Box & Material Testing – Temperature

Box and Material Temperature Testing

Below is a collection of charts and info I’ve created that might give an indication of the suitability of different materials for Native Bee Hive making. Boxes and materials aren’t rated good or bad here, it simply shows the results.


Material Surface Temp Tests – Full Sun

Below Chart: Top and underside surface temps of a variety of materials with a thermo gun.


Live colony temperature monitoring

Below graph: 25mm thick Hoop Pine, painted pale yellow with large roof, shows data over two months during Summer in Brisbane Australia. This gets a fair bit of daily sun so the roof does a great job of protecting the colony from the suns heat.

Screenshot from Northside Native Bees live colony, I’ve added larger text to make it easier to see. (posted with permission) – Live viewing can be seen here: http://www.northsidenativebees.com.au/dhtlog/


Below: Two boxes – Full shade – Winter

  • Empty Boxes
  • Blue – External Ambient Temperatures
  • Orange – 25mm Hoop Pine (Standard OATH size. Weight 4kg)
  • Grey – 50mm Cypress box – weight 17kg

Compare the above and below charts from the same five day period

Below: Full Live Colony. A screenshot from Northside Native Bees temperature monitoring for the same period as the chart above, 13 to 18 June 2021. This shows a 25mm Hoop Pine native bee box with a strong live colony of bees inside. The light green line shows the temperature of the brood.


Below: Four kinds of boxes – Full shade – Winter

  • Ambient temp – Blue
  • 25mm Hoop pine – orange
  • 33mm Hoop pine – green
  • 30mm Camphor Laurel – yellow
  • 50mm Cypress – grey

Interpreting data

There’s possibly an endless amount of variables I haven’t covered on this page, so you have to accept it as simple data from basic tests and consider any variables that you can think of. The results are the results and peoples biases or experiences may change the interpretation of the results.

  • More tests will be done with more boxes and different locations over longer periods.
  • These tests are self funded with limited resources
  • The tests above are examples only. It’s always important to place a good roof on your hive box!