Hello, I would like your opinions on a peculiar feature I came across researching an old elegant mansion in Detroit. The house was built in 1861 in a pastoral setting (and sadly torn down in 1922 with little photographic record). Here's a quote from the newspaper dated 1866:
"In the third story are located the servant's bedrooms and billiard room, while in the tower [of the house, part of the third story] is a tank containing sixty barrels of water, which is distributed by pipes to every portion of the house. As a precaution against freezing, this room is also used as an apiary, the hives entirely surrounding the tank, and communicating by tubes with the open air."
Is this idea of using an apiary as insulation in any way effective? Can you attest to any other examples of an apiary used in this manner?