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Author Topic: beehive temp  (Read 16978 times)
stonecroppefarm
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« on: January 21, 2011, 10:47:58 PM »

I am a new beekeeper with a tiny colony that I am trying to coax through the winter here in new england. I insulated the beehive (I have a single deep hive body) in December, given that I have too much time and this has been a very cold winter for us. Next, I added a 2 1/2" shim for future emergency/etc. winter feeding. This space provided room for a remote wireless temp/%humidity sensor -- I told you I had too much time. What I learned so far is that the temp in the feeding space remains in the upper forty degree range at night and can get up to 60s on a sunny day. What surprises me though is that the relative humidity shoots up to above 90% at night but drops to 70% during the day. The beehive has some ventilation. Two questions:  1) what is with the humidity? and 2) any references to beehive temperature data?

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stonecroppefarm
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 11:12:11 PM »

Perhaps the 10deg drop in temperature at night results in the change in humidity I am seeing?

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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 11:28:12 PM »

Relative humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air relative to the amount that would saturate the air at that temperature (and pressure).  When it gets colder, the air can hold less water at saturation.  That means that even if the amount of water vapor stays exactly the same, the relative humidity goes up as the temperature goes down.  I think that's what you are seeing.

It would be very interesting to measure the temperature outside the hive at the same time as you measure it inside.  You could learn alot about your hive design (and your bees) by comparing hourly data on the temperature differential.

It would also be cool to change the amount of ventilation and see how that affects relative humidity.  For example, you could increase and decrease ventilation on alternate days and record the humidity at the same time each day.  But be careful because if you hit 100% humidity, you will have condensation which is a quick way to kill a hive.  I think it would be better to measure humidity with your current setup and then check it with more ventilation than you currently use.  I would not decrease ventilation below what you now have.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 10:44:38 AM »

.
What means a tiny colony?

Today I look my tiny colonies and I add in few hives  electrict heating.

In couple I put 3 W heater and in some 6 W.
Bees collect themselves around the heater and they need not eate so much.

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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 12:44:39 PM »

Is BlueBee seeing this right?  Finski is nursing his bees with electric HEAT Huh??

Thomas, what do you make of this  grin
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S.M.N.Bee
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 01:21:21 PM »


 Hay - Don't pick on Finski  Some of us will try any thing.

Take me for example. I am a new beek [don't now any better] First year & winter keeping bees. This is what I am trying.

I built a box [with no bottom] out of 1 1/2" foil face insulation. This box is 1 1/2" larger on the sides and top then the outside of the hive. I drilled three 3/4" vent holes in the front side and pluged them with wine corks. The middle cork has a 3/8" hole drilled in it for ventilation. I also have a meat probe stuck threw the insulation near the top of the hive. It was 20 degrees below zero Thursday night and the probe read 25 degrees above zero. What I am trying to do is trap a warm bubble of air toward the top of the hive but still vent the moisture. It looks OK so far but I won"t know how well until it warms up enough to look into the hive.

John
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 01:55:17 PM »


I built a box [with no bottom] out of 1 1/2" foil face insulation. This box is 1 1/2" larger on the sides and top then the outside of the hive. I drilled three 3/4" vent holes in the front side and pluged them with wine corks. The middle cork has a 3/8" hole drilled in it for ventilation.

John
Is the 3/8" hole the only ventilation, or is the bottom open to the air?
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 01:56:25 PM »

Now I know this is going to seem fairly dense, but are you using Celcius, or Fahrenheit?  My first guess is since you're in MN, it's F.  But -20į Celcius is -4į F, and -20į F is -29į C.
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S.M.N.Bee
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 02:35:36 PM »


 CapnChkn - Fahrenheit Mesured in the 1 1/2 Inch gap between the hive and the inside of the insulated box.

FRAMEshift - Yes - Only a 3/8" hole. I am running a solid bottom board,Mouse guard with five 3/8 inch holes,Two deep brood boxes,a standerd inner cover with ventalation notch and a 1 1/2 inch cover on top.
The insulated box is placed on top of this. I should also say the insulated box is blocked off at the bottom on three sides by wooden angles that are screwed to the hive stand. This prevents wind from blowing into the space between the insulated box and the hive.

John
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 02:36:04 PM »

Is BlueBee seeing this right?  Finski is nursing his bees with electric HEAT Huh??

Thomas, what do you make of this  grin



ha ha haaaaa. Bluebee see but does not understand  shocked
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 03:55:54 PM »

Let BlueBee put on my glasses, I want to see Finski nursing his bees  grin

@SMNBee.
If Iím envisioning what youíre doing, I like it!  It sounds very similar to what Iíve done this winter.  See this post.  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,31208.0.html  My only suggestion would be to put foam under the box too!

