For a couple of weeks now, I and a few others scattered here and there, have been measuring and recording temperatures inside and outside our hives and noting weather and entrance activity, including pollen. I use a digital thermometer with the remote sensor, on a wire, poked into the centre of the cluster, about 2″ down from the frame top.

The day after insertion, the inside temperature was about 92f but it soon settled down to the low 60s.  I don’t know whether this is because they have stopped rearing brood, that they have waxed/propolised the sensor; moved away from it or some other unguessed reason.

On most days, when not too cold or raining, they have been flying, sometimes with summmer-like activity.  Plenty of pollen has been going in. At first it was mainly small loads of a pale colour, Ivy I guess, but recently they have been bringing in very large loads of a darker yellow colour. Mahonia is in flower so it might be that.

Yesterday and the day before the outside temperature was, within a tenth of a degree, identical but the inside temperature was 10 degrees f higher.  Could they have started brooding again after a break?

Not only temperature but also brightness seems to affect activity.  On two successive days with similar outside temperature they were flying strongly on the sunny day, even though the hive is in the shade than on the dull day.

I don’t think there are enough of us doing this to produce anything scientific but it is interesting nevertheless.  Maybe next year we can use this learning experience and get a lot more people doing it.  One thing that is worrying me is the analysis of the data,especially with a computer as I don’t have the skills.  We may have to recruit a 14year old!


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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