Wednesday, December 3, 2014

warm bee respiration and non-invasive winter measurements

bee, beekeeping, temperature, ventilation, winter,
I am using an inexpensive RadioShack Waterproof Pocket IR Thermometer to measure temperature differences between cool outdoor air and warm bee respiration.  Winter temperatures arrived and this makes these contrasting temperature measurements possible.  At dawn I record the top vent and concrete paver temperature.  The concrete paver sits on top of the hive and acts as a surrogate for smoothed outdoor air temperature. These 2014 measurements are a follow up from a previous post two years ago, winter ventilation and pocket IR thermometer.

I have three bee hives (Kent, Buda and Pest) and mid-day flight activity at the Kent hive is consistently greater than the other two hives.    

If hive visits do not permit mid-day flight observation, then this non-invasive method provides some assurance that:
  • The hive is still alive provided that the graph points are above the green x= y line.
  • Greater contrast with outdoor temperatures correlate with increased mid-day flight activity.  The Kent hive trend line is further from the green x= y line, while less flight active hives have a trend line closer to green x= y line.

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