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Author Topic: Humidity Levels Inside Broodbox  (Read 1832 times)
rbinhood
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« on: February 12, 2012, 02:44:28 PM »

I have searched through many archives from many websits and nowhere is the humidity levels (etc: 58%, 60% or even 90%) discused as being the ideal humidity level for optimum brood rearing.  Is it comparable with the levels of a hen sitting on a clutch of eggs or does it play a crucial part of the brood process (egg, larva, pupa) or is it so varied from hour to hour or day to day that it has little or no effect.

Moisture has to play an important part of this cycle, not enough the larva dries out and become nonviable, too much and the risk of development can become impaired (slow development, deformation, risk of disease etc).

I am not talking about the temperature inside a hive, there has been much research published about its importance and the part it plays in the health of and it's effects on the bees.

Who among this distinguished forum has an answer and facts to make this discussion relative to the true known condition inside a hive.  I hope that I am not asking or making any statements that offends anyone, I may have heard it somewhere before and now my Alzheimer's has kicked into high gear and I can't remember! 

I know the Alzheimer's is getting worse, my wife sent me to the market yesterday with a list of things she needed and when I got to the store I could not find the list.  So I picked up the things that I thought may be on the list....denture cream, a pound of cheese, ex lax, coffee, taters, a couple of onions, and two boxes of Twinkies.  Thinking maybe I had everything covered I proceeded to the checkout where as I was placing my items on the checkout counter I continued to think I had forgotten something.  Then as the young lady proceeded to Tallie up the total amount I pulled out my wallet to pay her I dropped it on the floor......when she leaned over to pick up my wallet .........I remembered as if someone flipped a light switch......two half gallons of milk and a pickup truck load of sliced bread!

« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 03:00:52 PM by rbinhood » Logged

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boca
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 03:14:33 PM »

As an example of the winter cluster


I think we have less information freely available, because humidity sensors are more expensive than thermometers.
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rbinhood
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 06:47:51 PM »

Thanks Boca,
That is what I was looking for....I assume the humidity levels in the cluster stay in this range year round.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 11:29:03 PM »

It is essential for the eggs hatching to have fairly high humidity.  Even in summer it runs around 50%.

Here is a study where they were raising diploid drones in an incubator and had the best luck at 96% humidity.
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Michael Bush
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 11:31:07 PM »

oops:
http://jerzy_woyke.users.sggw.pl/1963_rearviabdipldr.pdf
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Michael Bush
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Keeperwannabe
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 02:37:39 AM »

Diploid Drones?  Is that kind of like a drag Queen?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 03:05:59 AM »

>Diploid Drones?  Is that kind of like a drag Queen?

Kind of, yeah...
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Michael Bush
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JackM
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 08:51:25 AM »

Thank you Boca that is most illuminating.  My humidity levels are similar to the above chart.  Interesting they seem to manage to keep it down in the 50-60% range.  I wonder how they dispell the moisture?  Can you advise on the type of hive that data came from?  Is there correlating temperature data? 

Fascinating.
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boca
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 01:30:20 PM »

Fascinating indeed. The data are not mine. The chart is from an Italian research institute found on internet.

I don't think the bees actively keep down the relative humidity. I think it is the consequence of being warmer in the cluster. I believe the bees, if they could, they would prefer a bit higher humidity, at least 75 - 80 %. In an incubator for queen cells the humidity should be around 75%. I believe the winter for them is a fight not to lose too much water. And unfortunately I have no data to back up my opinion.
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gjd
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 08:20:30 AM »

I've had relative humidity and temperature sensors inside both a horizontal TBH and Langstroth (top of hive).   The new-package TBH was basically saturated when SBB was closed, and the same as outside when open (no surprise, given design).  As I recall, the Langstroth with notched inner cover vent was very roughly about 70-80% during most of the summer, and up around 90% when we had rain for days.  Zone 5, New England region of USA.   It was pretty much never in the 50-60% range.  The TBH has been struggling since installed, the Langstroth is healthy.     Wireless sensors are available from La Cross Technologies (among others) for under $100, including a product that will record to an internet site if your hive is within 100-200 feet of an internet connection.  They are the source for a lot of the catalog products, such as from Wind & Weather.

What would be even more interesting is to know typical humidity inside natural hives-- drill holes in bee tree hives and insert humidity probes.  With all the study of honeybees, it amazes me that either it's never been done or never widely known.  The instrumentation for a simple battery-powered recording device with temp/humidity on inside and outside would be maybe 150-200 dollars with an Arduino hobbyist microcontroller system.
Greg
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MTWIBadger
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 11:16:24 PM »

Do hives in dry low humidity climates like Montana have less moisture issues in the winter than say the Midwest?  Does the outside level of humidity affect the inside humidity level?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 03:39:15 AM »

>Do hives in dry low humidity climates like Montana have less moisture issues in the winter than say the Midwest?

When I was in the panhandle of Nebraska and Laramie WY there were no condensation issues.
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Michael Bush
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gjd
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 08:20:03 AM »

Things I can come up with for affecting the relative humidity in the hive would include hive ventilation, bee respiration, active bee ventilation and cooling, outside humidity, temperature, and curing nectar.  I'd assume a dry area will have drier hives in general, but there's plenty of other factors that can confuse it and keep people arguing.  I did see overall hive humidity rise during long rainy periods in mine-- but  the bees were all sitting inside for long times breathing, so who knows?   There tended to be a bit of a floor on the hive humidity, but we rarely get below 60% RH outside.
Greg
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villagefool
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 08:02:08 PM »

Interesting question. RDing Technology Co (China) makes an inexpensive humidity/temperature sensor that plugs into a USB port.  Google TEMPerHUM.  It sells for about $22 on their PCSensor website.  I have some on order and will be adding them to my computerized hive as soon as they arrive.  I am interested in comparing the humidity levels in a top entrance vs. bottom entrance hives, what happens to the humidity levels during the evaporation of water from nectar during heavy nectar flows, and whether controlling the humidity levels reduces the fanning required, and thus frees more workers for foraging.
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Vance G
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2012, 08:21:36 AM »

Do hives in dry low humidity climates like Montana have less moisture issues in the winter than say the Midwest?  Does the outside level of humidity affect the inside humidity level?
I have no moisture problem here on the dry plains east of the Mountains.  Solve this one for me,  a dozen hives in a row with MC sugar in a 2 1/2" rim, a soundproofing board cover under 2 inch foam and a plastic winter wrap.  All have 3/4" holes above handholds of top hivebody.  In two only, the fiber board is soaking wet.  The bees in all are of pretty similiar strength and are thru the sugar.   All wrapped the same.  The two wet ones are on screened bottoms but the bottom is closed off for the winter.  Guess I just solved my own mystery neh? It will be interesting to see if the moisture is in the end harmful or beneficial. 
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