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Author Topic: Paint colors for tops.  (Read 1124 times)
BjornBee
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« on: October 02, 2012, 09:14:05 AM »

I have a good number of nucs that will be overwintering in a 5 over 5 nuc arrangement. In painting nuc tops, would there be a difference in painting the tops something other than white. Up till now, all my tops are painted white.

But..... would there be any benefit to painting those used over winter a darker color? I know the darker color would heat up better with sunlight. But what about the underside. Would darker colors on the inside of the tops, transfer heat differently in the absence of light? With no sunlight, do different colors transfer heat or have different dynamics as compared to lighter colors?

I'm thinking of putting on darker colored tops, but not sure if there would be any concerns or something I am not thinking of.

Any thoughts?

Thank you.
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mikecva
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 05:21:28 PM »

I do not paint anything on the inside.  My outside colors range from white (of course) to purple. I also paint flowers on one side so I can track the hives of the same base color.  -Mike
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 09:44:24 PM »

The inside of the hive gets no sunlight.   Therefore can not reflect or absorb sunlight.  It is the color of the outside of the hive, not the inside. 

I like white.   I like free paint also.  We don't have that much of a winter compared with up there.   Cold at night.   Also dark at night.   I am married to a high school science teacher and would as her about all the science of painted hives, but she has fallen asleep on the couch and being 7 months pregnant (crazy and unpredictable), I aint waking her up to ask.   
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 12:07:42 AM »

The inside of the hive gets no sunlight.   Therefore can not reflect or absorb sunlight.  It is the color of the outside of the hive, not the inside.  

I like white.   I like free paint also.  We don't have that much of a winter compared with up there.   Cold at night.   Also dark at night.   I am married to a high school science teacher and would as her about all the science of painted hives, but she has fallen asleep on the couch and being 7 months pregnant (crazy and unpredictable), I aint waking her up to ask.  

Aw come on, Allen...wake her up and ask her!!!  You ain't scared of a 7-month pregnant wife are you?   (Said safely 200+ miles away from you.  grin )

Congrats! Wink
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GLOCK
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 05:03:28 PM »

Not sure about nucs but my best hive is black  and i have 5 hives that are black and all are doing well .
I have many diffrent colors but no white.
Next year I'm going to give black nucs a shoot and see how the do.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 01:54:54 AM »

Solar radiation from the sun delivers about 100 watts of energy per square foot.  100 watts is probably 10x more heat than the cluster of bees shivering inside your nucs can make.  Hence the heat gain from the winter sun can be very significant.  

The coldest days in the winter are normally clear since the lack of clouds allows for more radiative cooling into space.  Hence if you want to give your bees a little extra heat on the coldest days, I think I would go with dark tops (since the sun will be out during the day).

Of course the problem is at night.  A wood hive is akin to single pane glass.  The heat gained during the day from those black tops will be quickly lost through the wood boxes.  I think a better solution is polystyrene or polyurethane boxes; they hold in the heat day and NIGHT and the temps don’t cycle up and down in the winter like a yo yo.  

As for the effect of paint under the top cover.  It would have little to no effect for heat gain, but depending upon the paint selected, it might reflect (back into the hive) a few milliwatts of the infra red (long wave) heat the bees are generating in their cluster.
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