Box Testing – Temperature

“Work in progress” Updated 1/03/2021

I put some boxes in the sun, and put the temps in a chart

This chart shows temperature results and aspects of box designs, like colour, materials and density. The boxes shown aren’t rated “good or bad”. All the boxes shown would be ok in full sun with a good roof. The graphic above is under construction and will probably change and become more complicated!

Thoughts so far

  • The chart simply shows the results
  • Thermodynamic experts are going to get upset because it doesn’t take in to account fifty other things in the universe
  • These are boxes I’ve made, not from other sellers. I’ll continue to test these boxes to reconfirm the results over the next month or so
  • I only have a limited amount of boxes so for example, I haven’t compared a Merbau box painted white
  • All boxes are the basic 280mm x 200mm measurements
  • White paint colour and also the low sheen texture is a big factor in the full sun tests
  • Yellow paint can add 1 to 2 degrees C. Yellow paint surface was warmer to touch than white paint
  • Gloss surfaces are hot to touch
  • Cypress box surface was hot to touch
  • Merbau box surface was hot to touch
  • If you added a roof to the Merbau box you could possibly drop the temp by 3+ degrees
  • Darker colours and higher density can add 5+ degrees
  • A decent roof can reduce the temp by 2+ degrees
  • Darker colours could be an advantage in Winter to warm a hive in the Sun
  • Thick boxes can provide good insulation, but also may not allow a hive to heat up in Winter in the Sun

In Summer with direct Sun exposure you can easily add 20 to 30 degrees Celsius to those temperatures on the outside surface of a box as shown in the above photo.


Alternative heading “The Insulation Properties of a Can of Worms

I’m trying to keep the tests and results as simple as possible. The more i explored this topic the more complex it became. The more you learn the harder it gets? It’s such a complicated and large topic with so many things to consider, and yet maybe none of it really matters as we can often over analyse things and most peoples bees at home are doing just fine as they are.

Why bother with all this stuff?

We see claims made that designs or products are better or worse but yet we don’t see any research or real world information to support any claims. I’m interested to see differences in boxes, by how many percent, is it actually measurable?