Water and its three uses in a beehive.
By Lindsay Wilson
Firstly, Bees need water to dilute honey before it can be use as food in the hive.
Secondly, Water is needed to maintain a high humidity levels to stop the brood from drying out.
Thirdly, As a water-cooled air conditioning system. If temperature get above 33C the bees will start using water to cover surfaces in the hive in order to cool it. More bees will start fanning at the entrance of the hive drawing air in to the hive and making an air flow. But this is a slow proses, it more a billed up.
As the temperature rises, the house bee will more readily accept nectar from the field bees that has a higher content of water less sugars, as the house bees ripen that nectar it will cool the hive, some of the field bees will then swap from collecting nectar and join the small number of bees that already collecting water for diluting honey to also start collect water. The house bees then taking that water and use it to cool the hive.
As the hive starts to cool down the house bees don’t need so much water coming in and will slowly stop taking the water from the field bee, it will take some time for the water bee to hand over all the water and when they do so, that bee stop collecting water and go back the nectar and so on till the balance’s in the hive is right. Remember a beehive is a superorganism, not one brain but a group, and all parts of a group makes a Colony.
Something to think about – Lindsay Wilson