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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Warm in the hive

    It was 48 today in central Ohio and I took the opportunity to give some of my colonies some candy. I know that it is only December 14 and that they are eating their stores; however, I am a bit paranoid about bee survival. Some would say extreme.

    I took the opportunity to put an indoor outdoor thermometer in one of my single deep colonies. It will tell me the temp inside the colony near the cluster and the temp outside. Right now it is 39 ambient and 77 inside the colony. Should be interesting as next week we are getting down into single digits over night.

    I will share some of my info to those who are interested and those, like me, who are paranoid about what the temp is and survival rate.

    Pife

    Oh, by the way all nine colonies are alive and doing well. The hives with two deep have the cluster in the lower box.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    Pife,

    Not paranoid here, but certainly interested is seeing some of your data. Can you tabulate the data in some sort of a spreadsheet?

    Regards,
    Bear Creek Steve

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    Try not to disturb them to much in the winter you break the propolis seal that protects them against cold winter winds and they don’t have the ability to repair it. If the cluster is in the bottom box things are good. I usually make my first inspection in late January you get a better observation of which hives need help. The majority of hives that starve will do so in March, buy then the queen has been laying again and they use food reserves quicker.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    I am going to do some data tabulations over the winter. Next week we are into single digit temps and it will be interesting to see the hive temps. The other thing that I have done to the outside hives (I have three nucs in the garage) is to put some styrofoam on the outside of some of the hives to help insulated them from the frigid wind.

    The engineer comes out as I sit in the house next to the fire and worry about my wards outside.

    I have lost hives in the past and it normally occurs in February. Last year I lost 2 of 5 and I knew going in that I would lose one that was weak. I should have combined. THis year they are all strong and the colonies are heavy.

    All of this does not reduce my concern.

    Best of luck to all that have hives in northern states.

    Pife

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    Pife,

    Take a look at the following:

    http://s791.photobucket.com/albums/yy191/goldcamp/

    The North East is not the only place that gets cold in the winter.

    This setup consists of : A partially vented SBB, two deep brood chambers, a medium full of honey, an inner cover, a gallon feed can full of 2:1 syrup surrounded by a deep super. All covered by 2" of styrofoam which is covered with tar paper. There is a 2" sheet of styrofoam on top of the inner cover around the feed can. Outer cover on top of the stack. One inch opening to the outside above the SBB and also at the inner cover level. It works!

    Would like to try your indoor/outdoor technique next winter. Please post your data collected this winter.

    Regards,
    Steve

    Regards,
    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    Google a study by Owens done in Wisconsin in the 50s. The word Thermology is in the title. (Dept of Agriculture pub).

    When it hits 0 outside, don't freak out if the Hive temp goes down--it will. The bees only heat the cluster, not the Hive--there is a difference.

    You should get better readings near the top since heat rises....good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    The bees have moved in the hive. When I first put the thermometer into the hive it was at the cluster which was right below the opening in the inner cover. The temp outside would be in mid 20's and the inside reading was mid 60's. Now it is holding about 40 regardless of outside temp. This tells me that the cluster has moved and that the air leaving the hive (ventilation) is holding pretty steady. It also tells me that they are alive and well.

    Next ten days have a high of 32 here in central Ohio so no feeding in foreseeable future. Pife

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    This may be of interest:

    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/a...ingJan2010.htm

    Allen Dick's website is full of info, some temperature related.

    Heat is lost from the cluster of bees to the surrounding air and surfaces just like 500 parents watching a Winter Concert will "lose heat" in the auditorium. It's unintentional...


    These inferred photos are interesting:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215041

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215329
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    Thanks curious. That is absolutely fascinating. The thermal imaging is spectacular and should help all of us sleep a little better. As long as our friends have fuel (honey) they will be OK. Thanks for sharing. Greg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,199

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    Where near the cluster is the thermometor? Beside? Above? Below? In the cluster?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Warm in the hive

    When I firt put the thermometer in it was right at the cluster which was near the center of the hive at the top of the frames. This is a single deep hive. That was Dec 10 and I am confident that the cluster moved due to the lower reading. If it ever warms into the 40's I will open the hive to give them some candy. THey have not had a break from the cold since then. Pife

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