Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As may have been noted from prior questions and replies I am interested in water and it's effects on a honey bee colony. Understanding all the transformations of water, forces on water and uses of water is not easy. It is one of the primary components of our thin-film world.

This may sound crazy but - why is it when I reach for frozen ice cubes with my warm finger the ice cubes attach to my fingers like they are glued on? Is it a catalytic effect resulting super-cooled liquid or water vapor on the surface of the ice cube suddenly transforming into ice on my warm finger? If so please explain the reaction.

Not joking, I would really like an exact explanation to help with my journey to really understanding evaporation, condensation, diffusion and the interactions in a hive.
:scratch:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
The skin of your fingers - just like most every other part of your body is around 70% water - which can therefore freeze, and which is why extremely low temperatures causes frostbite in unprotected extremities.

Ice cubes you can get away with, but suggest you don't try holding a block of solid Carbon Dioxide with bare fingers - 'cause you just might lose 'em.

Ok - warning out of the way - an explanation:
the warmth of your fingers, coupled with the moisture on them will melt the frozen water molecules on the surface of the ice. But - these will then immediately re-freeze, attaching the skin to the ice.

It's no different in principle from welding, where a liquid weld-pool is created between two solid surfaces - so that when that weld-pool cools, the metals are then joined together.

Similar also to how many glues work - by filling the rough (microscopically-speaking) surface of the skin to make it ultra-smooth - which then causes a stronger adhesion to occur.

If you want to see this sort of thing in action, lay a sheet of clean glass down flat. Pour water on it (to smooth-out any imperfections) and place another sheet on top. Then try and separate them. That's how a lot of glues work - by solidifying or gelling the 'water equivalent' to make the effect permanent.
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks LJ and JConnolly - I did not believe Google as I doubted the heat transfer rate and the effectives of the "glueing" versus mass. But thinking about it from a different view point together with LJ's comments I am more aware of thin film dynamics. Even about water vapor, triple point phases on or near the skin having a much smaller mass but making a good conductive connection to the ice cube.

A quick test showed the ice cube to 12F. So the question, digging down, is it liquid water or could it be water vapor or both water vapor and liquid water at interface skin's surface contacting the below freezing ice cube and changing state; even passing through two phase changes rapidly. One thing is for sure, I have a new appreciation for the rate of heat transfer - but not the exact mechanism with hydrogen ions jumping around. It's the actual energy transfer mechanism I am trying to understand - I think. How does one molecule of liquid water acquire enough energy to change state while a molecule next to it does not and not be at the boiling point on a stove. Temperature sensing, I have to conclude, is an averaging sensor at the molecular level versus being a homogenous, absolute sensor. Good old Van der Waals forces which I paid lip service too. Time for Google Scholar and some hard work.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
The skin of your fingers - just like most every other part of your body is around 70% water - which can therefore freeze, and which is why extremely low temperatures causes frostbite in unprotected extremities.

Ice cubes you can get away with, but suggest you don't try holding a block of solid Carbon Dioxide with bare fingers - 'cause you just might lose 'em.

Ok - warning out of the way - an explanation:
the warmth of your fingers, coupled with the moisture on them will melt the frozen water molecules on the surface of the ice. But - these will then immediately re-freeze, attaching the skin to the ice.

It's no different in principle from welding, where a liquid weld-pool is created between two solid surfaces - so that when that weld-pool cools, the metals are then joined together.

Similar also to how many glues work - by filling the rough (microscopically-speaking) surface of the skin to make it ultra-smooth - which then causes a stronger adhesion to occur.

