Night in the Apiary
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    Question Night in the Apiary

    Hey, y'all,

    I wanted to start a thread that was about night time observations. These are external observations. NEVER NEVER open a bee hive @ night unless you really know what you are doing.

    I recently got a higher resolution thermal camera that I can take videos with.

    https://www.yunzowfamilyfarm.net/upl...-206_0_745.mp4

    I am real curious about how the bees have different temperatures. The hottest bees are only a few, and they are moving around, patrolling bees. Strangely, the clump of bees at the entrance is cooler than other parts of the hive.

    Does anyone have any understanding of these temperature differences?

    Thanks,
    Thomas
    Last edited by Yunzow; 09-07-2019 at 09:51 PM.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
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    Thumbs Up Re: Night in the Apiary

    Here is a video that contrasts. The entrance is very hot; the bees are around the hole.

    https://www.yunzowfamilyfarm.net/upl...-206_1_447.mp4
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    NEVER NEVER open a bee hive @ night unless you really know what you are doing
    Or want a really serious dose of apitherapy.

    Thomas, are you using one of the Flir camera attachments or is it a stand alone thermal imaging camera?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
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    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    Ya working bees at night not geared up is like having a knife fight in a dark room and the other guy has night vision gear lol.
    Rod

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    Hey there JW, thanks for the reply!

    I have two SEEK cameras, one is stand alone, and I just got one that attaches to apple devices.
    (As an aside, I dropped the stand alone camera one too many times and right now it barely functions.)

    So... that video I posted is using the apple attachment with a tablet.

    Thanks,
    Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Or want a really serious dose of apitherapy.

    Thomas, are you using one of the Flir camera attachments or is it a stand alone thermal imaging camera?
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  7. #6
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    I learned the hard way
    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    Ya working bees at night not geared up is like having a knife fight in a dark room and the other guy has night vision gear lol.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    Here are some images from this morning (dark outside).

    Sorry these pictures need to be rotated. The hot spots are on top of the hive.

    IMG_0011 2.JPG
    This one is from a Lazutin style hive. I removed the lids to get a thermal image directly from the top bars. So this is a heat signature from the cluster. It was just under 60 degrees Fahrenheit when I took this image.

    IMG_0012 2.JPG
    This one is more complicated to explain. It is a bit of a Frankenstein hive, with langstroth frames inserted into a Lazutin style hive. The dark areas are where I have put aluminum tape over the Langstroth frames. The lit up areas are where the top bar style frames begin. Again this morning under 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    I once installed a package of bees at about 10 pm, using a red LED light.

    I thought it was a good idea at the time.

    I doubt if I got more than half a dozen stings.

    Bees can't see in red light - same for vespids (wasps).

    So mostly they crawl everywhere. But they crawl EVERYWHERE. And they are NOT happy.

    Would do it again if necessary, but hope it never is.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    Cool video.
    I'm going to guess, the reason for the different temperatures is:
    The bees in the center of the brood nest are about 93F, as that is the temperature of the brood nest.
    Bees that have been in the center of the nest are 93F when they come out, and they stay relatively warm for at least a minute or two.
    Bees that are hanging around outside are cooler, because the outside temperature is cooler, about 70F or lower.

    One consequence of being warmer is that the bees move more rapidly.

    Since bees individually are "cold blooded", they match the temperature of their environment. To warm themselves, they (collectively) warm their environment.
    If it is cold outside, bees can be as cool as about 42F. Cooler than that and they can't move.
    If they are cooler than about 42F, they will fall down off of the cluster. At about 28F, their hemolymph will freeze, and they will die.
    (bees warmer than 28F but cooler than 42F will appear dead, but can be revived by warming. (if you pick them up from the snow and breathe on them gently, they will start moving. However, they probably flew out of the hive to die, because they are sick. So don't put them back in the hive.

    It is like being at a party where it is too hot. When you go outside, you don't need a jacket, as you are too hot. But people who have been outside a long time are all bundled up and freezing.
    (not exactly, since you are most likely warm blooded, but similar. Sort of like the greenhouse effect - even though the atmosphere does not really resemble a greenhouse.)

  11. #10

    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    I once had a hive that had a lot of bees flying out and landing in the snow, even on a day when the temperature was 25F and it was cloudy.

    I caught about a hundred of these before they froze, and brought them inside and tried to keep them alive.

    They looked pretty good for a few days, but then they started to die. Within 10 days, they all had died, though they looked mostly OK, except for being dead.

    Maybe it was a failure of my technique, but more likely they were practicing altruistic suicide. The hive wintered OK without them.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Night in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Or want a really serious dose of apitherapy.

    Thomas, are you using one of the Flir camera attachments or is it a stand alone thermal imaging camera?
    Actually I will somewhat take the other side of Never Never. I had a funny job schedule for a couple years and only could work the bees at night. needing some semblance of photon bombardment, I idled my car up to the hives. Soon found a sweet distance and slight angle where the glare was minimized and still have plenty light to see. I will tell you, seeing eggs with a cars headlights is way easy. I actually enjoyed it much more, was cooler and the bees seemed calmer and you never start the dance on a robbing frenzy. Not sure where your never never come from, but I would open bees, in a heartbeat in the middle of the night. As well my relocations are nighttime missions as well. Screen them, grab them, in the car move out un-screen, done. done a few with 4 hour rides starting at 4am. works slick, cooler and they stay calmer in the dark. Just got in actually , I put 40 frames of wet extracted comb on a hive to clean up. the other day I did it and there were 100s of bees on the supers before I could get the hive opened and ready to stack them. to night not a single bee.
    Count GG

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