owners don’t know the proper signs of bee bearding. 

If you see a group of bees hanging at the entrance of your hive, that is bee bearding. Normally they create a shape like a beard facing the same direction. They do this normally in hot weather. 

Before you get panicked about it, you have to be sure about the signs. There are some common signs to be sure about bee bearding. In this case, bee behavior at hive entrance matters a lot. 

During bee bearding, your bees will hang at the entrance of the hive. They will sit there facing the same direction and will fan the hive. They do this to cool down the temperature of the hive. 

They don’t fly around the hive while bee bearding. They will just sit in front of the hive and after a while, they will go inside of the hive. All these behaviors are signs of bee bearding.

Other Signs Similar to Bearding 

There is other bee behavior at hive entrance that can confuse you at times. Behaviors like washboarding and swarming are kind of similar to bee bearding. But they have some unique signs.

When you see a group of bees walking rhythmically at the entrance of your hive, that is washboarding. This behavior is very similar to bearding. But when you see them walking rhythmically and cleaning the hive, that’s washboarding,

On the other hand, swarming is an alarming behavior for hive owners. When you see lots of bees flying around hives, you can call it swarming. They normally fly around the hive then sit somewhere close to the hive.

Swarming is alarming as the bees leave their hive for a new one. They will not return until the new hive is ready. So when you see this, make a new hive as soon as possible. 

If you see that some bees are dying outside your door, then there might be a big problem. In that case, you have to take some actions quickly.  

All these signs are quite similar to bearding. So it’s important to know all the signs properly. With that, you can be sure about your bees’ behavior and take action accordingly. 

Why Bees Beard 

Now you might be thinking, why do bees beard. Well,’ bee bearding’ is a very common activity as we’ve mentioned. They do it to decrease the temperature of their hive.

From time to time the colony of bees starts increasing. As a result, the temperature inside the hive increases which causes them to be beard. Many older bees hang outside to cool down the temperature inside.

Many of the bees also fan inside the hive in order to cool it down. They do it so that the new bees can grow safely inside the hives. The heat and humidity can be controlled with this attempt.

Bearding in hot weather is very common and natural. As the temperature increases, they are more likely to hang outside. As it gets darker they go inside again. If you see bees hanging outside hives at night, that is also to cool down the hive.

Many people think that they might be doing that for food. But That’s not the case. If you are thinking about making your bees some healthy foods, you should. You can make fondant for your bees at home and give them. 

Or you can use Priddy Acres Sweet B Fondant which we recommend. 

Apart from that here’s a list of bee foods that you will find helpful-

So, the main reason for bee bearding is to cool down the temperature inside the hive. But sometimes that can also be an early sign of swarming if they do it frequently in cool weather.

Bees Bearding in the Rain

If you see bees bearding on rainy day, that can be normal or abnormal. And that’s why we will suggest a check of the hive. It depends on the results and we will talk about both cases now.

Normally on a rainy day, bees are bearded because they have nothing to do as they can’t work in the rain. So they choose to stay outside and enjoy the weather. Also, it will cool down the temperature inside a little. 

But they can also do that because there might be excessive heat inside their hive. This can be a concerning issue for you as the bees might be getting ready to swarm. Most probably the population has increased a lot and now they need a new hive or a bigger one.

Bees Bearding in Other Weathers

Bees bearding in hot weather is not a concerning issue. It is quite natural and also a healthy practice for your bees. 

But if you see bees bearding in cool weather, that might be a concerning issue. If they beard in cool weather, that means the heat inside the hive is too much. The excessive heat and humidity might be causing them to beard.

So, take action according to the weather of bee bearding. 

What to Do If Your Bees are Bearding in the Rain

When you see bees bearding in the rain, you have to make sure that there is excessive heat inside. If that’s the case, that means your hive is now overpopulated.

If you see that every frame is filled and there is no more space then you need another hive. If you have one hive then make another one for the other bees. Try making a beehive following some easy methods. Here’s how your beehive can have an impact:

Make sure that your bees have access to pure water. Also, make sure that there is enough empty space around your beehive. This will make sure better airflow inside the beehive.


Common queries regarding bee behavior and weathers can look like these-

Can bees survive in the rain?

Yes, normally bees can survive in the rain. And if one gets wet you can help that bee by giving him some sugar water to drink. 

Will bees swarm in wet weather?

No, bees don’t swarm in wet weather. Swarming has a different cause and rain is not relevant to swarming. 

How do you protect a beehive from the rain?

You can easily protect a beehive from the rain by applying big plywood over your beehive. That will create more room for the bees while raining.


In this article, I’ve discussed what bees bearding in the rain really means. Also what you should do if they are doing this for excessive heat. I’ve also mentioned how to identify their behaviors for bee bearding.

That’s all for now. See you in the next one. 

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