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A reference table snapshot:

61280






Add to this the numerous variables, from affects of disease, consumption of stores, dehydration, wind effects, sun, rapid temperature changes plus the lack of knowledge about humidity effects. The scientific knowledge about humidity in a hive is growing now because of the advent of small electronic devices capable of measuring the effects of various relative humidities at various temperatures.

It is likely that all scientific knowledge of bee hive activity and hive design will be amended to reflect this sensor capability impact. It will be slow developing as honey bees have an ability to distort the data by propolizing the sensor packaging. My crude single point, relative location data which has time delays and peak information clipping has been an eye opener for me. I am planningon expanding the number of sensors used and apply them to multiple points.

Internal cluster data appears to be available but certainly needs more work. The impact of hive design to cluster performance is sorely lacking along with brood rearing effects of hive design.

Any literature found on the subject would be greatly appreciated. I am well aware of MItchells' theoretical work but need to acquire paper copies of all his efforts. Apparently I must purchase them and spend the time studying them as I have no affiliations providing access. All help and comments are welcome.
 

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There was a virtual conference on monitoring hives using FLIR or temp sensors or microphones or video (entrance).


I'm familiar with the Broodminder temp sensor system, where there is one sensor in each box. Someone designed a temp sensor "net" that fit below the inner cover. That's more like what I would prefer to see in action! Lots more about the cluster size/shape/location can be revealed.

What I'd really like is a good digital scale, but I didn't sell enough honey this year to buy that. ;)

as for papers desired, if you google some of the presenters' names in the Youtube series, you can find papers online... those will have references... if you see a favorite, pm me! I can get it.
 

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There was a virtual conference on monitoring hives using FLIR or temp sensors or microphones or video (entrance).


I'm familiar with the Broodminder temp sensor system, where there is one sensor in each box. Someone designed a temp sensor "net" that fit below the inner cover. That's more like what I would prefer to see in action! Lots more about the cluster size/shape/location can be revealed.

What I'd really like is a good digital scale, but I didn't sell enough honey this year to buy that. ;)

as for papers desired, if you google some of the presenters' names in the Youtube series, you can find papers online... those will have references... if you see a favorite, pm me! I can get it.
If you are looking for historical information on clusters, Owens, in the 1950's, ran several large test with various hive designs using thermocouples. He recoreded two million data points and plotted thermoclines or constant temperature lines which the showed movement of the cluster during the winter to spring season. He had no ability to acquire humidity data.

Making sense of weighting is far more difficult then supposed. The problem seesm to be related to absorption of moisture by wood. I had hive weights go up in winter - right. The systems advertised are quire expensive, focus on data recording and transmission - more like toys. I use rather cheap thermometers, I have thermocouple capability and weigh with a fish scale. Daily, maybe recorded every 12 hours, is nice for temperature and humidity. Weights are hardly needed on a weekly basis. Every minute or ten minutes seems un-useable to me unless doing a specific transient test. I asked one of the big monitor advertisers if they temeprature compensated their weighting sensor - no answer. I typically weight ten hives about 5 times a year - primarily for Fall stores going into winter.

FLIR had implementation problems in 1970 and the advertised versions still seem like toys - fun for some. But they do make some very expensive, sensitive stuff for scientific testing that are apparently quite good - no touch sensing with good calibration. and understanding of radiation parameters and test methods - impressed me in some reports. My clusters, whenever I probe or evaluate by inspection seem to stay centered in the brood chamber. This past winter they took honey from the outside first, so it seems,and saved honey over head and around the cluster as last resort until spring flow. Entirely different than past years with the improved insulation techniques and warmer internal ambients.

Realize I have been just exploring and changing on the go to develop an understanding of bee - temperature - relative humidity - brood care - honey production cycles. With a bad 3-month Summer to Fall drought, insulation on all year (not the best insulation configuration but it will be improved this coming year), I seem to have gotten my best capped frames and total weight plus all healthy hives going into winter. Part of the success resulted from bigger healthier, earlier Spring hives. I will be looking closer to the net effects this year. I also need to run some un-modified hives as a baseline - time to start taking detailed notes too.

Thanks for the offer.



I may taek you up on the
 

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Making sense of weighting is far more difficult then supposed. The problem seesm to be related to absorption of moisture by wood. I had hive weights go up in winter - right.
Very true. My friend has scales under few hives. The first time we looked at the graphs in spring, it was very weird to see the weight go up occasionally during winter. It was also somewhat scary to see the sudden weight loss on certain days. We figured out that the weight gain and loss was because of accumulating snow on top of the hives.
 

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Water in winter and mineral study is the next frontier in beekeeping. If we could shave loss rates by at least 10% wouldn’t it be worth it?

For my part- I added sponges within my vivaldi board feeding space to feed spritzed water back. I think the key is not being afraid of proper humidity but keeping it from raining on the cluster. All is well. No losses for more than 2 years.
 

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Have you looked at Vitamins and Electrolytes Plus by AgriLabs? The package is pretty cheap and provides the same vitamins and minerals as found in Ultrabee pollen sub, without the proteins. The 4 oz bag lasts me 2 years. It came highly recommended by Lauri Miller, a Beesource member who is big on nutrition for her bees.
 

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Have you looked at Vitamins and Electrolytes Plus by AgriLabs? The package is pretty cheap and provides the same vitamins and minerals as found in Ultrabee pollen sub, without the proteins. The 4 oz bag lasts me 2 years. It came highly recommended by Lauri Miller, a Beesource member who is big on nutrition for her bees.
Thanks for reminding me. I bought that bag and read Laurie’s work. She’s a treasure. I have many of her posts printed out for reference.
 

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Down in Southern California, I enjoy Winter increase most years, not cold kills. My take on the matter is insulation. Have we tried 6 inches of styrofoam? 12 inches?Many of us have used 2 inches.

I suspect that a 3-1/2 sided strawbale building with a roof keeps them dry and helps reduce wind-related heat loss.

Quilt boxes with a fondant board built in underneath, the straw tended to 2, 3, or even 4 times during a harsh Winter could reduce Winter kills 10% or more on a bad Winter.

I'd love to run experiments involving the Jumbo Dadant / Brother Adam type hives vs. standard hives with the temperature sensors. I strongly suspect that the superior brood nest in the larger hives has a significant advantage in beehive thermodymnamics.

Another hive design contender in small apiary management in very cold climates is the William Broughton Carr hive, which is of course no way practical for commercial operations, but of interest to Northern hobbyists.
 
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