Water – Ventilation – Shade
The experts are predicting an unprecedented heatwave next week; 
how will our bees cope?
In the wild, the colony inside a hollow tree will be protected from the direct sun by the canopy of leaves.  As water evaporates from the leaves it cools the tree, so the bees have an air-conditioned home.  
If we place our bees in a thin-walled, dark coloured box and place it in direct sun at midday, then they will have a problem.In parts of the USA they are used to these conditions, and suggestions on the internet are:
WATER – make sure your bees have easy access to a water source; they will collect the water to evaporate inside the hive
VENTILATION – remove any varroa insert and open the entrance.  Some suggest putting a match or coin under the crown board to increase air flow whilst keeping the hive safe from robbers
SHADE – if the hive is in sun at midday, try to create shade.  Placing a large sheet of plywood on the roof works well (even cardboard in dry weather).  Or can you utilise the white sheet you normally use for collecting swarms to create some shade?

Nick Mawby

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