Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How cold does a healthy hive let the cluster get in winter? Im using broodminder and shocked to see the inside temp is 55 F. I thought the bees would keep things warmer than that- not sure if this is normal or the sign of an dying hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,974 Posts
I admit I do not know what brood minder is but an in the hive temperature of 55 sounds very healthy to me. I have no idea what the outside ambient temperature is but the bees have a mandate to keep their body temperature above 45 degrees. When they get to that temperature, they cluster and keep the surface of that cluster at that temperature. If the temperature inside the box is 55, the bees do not need to cluster but can go about activities such as bringing far flung honey stores into the core area where they will cluster if needed.

Now I wrap my hives with an insulated wrap with heavy top insulation and a mid level entrance. During Below zero outside ambient temperatures, I have seen bees guarding that entrance.

Some folks loudly declare that bees do not heat the hive, only the cluster. Your data and my observations show that physics is still alive and well. Your bees are fine.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,692 Posts
Kateowp, it is going to be 70° here Sat. Open up the hive and see where the brood nest/cluster is in relation to the temperature probe. I find that my bees tend to cluster on the southern side of the hive and if your probe is anywhere else, you are just not getting a true picture of the inhive temperatures. With the mild weather we have been getting, I expect to see a fair amount of brood when I get in the hives this weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Hey, Kate,

I'm not familiar with the broodminder, but it appears to me it would be taking a spot temperature, so it probably matters greatly where you place it. I would echo what JW is saying. Also, maybe they aren't raising brood at the moment, so no need to keep things hot inside.

How cold does a healthy hive let the cluster get in winter? Im using broodminder and shocked to see the inside temp is 55 F. I thought the bees would keep things warmer than that- not sure if this is normal or the sign of an dying hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Ok- I will take a peek Saturday! Im not expecting brood cause the temps are much lower than necessary. If Im reading broodminder right (and I may not be!) the hive hasnt had brood since mid October.
https://map.beecounted.org/hive/summary/rXyv/last180days
Kate,

If your Broodminder is over the cluster, but several inches away, it sounds like a reasonable temp. As long as the temp is several degrees above ambient temp, your bees are likely ok. During the coldest weather last year, my Broodminder never dropped below 40F as I recall.

Your bees are probably laying up some brood right now. I think you can relax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
I have a homemade data logger on one of my hives. When the bees are not on/near the temperature sensor it reads cool, but it is usually a bit above ambient. I am guessing the cluster had just moved up or away from the temperature sensor, so you are not seeing the bees. heat rises, so the bottom of the hive (if the cluster has moved up) will be cooler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,785 Posts
Can you tell us your hive configuration and the placement of the temperature monitor that you are taking your reading from? When you were getting the 55 degree reading, what was the temperature outside the hive?
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top