If you want to see this sort of thing in action, lay a sheet of clean glass down flat. Pour water on it (to smooth-out any imperfections) and place another sheet on top. Then try and separate them. That's how a lot of glues work - by solidifying or gelling the 'water equivalent' to make the effect permanent.
LJ
or if you wish to FEEL it in action put your tongue on a flag pole at -10 or so.
Somewhat the same thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
So the question, digging down, is it liquid water or could it be water vapor or both water vapor and liquid water at interface skin's surface contacting the below freezing ice cube and changing state;
Hard to see how vapour could be involved. As soon as there's a phase-change into liquid water, you've then got the phenomenon of surface tension to contend with - lots of cross-linked H+ & OH- ions forming what is in effect a 'skin' at the outer interface of the liquid layer. Although guessing, I'd suggest it would take a fair bit more energy to overcome those bonds than is supplied by a warm finger. (and one which wouldn't stay warm for very long ...)

Yes - temperature is very much an averaging-out of the kinetic motion (or energy) of the molecules of the substance being measured which, in the case of a mercury thermometer, is then transferred across the glass and into the mercury itself. As the mercury molecules continue to collide against each other, they effectively push each other further and further apart - which has the net effect of an expansion of that liquid metal - the amount of which expansion as we know can then be read-off from a pre-determined scale.

But then, not exactly essential knowledge for the average beekeeper ?
LJ
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
your sensor is averaging the number of Molecules that cover the sensor, perhaps 1000's

with your finger question, the initial contact has the heat from the edge of the finger melt a few layers of water molecules, then as the initial heat from close (touching) dissipates the thermal mass of the ice cuse absorbs the heat and you then need heat from several layers down into your finger to "travel" out to the ice edge, at some point the heat transfer slows due to the distance (number of molecule layers) decreasing the warming. and the ice if still cold enough will refreese the skin surface to the cube.

So heat transfer slows as it travels farther, will melt first then refreeze.

Same reason when reaching thru the pan of cool water to the bottom on the burner, one could burn your finger on the pan surface even if the water is not very hot. takes time for heat to travel, more layers more time.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
GG - Did that ONCE! Once was enough.

What is interesting is backpacking in the bitter old, approximately -5F. It is seemingly bone dry except you cannot remove perspiration from you body, vapor fuses to your nose and eye brows and have to put a hat on to thaw out. Solution was to drop down in altitude, reduce exertion and get out of that zone. It is a problem to get wet in that kind of environment - little to no evaporation due to the RH being near 100%. You need heat, warmer temperatures to lower the RH to absorb water vapor - bees do that given a chance. It would also seem to be a good idea to have wood to adsorb water vapor to - acting like a buffer.

Primary reason I am agianst all plastic or foam hives until proven wrong. I do like foam over wood with an air gap. Here, it's a good honey drying and extracting day. Outside the hive it is 79F, 49% RH ( buoy data in the bay) and inside the of the hive it is 93 to 96F, 55 to 56% RH at the top of the supers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LJ - "But then, not exactly essential knowledge for the average beekeeper ?" True but if one is making design changes to hive it is essential to defining system requirements.

Water Vapor: It apparently exist on all surfaces in contact with air and water in all phases. I see both the honey bee and humans as bags of water with permeable layers containing the water which may be chemically coupled or mixed with other matter. We are evaporating water off our surfaces, lungs included, all the time until the medium around surface is saturated. Bees dehydrate as well and require moisture control abilities. Evaporation stops when the vapor pressure differential at the interface drops to zero; transfer rates are greatly affected by temperature. At least that is my understanding so far as I simply measure two parameters , temperature and relative humidity in a hive, plus observations to gain an understanding of hive design requirements. I have found a partial answer to my question - description of Uncertainty Principle.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
The have several reasons to have interest Robert,

The one I am writing on today is the hive design Idea.

I have come into some pine boards and am going to build some hives this fall/winter.

I am looking at a double wall hive with maybe 1 to 1.5 inches of insulative material between the walls.
From your observations to date what would you recommend to include in the design?

I am not necessarily a SBB fan and would tend to have a solid bottom, but a smaller screen would not be too much compromise.
As well some sort of Lid with air flow abilities may also be used.

Conceptually I want the design to also be "wall Hive" compatible, as I have a couple wall hive locations I am considering.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
GG: "Conceptually I want the design to also be "wall Hive" compatible" - this makes it hard for me to understand your needs. Does this mean "in a wall type alcove? Or against a wall?

