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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Hive temps/thermostat probes

    Im going to hives in morning and I bought two more digital indoor/outdoor temp gauges (not the same ones as in link below but so you get the idea) http://www.songbirdgarden.com/store/...idCategory=562
    and I plan on sticking the probes down on the clusters. This is just so I can have some entertainment over the winter and know colonies are alive from outside. I have three of digital thermometers now. I plan on putting one just under the inner cover to see how warm the hives are and two down right on top of cluster figuring they will move up over them as time goes by.

    Anyway Im wonder if anyone will guess whether this will upset them when a prob is dropped on top of cluster. I dont want the cluster to break up. Opinions please. I will be heading out around noon today.

    I have opened hives in the middle of winter on more than one occasion so I dont need any warnings about that. They will be fine and they will be open less than a minute at about 25 degrees or so.

    Ill bring my cam and might put a clip on you tube if it seems worth publishing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Hive temps/thermostat probes

    The only thing that will disrupt or kill the bees is if it is colder than about 45 degrees. You can't do this quick enough if the temp is low so wait until the right time. I put an indoor outdoor thermometer in one of my single deeps and have been entertaining myself this winter. When I first put it on the cluster (the bees move out of the way) the outside was 48 and the inside was about 77. That evening I think it was 38/68. Now it is high 20's and about 40 in the colony. Obviously the cluster has moved.

    Please wait until the temp gets 45 or 40 with very good sunshine and bees coming out to cleanse.
    Pife

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Hive temps/thermostat probes

    From January in NY: "When I got home I saw that one of my telescoping insulated covers along with the inner cover was blown off a hive leaving the bees completely exposed to low twenties/teens temps overnight and into the next afternoon. I thought there was no way they could be alive...I replaced the covers and crossed my fingers. A couple days later my curiosity got the best of me and I peeked in breifly to my surprise I could hear the cluster and saw quite a few live bees and no dead ones for as much as I could see. I think I have this hive tilted too far forward and with the ice and snow the rock must have slid off the galvanized top allowing the cover to get blown off. Im sure if it had snowed or rained they would have definately been doomed-I got really lucky I guess." > http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224780
    There have been other threads with similar situations. It is probably best NOT to open hives in cold winters if it is not necessary,..though.

    I think you will be OK. with just the few minutes needed to install those probes, but since you have the experience with opening hives, you need to be the judge of that. Temps will be in mid twenties I believe. I have no experience with doing this but don't think the probes will disturb the cluster as long as they are not pushed into it.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 12-24-2010 at 07:12 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,618

    Default Re: Hive temps/thermostat probes

    There is a thermometer in the observation hive at the shop. We have not noticed any adverse reactions to it. Do not expect the bees to stay clustered on it if it is a heat sink. As to opening the hive, colder can be better, they won't fly as quickly if it is acttually too cold to fly.

    Roland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Hive temps/thermostat probes

    I went through and put on fondant and put in two probes. I got about 60 degrees on outside or just in clusters. I got poor video of that fact but I got some interesting video of opening up hives today and finding two dead outs already of nine in that yard. The two dead outs were plum full of honey and three weakest hives still alive. And the meanest bees I got looked the best. Go figure. Ill post video on Sunday most likely.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Hive temps/thermostat probes

    I have a related couple of questions:
    Rather than add fondant, would it be ok to add a deep of honey with pollen?
    Is there a drawback to adding a 70 degree room temp box to a winter cold hive?
    I was tidying up a couple of deadouts (dwindled, or got stuck on some brood, no evidence of disease), and was thinking that rather than having the honey sit in the shed I could put the boxes on my lightest hives and have a little insurance against starvation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Hive temps/thermostat probes

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    I have a related couple of questions:
    Rather than add fondant, would it be ok to add a deep of honey with pollen?
    Is there a drawback to adding a 70 degree room temp box to a winter cold hive?
    I cant give you a answer from experience or literature on that idea but I will give you my opinion on the matter. I would not put 70 degree honey on cold hive cause I would be worried they would break cluster and get disorganized then possibly freeze to death. I think you would be better putting it on cold as long as your not putting twenty below zero honey right on top of cluster. I would bring honey outside over night on a mild night and put on following day when in upper twenties or warmer.

    Ill add pollen next month when they should start raising some brood.

    I am away from home at moment so I cant publish a video till tomorrow but I am wondering the same thing. One colony was all the way up top and covered 80-90 percent of top bars so Im worried they already have cleaned up most of there honey. I was thinking I should just add a deep of honey from dead outs but Im wondering if I should be worried about what killed the dead outs. I could not add fondant cause I would have crushed thousands of bees.

    I did not think about dead outs getting stuck on brood. We got slammed with 22 inches of snow, twenty below zero temps and 40 mile an hour winds from the east which left my north/northwest wind break pointless. I this yard unwrapped and other yard wrapped and insulated to compare colonies in spring but I have a feeling that was a big mistake. If they were all screened bottom boards Ill bet every one would have been toast after that storm I should have taken a closer look to see if they froze to death and will have make a trip out there in the next week or two and do so.

    I will take some video at my other yard when I check to see if they are eating fondant and are alive as long as I get a day in upper twenty's with no wind.

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