Colony Temperature Monitoring

Colony 1 (25mm Hoop Pine Box) / Colony 2 (33mm Hoop Pine Box) / Colony 3 (50mm Cypress Box + tropical lid) / All with similar roofs

This post follows the progress of three colonies

Although we all want to, we can’t compare the boxes because there’s many variables. You wouldn’t get an accurate result, so we’re not looking for a winner or loser here. People are fairly biased in their views and will interpret data or chart information to suit their view. If you wanted to compare box designs you might need to test 50 of each design in different conditions which is way out of my budget. Hopefully over the next few years I can get a couple of each box design set up with temp probes and then we could make some comparisons. We would need to compare the same boxes against each other and confirm similarities before comparing to other boxes, though we could make general observations, like a lighter colour box should be cooler in full sun.

Possible variables

  • Colony strength
  • Probe position
  • Yard position with different amounts of sun and shade
  • Different box designs, colour, thickness and densities of wood

You can see the probe is sitting right in the brood area, the bees have built around it.

Chart below: updated September 30.

So we’re not comparing boxes, for this chart we’ll just call them colony 1, 2, 3 as we’re only looking at the colony brood temperatures and how they recovered after being split. This is over a period of 30 days. The three colonies are in full sun from 7am to 2pm.

General Observations:

  • Colony 1 – Yellow line – the big jump was a battery issue – ignore that bit
  • Colony 2 – Grey line – Looks like it hasn’t recovered as well as the other two after the split as the temperature is a bit low so i’ll keep an eye on that hive
  • Colony 3 – Brown line – Has higher peaks during the day compared to colony 2, but similar low temperatures.
  • All colony temperatures are less stable after the splits – more erratic jumps in the lines

To be continued…

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