So far I have learned, to my surprise, but then again not so surprising as I learn more about H2O and hives. THe hives get much more humid, high RH numbers, in the winter even though the winter air is typically dry and cold. When brood rearing is copious quantities, like Spring, the RH really goes up along with temperature while the outside is high RH or damp and chilly. In summer, for hives that are foraging as the dominant task ( defined by observations) or big early foragers I see low RH values with high temepratures. It all make sense to me now or so I think. Besides seasonal changes, colony condition

From these observation using the various changes to insulation techniques I have used. I came up with two application requirements. First, the insulation has to be easy to work with as I find quick access during the early Spring on queen status is very important and then of course the rest of the year. Second is adaptability to seasonal effects. Examples are the hive grows upward, do I need more ventilation for foraging hives, more insulation for a hive with queen issues and brood rearing, access to sensors I install, what to do with the insualtion if it coem soff for a while.

Preliminary design, inside out:

1) pine wood boxes and frames are needed as a moisture absorber or buffer, especially in winter ( just like a tree).
2) paint boxes with acrylic paint - it breathes better than other paints or no paint as the bees propolizze ht inside very well.
3) use an 1 1/2 inch spacer at the top for sensors and cotton tee shirts - equivalent to a quilt box and you can put a hole(s) in it with plugs. Underneath the spacer I use a 12 ox duck cloth as an inner cover. Bees really propolize this heavily, build columns to hold it off the tops of the frames ( amazing) and I push a long stem thermometer through the cloth to probe further down. The propolis is water vapor permeable but with suck cloth prevent and droplets from driping - a non-existent event for me now.

4) An air gap for the vertical sides. An air gap of 1/2 to 1.0 inches - I do not like putting a vapor barrier on the cold side of the wooden boxes - condensation and rot.

5) 2-inch, R10, XPS foam box glued together and painted white, 5 sided box by 24 inches deep. 24-inches covers most of my winter brood chamber of a medium+deep+medium.

6) For winter, I stuff the air-gap with open cell sponge foam. It has a big effect on air gap temperatures. Bees seem to take water from the foam after it rains . Foam was removed around mid-May here.

7) Building new bottom boards with removable screens and removable sticky boards, support for XPS shell, lifting points for hive weighing.

8) New addition coming - sleeve modules, 4 sided, to add as supers are added.

Important point ( I think but unproven), I like a cold bottom board as a condenser for winter moisture ( don't see much). The screened bottom board is necessary fro my OAV Dead Drop Counts, useful as an alternate air path if I close up the entrance with a wet cloth or when moving a hive. Even with the sticky board in place there is ventilation when snow covers the entrance ( not a big issue here especially being retired). The spacer plug can be removed if desires and also a top plug in the foam if so desired. ( still trying to find a description of CO2 and snow, which has liquid water interactions). Maybe I need a CO2 sensor at the bottom to learn.

This approach gives me quick access. When the shell is removed I get a table top to work on. So far it is staying on as an insulating shell ( thus no need to paint boxes in the future). It is adaptable for venting (not needed so far). The prime function of the top vent, IMO, is the winter snow issue of burying the entrance. In time I will work on a bottom vent stack design that is vertically adjustable - hives are up high in a tree for reason.

This is how far I have evolved - happy with results - love early brood rearing and capped Spring honey - high rate of survivors two years in a row (disease based loss). Soon I will have to plot data and device an improved test plan. Bees keep surprising me with what they can do when given a chance. Suggestion - buy cheap weather station sensors with remote transmission capability and look at your hives around you house each morning from your chair with a cup of coffee and look out at the snow. I am starting night time readings soon using a pencil to data record.

Best of luck in your design approach. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
Thank you for the comments Robert.

I am also considering a "Sleeve" to go back to the standard 10F Lang so I can use all my Supers, and not need to replace every thing.
I have a few stacks of wood drying and I wanted to try something different for the next build.

