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The following chart is copied from the book "Observation Hives" by Webster and Caron.

I thought I would scan and post it for others to see.

 

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Good post, thank you
Made me realize that you can sorta know how much of their stores are gone by the number of cold days you have. In other words if you are having a cold winter they will need more stores. For those that have snow cover their hives it will take less stores because snow is very good insulator:s
 

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It also indicates that the better the hive is at retaining heat, the less bees have to work to maintain a certain in-hive temperature. Which also reduces the amount of stores consumed to maintain said heat level.
 

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So 5 deg C = 40 deg F and is the temp that Bees cluster and eat the least amount of honey.

Any higher and they start carrying out hive duties and need more honey to fuel their activity.

So if it's 40 deg F outside the hive but the hive is REALLY well insulated, do the bees do more hive activity?
Does that low point in the graph of the metabolic rate of the hive move if it is well insulated?
 

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So 5 deg C = 40 deg F and is the temp that Bees cluster and eat the least amount of honey.

Any higher and they start carrying out hive duties and need more honey to fuel their activity.

So if it's 40 deg F outside the hive but the hive is REALLY well insulated, do the bees do more hive activity?
Does that low point in the graph of the metabolic rate of the hive move if it is well insulated?
Now that's a question that i'd like to know the answer to myself as well. I mean those that use the Poly hive bodies are insulating their bees from the cold and heat. Although the hive maintains the temp in the cluster and isn't worried about the air around it, with those types of hives the heat would start to accumulate and allow them to move easier, etc. Then there is also people that use thick hive bodies made from 1.5 inch wood, more insulation value would mean warmer in winter, cooler in summer.

Interesting...
 

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A hive that is "really well insulated" will have smaller temperature swings than a poorly insulated hive. To the extent that the movement of radiated cluster heat is slowed down by the hive insulation, the insulated hive is likely to be warmer than a non/poorly insulated hive. And a warmer colony is likely to be more active. If you follow Ian's posts about his indoor wintering setup, once the (non-heated) bee storage building temperatures climb much above 40 degrees F, he really has no option but to move the hives back outside.

If we go much further down this road, very soon we will be back at ...
Bees Only Heat the Cluster, Not the Hive? :lpf:



... is it that time already? ...:)
 

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I thought I would scan and post it for others to see.
Now all that is needed is to superimpose a graph on the amount of energy consumption for growing the same pound of bees. Has anyone done that as a comparison? From my experience overwintering consumption is nothing compared to spring buildup and spring build up can be supplemented so why all the worry?
 

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Now that's a question that i'd like to know the answer to myself as well.
One of my properties is in a Polish town and we know how we like to make fun of Polish people but my tenant puts his refrigerator on the porch that is unheated. What do you think the insulation in that refrigerate is doing on a porch through the winter in Upstate NY? My guess is not much. How do you think this Polish guy is making out on his electric bill? I think he is no dummy.:thumbsup:
 

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Good chart!

Stores usage will increase slightly with temperatures above 40 F. You will notice, the slope of the energy usage increase below this point is much sharper per degree temperature change than it is per degree temperature change above 40 F.
Your decision regarding hive insulation value in your particular circumstances could be done with fair accuracy on the basis of degree days over the period from end of foraging till beginning of foraging. Not many will be deciding on that basis but our hunches if they are correct should not be too out of whack with what degree days would predict.

For me at 46 degrees N. insulation is an easy decision and it also should be if you are, say, in Georgia! Whether you have Carniolan or Russians rather than Italian bees is probably more important part of the decision. With carni bees my hive weight will drop only a bit over 10 lbs from mid Oct. till the end of March then use 25 lbs in March and April when they start brooding again.
 

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Crofter - Like that information on honey use through the winter. Interesting. Maybe one day I will set something up to monitor it.
 
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