@stonecrop
The humidity and temps sound fine to me.  I would advise a top vent in your system on the order of 12mm x 20mm. You want a space for the air with a really high dew point to escape without letting out too much heat.  Without a (small) top vent, I would fear your bees will get too wet.  As for instrumented hive data, my system is still rather crude, but Iím working on adding a lot more thermistors.  Iíll eventually have tons of data for you.
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 04:05:07 PM »

.
Bluebee. I have nursed bees 48 years. What is your CV?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 04:13:22 PM »

Iím sorry Finski, I was just trying to inject a little American humor!

I have read a lot of your posts and know you are an expert.  You DO know a lot more about bees that I know.  I was just poking a little fun since you usually advise NOT to ďnurseĒ your bees in the winter.  You usually say to prepare them properly in the fall and they will do fine all winter long without ďnursingĒ.

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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 04:22:18 PM »

.
I retired from my job 2,5 months ago. Now i have time to look them for curiosity.

I have known electrict heating 45 years. 7 years ago I tried myself. I am just interested to see what have happened since September.

.i think that varroa has made harms to wintering hives and some colonies are very small even if they were normal in Autumn.

After these years it is difficult to find any intresting from those bees.

2 months ago early winter surprised us and i had trickled only half of my hives. Just now i tirickle the rest.


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BlueBee
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 04:37:30 PM »

Finski, now that youíre retired hopefully you can spend more time on the computer passing along some of your knowledge to us young bees.  We love you here.  I always look forward to reading your posts. 
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stonecroppefarm
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2011, 06:58:36 PM »

An update from stonecroppe (Ron) on hive temp and humidity. the initial data was premature and posted too late in the evening, those born after 1950 may not understand this. what is happening is that in the morning the inner temp is low (today 42.5deg, humidity 75%, note, outside temp 19 deg.) as day progresses the inner temp rises to 48 deg (nice), humidity to 94% (a little concerning), outside temp 26 deg (cold day).

this is the critical part. the hive is purposefully located in a mini-climate just south of a large south facing stonewall. mini-climate? for example, today, sunny, when outside temp at 11AM was 26deg, the temp recorded outside the south facing entrance side of the hive body was 53 deg (27deg above the ambient). of course, at night this effect goes away.

here is my theory -- at night at this time of the year the night temps are below the 40ish deg temps in the hive, these days much lower and since warm air rises when the outside temp is lower, the hive has ventilation from the entrance to the vent in the top telescoping cover. cool dryer air is drawn in and the warmer high humidity air is vented out. However, during the day in this mini-climate the outside air is warmer (53deg today) than the air inside the hive (48 deg every day). this, I believe, blocks ventilation and  traps the buildup of humidity in the hive.  All comments, well most anyway, welcomed .....Ron
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BlueBee
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2011, 08:05:17 PM »

Ron, your hypothesis makes sense to me.  My foam hives are probably all like that too, Iím not alarmed, my bees look fine and the innards look dry.  Have you looked at the bees?  Do they look fine?  Plenty of stores?  Not too many dead bees?  Little to no black mold?  Is the hive innards relatively dry?  Unfortunately I canít report to you my humidity because Iím not measuring it.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2011, 08:33:34 PM »

Hey Ron.  (got your PM  grin)   If your remote thermometer is reading the same temp as the vent area, then I would say you are correct.  With no temperature differential and no strong wind, there will be no air movement.  That's quite a micro-climate you've got there.

Of course, one of the drawbacks to an insulated hive is a slow warm-up in the morning.  But if you remove the insulation in the Spring, there's no real problem.
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2011, 09:05:51 PM »

.
I retired from my job 2,5 months ago. Now i have time to look them for curiosity.

I have known electrict heating 45 years. 7 years ago I tried myself. I am just interested to see what have happened since September.

.i think that varroa has made harms to wintering hives and some colonies are very small even if they were normal in Autumn.

After these years it is difficult to find any intresting from those bees.

2 months ago early winter surprised us and i had trickled only half of my hives. Just now i tirickle the rest.



   Finski im with you 100% on the varroa dwindling the cluster in the fall and thus the bees cant keep their temp in harsh cold weather
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2011, 01:48:14 AM »

Ron, your hypothesis makes sense to me.  My foam hives are probably all like that too, Iím not alarmed, my bees look fine and the innards look dry.  Have you looked at the bees?  Do they look fine?  Plenty of stores?  Not too many dead bees?  Little to no black mold?  Is the hive innards relatively dry?  Unfortunately I canít report to you my humidity because Iím not measuring it.

British beekeepers do not understand the meaning of insulation and moisture.
They add ventilaton when they want to dry up the hive.

Like bluebee tells, a little rise in hive temperature decreases relative moisture. That is insulaton which hinder the heat escaping.

My electrict experiment just tell what the heat means to bees. Electrict is more expencive than sugar. I get double cost for wintering from that.

Last winter was very hard. It was -20C when i opened the nuc cover . Thre was a twist size cluster which filled half of the 4 frame hive. The other half was filled with snow, which was from bees respiration.  bees were in good condition and I put 3 W heating there.


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