Shed full.jpg

May as well use the improvements You have discovered, and give it a try

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
GG: Nice stacking job! Quite a pile. My 1st floor house floors are local Eastern White pine, air dried. Grow some big ones in the valleys along the CT. RI border. They were planned and 14 inches wide before i cleaned up the edges. Finished out at 12.5 inches, if I remember right.

BTW, the old Lang "packed hives" was a double wall hive with leaves or hay or what ever packed into the air gap. It took me a while to understand "packed hives".
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
GG: Nice stacking job! Quite a pile. My 1st floor house floors are local Eastern White pine, air dried. Grow some big ones in the valleys along the CT. RI border. They were planned and 14 inches wide before i cleaned up the edges. Finished out at 12.5 inches, if I remember right.

BTW, the old Lang "packed hives" was a double wall hive with leaves or hay or what ever packed into the air gap. It took me a while to understand "packed hives".
I have a bag (50lb) of wool I plan to "pack " with.

We had a few 14 inch 50 or so 12 inch, I made most of it 10 and 7 for hives, at this point there is about 10,000 feet.
Need to finish my barn, build a few Blinds, and get some used up before it gets crooked. Have a year or 2 for that however.

GG
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
several references to Double walled hives being "recommended" in the dec 6 1888 British bee journal.
I may resurrect an old design as it likely does not still have patent rights. No wheel inventing here as there are many hive designs in the late 1800s that would likely work.
More likely merge several designs into a "new" one. The hinged bottom board is also interesting, Drop, clean , check for swarm cells in a quick none disruptive manner. (as shown in the may 17 1888 advertisements for the "W. B Baker" hive British bee journal.
They actually were "recommended" but due to costs many chose the single wall and the southern US to start keeping.
Something similar to the Buckeye hive with wool packed and closed walls VRS the air gap.

https://www.google.com/books/editio...q=double+walled+bee+hives&printsec=frontcover

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
GG - I have been giving thought to a hinged bottom board, even the main brood chamber above the bottom medium I use as Grand Central Station. They do remain light and until late Fall.

Insulation point - it is the air that is the best insulator, the fibers or foam prevent circulation currents, meaning convection currents, which reduces the effectiveness of air. So do not pack tight. I kept a few sheep for about 10 years and have a couple of wool blankets from them and others we processed once - expensive blankets in the end but nice.

A thought: I am coming to the realization that vapor pressure drives the whole internal hive moisture show or more definitively the vapro pressure difference between inside and outside the hive; like pressure in the faucet forcing out water to drink I see the bees ability to control vapor pressure by using both heat generation, venting inside. Honey bee circulation abilities or "venting" along the ability to physically block exit ports and pathways to increase or restrict air flow is obvious but measuring effect on diffusion and RH no tso easy. Measuring this and proving it is not easy but sensors exist. I am going to follow this path for a while and see where it leads. I can interpret a lot using temperature and RH measurements. More sophisticated stuff gets expensive so maybe I can get some University to supply the instrumentation when the time comes to upgrade.

Observation: Installed a northern NE queen about 15 days ago, released 11 days ago and the insulation was in place. The laying has been really impressive. Hive temperature rose along with relative humidity; some foraging goin on - mainly pollen I think. Hive does not have enough bees to forage a lot while covering the brood btu it will not take long with this queen and an insulated box.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
I was browsing the older records and seen the picture where the bottom ramp leads up to a hole in the center bottom of the hive.
Thought bingo that would help with :
brood to the back or front of the frame, being more even.
dragging debris to the center would be closer
no longer a need to be "tilt forward" to prevent water from running in
the landing board is in the sun and that is where the fanning takes place.
center is less likely to have ice build up and block.
propolizing the entry points

and a few other items. :)

not sure on the moisture, if I need a "chimney " to promote air flow.
I do want a condensing surface for winter, for water needs, maybe a 1/2 inch copper pipe with small holes would do both, needs to be ant proof however.

so a loose pack would be the same as my thoughts, trap air but keep the breese down, IE slow the air speed.

GG
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top