Your Native Bee Hive may need some help during the hotter periods. Native Bees don’t cope very well when the temperatures get to 40 – 42°C and you could lose your hive from over heating.
Things you can do to help keep the hive temperature down:
Provide a well insulated hive box – Thick / light weight / light colours
Provide a well insulated roof over the box – Thick materials with an air flow gap between the roof and box
Build a shade structure over the box – Shade cloth or pergola type structure
Use the shade from trees – The hive could be moved backwards under the shade of a tree
Allow air flow around the box – Avoid positions like patio corners where there’s no air flow
Avoid hot areas or positions for the box – areas that create radiating heat mass when exposed to sun like brick walls, concrete slabs, pavers etc
Extreme measures– rarely necessary
Move the hive indoors – Block up the hive entrance the night before and take indoors to air conditioning (use mesh or a screen to block the entrance to allow air flow but stop the bees leaving)
Use a fan to cool the hive box
Place a bucket full of ice on the hive box – cooling the hive, not freezing it
Place a wet towel over the hive box
Some of these suggestions might sound crazy and are rarely needed, but when the temperatures are getting up to 40°C you’ll be starting to worry about losing your precious bee hive and it may only be necessary to do this for one day in a year or if there’s a heat wave in your area.