From other forum:
No question should ever be considered unreasonable - the only unreasonable aspect of this thread are the responses from ... and his parrot, who cannot get their heads around a perfectly sound enquiry.
Warm air rises, and cold air descends - therefore the formation of a thermocline is always possible. But I would suggest that the existence of a thermocline within a beehive is highly unlikely ... for 2 reasons.
The first is the activity of the bees themselves. Wherever there is active circulation (often due to the cluster being located towards one side), there is unlikely to be stratification of thermal layers.
The second is that a vortex is created near the entrance to any occupied hive, due to the movement of air through a narrow space. (Clearly this would not apply where OMFs are fitted.) Such vortices would also 'stir the air'.
The only time I could envisage a thermocline being created would be when the bees are very tightly and centrally clustered, and when the upper part of the hive is 100% sealed. But the breaking of cluster would soon mix the air, thus destroying any temporary stratification.
At least, that's how I see events within the hive. But I could always be wrong !
Thermoclines are more usually associated with large outdoor expanses of water, where the water is heated (by the sun) from above. Warm water rises and the cooler water gradually migrates downwards (just check your domestic hot water tank) - thus creating the thermocline. I have often experienced these when diving in the Med - it's like moving through an invisible curtain between an oven and a fridge. Very strange.
Having said that - an immersion heater does heats the water from below, and a thermocline is most certainly created within a hot water tank (but it's a tank which isn't stirred), so it's far from being a stupid issue to raise.
I to am a scuba diver, and sky. My contention would be...... ready for it ? The atmosphere is static ! remember combs now, can you visualize how the heat would disallow condensation above thermocline ? Smile The honeybee hive is natures perfect distillery ! Smile
Of course it could be wishful thinking but, if you go back, re-read Langsroth, Huber, I'm working thru Swammerdam now, the clues are there. They saw the thing, just, like all since, missed the significance. They didn't understand thermocline
Go, look @ your honeybee organism, again for the first time,........ think upside down moonshine still,..... think hermit crab.....can you see it now ? Smile