Is bigger better?
For my own entertainment I whacked together a 50mm Cypress box. These boxes are just being used for future temperature testing. We might think that a bigger thicker box is going to provide better insulation but there’s always compromises and possibly no perfect design. For example, a box with really good insulation also doesn’t allow a colony of bees to heat up in Winter which can be a problem for a weak colony. The 35mm thick Cypress box I previously tested was quite hot in full sun so it will be interesting to see how the 50mm thick Cypress goes. I think this “Tropical” style lid will help greatly.
- 50mm thick Cypress
- Internal volume is very similar to the standard 25mm native bee box
- External dimensions are huge! 340mm x 240mm
- Ridiculously big and heavy, weighing in at 17kg!
Photo: 50mm boxes left and right / Standard 25mm box in the center
*More information will be added to this article over the next few years as the boxes are tested empty and will follow the progress of getting bees in to the boxes.
Update below: September 2021
I added the yellow top box with bees to the 50mm box. (chicken photo below)
Update below: 5 September 2022
One year later once the bees were well established I removed the yellow top box and added the other part of the 50mm cypress box. You can see the temperature sensor probe in the brood area. Now that the 50mm box is complete I can start getting some good data for the charts.
One issue I noticed with the 50mm cypress frames. The mating surface area where the frames meet against each other is a large area, and because cypress warps so much it could be impossible to avoid gaps when the boxes are together. Start buying shares in silver duct tape because gaps like that are high risk for pests getting in.