Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently watched a video by Ian Steppler where he did thermal imaging of the hives inside his shed. He was able to tell the difference between the dead colonies and those that were alive, but had moved up in the hive. Since he didn't mention the model of the unit and I didn't detect a model number on it in the video, and of coarse his mailbox is full, I thought I'd ask the question here as to which FLUKE Thermal Imaging unit is most used by beekeepers for accessing the mortality rate on their hives? A visit to the FLUKE website showed a large number of units that fell under the professional grade as well as the performance grade units with with as many different prices as units! I would like to check my outside wintered hives periodically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,289 Posts
I step up two the stand alone camera. Where the plug in the phone one could be come out dated when you get a new phone. Yes it was more$. But I use it with my buss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like Beebeard, I also pulled the trigger and purchased a hti HT-18 off Amazon. I did make some inquiries of FLUKE in regards to their entry grade thermal imager, the TiS 10 which sells for approximately $1100. Since my inquiry, FLUKE has ramped up the sales pressure. In regards to my research of the TiS 10, I can't find anything on YouTube in regards to its operation. I have found some reference to having to take what appeared to be an on-line class to learn how to operate the software. There were just no resources out there to be able to watch or review that would make one feel comfortable about this large of a purchase. That's the FLUKE.

Now for the hti HT-18, as I said this was an Amazon purchase for $409, considerably less than the FLUKE. Right out of the box, I found a little juice left in the battery, enough to play around with it to get the gist to how the unit operated. After an hour on the charger, I was fully charged and ready to play!

Now I'd also like to mention, because I believe it is important, yesterday was a very sunny day here in Michigan, not the norm. It did reach into the low 50's in the sun and the bees were making some cleansing flights. So it stands to reason that what surfaces were hit with light were also absorbing light energy. Thus when I went down to the hives in late afternoon, which face south sitting on red or black plastic pallets, which in turn were on cinder blocks. All of which was on 6 inches of crushed stone, you can probably guess that there was a large mixer of readings on the camera. Yet I was able to make out a difference between my live hives and the deadouts. I really wasn't 100% sold on the camera with all these random reading.

Now this morning before dawn, I did go out to take a ready. After a cold night allowing everything to cool down, I was very surprised!
There was no doubt about which hive was alive and which was dead. No random colors (readings) to throw me off. Either all black for dead or a black hive with a yellow glow in the top super. At this point, I believe I can also say that I was able to distinguish between a weak hive that was alive and a strong one just by the intensity of glow and size of the yellow glow. I feel this is important to determine which hives will need some special attention in regards to feeding down the road.

I'd like to mention also that in reading my foot prints made yesterday afternoon in the snow while I was on my way back to the house. I noticed a yellow footprint against the black reading of the snow. It was evident to see that the heat from the ground was coming up through the compacted snow in the footprint!

In all, I'm very happy with my hti HT-18 thermal inaging camera. I see it as a useful tool for winter inspection purposes. It works great, doesn't have a steep learning curve, and the cost I believe is very reasonable for what it does. Another nice point is that it is a stand alone camera, i.e. it isn't something that has to be connected to an i-phone or android phone in order to use it! I'm very happy with my recent purchase.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top