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thermal research - need advice on VERY tall warre

 
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derekm
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Joined: 02 Jan 2014
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Location: Tadley, uk

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:07 pm    Post subject: thermal research - need advice on VERY tall warre Reply with quote

In order to do some research on the thermal behaviour of bees I am constructing a very tall 1.6m highly insulated warre hive, in 4 400m tall very narrow boxes
As the hive will be four boxes from the day the swarm is run in I have a question for the expereinced warre keepers... will the bees proceed through the bars of the lower boxes to the top? or do they stop part way up sometimes?
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That truely sounds like an interesting research matter. But I do not understand your question. Question Please precise your question.

Also I don't understand two other things: Why 40 cm high boxes? Why is the hive 1,6 m high? That is completely different what is standard in beekeeping and completely different what is found in nature (The Nest of the Honeybee, Prof. Seeley) and also against beeology. What is the reasoning behind that? If I would do such a research I would use the standard, which is a box height of 20 cm and a total height of 80 cm.

Just thoughts.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine, Michael Mietz, found a nice way to place temperature sensors all over the hive by embedding them into the combs. See: http://mietz.imkerforum.de/

He is also taking part in the Hobos-Project now and got his own observation station. www.hobos.de
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NewForester
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:57 pm    Post subject: Re: thermal research - need advice on VERY tall warre Reply with quote

In my experience, a new swarm in a Warre starts at the top and works down, no matter how tall Warre is. And in fact will do so in any hive, not just a Warre.
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peopleshive
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Derek,

I am intrigued by your experiment. It will certainly be a hive that pleases the bees (but may prove unwieldy if you plan on any manipulations)

One way of making sure they get the right idea of starting at the top would be to attach some old brood comb there. Another way would be to simply populate the top box only, then place it on top of the others when they have adopted it.

There are others in this group and the Warré group with experience of tall vertical stack hives. One or two of us run 'pseudo-Japanese' hives which have narrower internal dimensions than Warrés. My tallest one this season is not far off the height you are aiming for.

I find the bees overwinter very well in these, with all their stores directly overhead and minimal thermal losses. I find 5-6 kg of their own stores is more than ample.

Good luck with the experiment!
Andy
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derekm
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaunreiter wrote:
That truely sounds like an interesting research matter. But I do not understand your question. Question Please precise your question.

Also I don't understand two other things: Why 40 cm high boxes? Why is the hive 1,6 m high? That is completely different what is standard in beekeeping and completely different what is found in nature (The Nest of the Honeybee, Prof. Seeley) and also against beeology. What is the reasoning behind that? If I would do such a research I would use the standard, which is a box height of 20 cm and a total height of 80 cm.

Just thoughts.

Bernhard

Unlike a tree this nest is will have obstructions in it. It is not made completely of wood so it needs bars for comb support. I dont have experience of bees in 1.6m tall nests.

The 1.6m is straight out of Seeley's paper.
400mm is a convienent constuction size and it fits the sensor arrays i have.

From Seeley T.D., Morse R.A. (1976) The nest of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), Insectes Soc. 23, 495–512

"Maximum and minimum cavity diameters were 42.7 cm and 15.2 cm. Maximum and minimum cavity heights were 351 cm and 49 cm. The mean cavity diameter, height and (height/diameter) ratio were 22.7 cm (SD 6.6 era), 156 cm (SD 83 era) and 7.2 (SD 3.Cool, respectively,"
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derekm
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: thermal research - need advice on VERY tall warre Reply with quote

NewForester wrote:
In my experience, a new swarm in a Warre starts at the top and works down, no matter how tall Warre is. And in fact will do so in any hive, not just a Warre.


THats what I thought, I have had bees go straight to the top in a 1m high hive.. but bees are bees so I thought it best to ask around in a community that is likely to do less conventional.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

derekm wrote:
The mean cavity diameter, height and (height/diameter) ratio were 22.7 cm (SD 6.6 era), 156 cm (SD 83 era) and 7.2 (SD 3.Cool, respectively,"[/i]


And why don't you take the mean diameter as well? It certainly does make a huge difference! Also it makes a difference if the plan view of the hive is roundish or square. Bees seem to orientate their central combs to the biggest length - along the diagonale. You get a lot of crooked comb in a squarish hive.

Bees sometimes start in the middle of the hive. Just where the queen pauses after the swarm moved in. They build up and more likely down, as they wish. Not many problems to expect from that.

It would be interesting for further research, if thermodynamics change in a hive 1) without any topbars, 2) with topbars and 3) with frames.

Also from observations I conclude that the shape and size of the entrance is important, as well as location. It certainly is a part of the passive ventilation of the hive. See for some literature: http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/submitted/etd-10022009-135223/unrestricted/dissertation.pdf
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BBC
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Joined: 11 Jul 2012
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Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

derekm wrote:

400mm is a convienent constuction size and it fits the sensor arrays i have.


It was also Warre's preferred size:

Quote:
[...] yet eight frames of 300 x 400 mm, in providing us with the necessary surface, gave a square shape. And the square is the shape that best approaches that of a cylinder, an ideal shape because it favours the distribution of the heat in the inside of the hive. But the cylinder is a shape that is hardly practicable.
The square shape also allows placement of the hives warm-way in winter and cold-way in summer, something to be considered. I thus had a hive of eight 300 x 400 mm frames, a hive that was ideal for winter.

However, the bees did not always fill the top hive-body box with honey. There was sometimes some brood at the bottom of the frames and some honey at the top. Harvesting was difficult. And my helpers frequently said: 'We ought to be able to saw this box in two'. We have replaced it with two boxes giving the same volume with the same shape.

Beekeeping for All, 12th Ed. pp 39-40

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Adam Rose
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaunreiter wrote:
Also from observations I conclude that the shape and size of the entrance is important


I have a Japanese hive with no bars and just a few stays. At the top, the combs are orientated as you might expect, along the diagonal.

One of the two entrances ( why two ? long story ) is about 40cm down from the top, higher than it would normally be. By the time the comb gets to there, the bees have made the comb run perpendicular to the hole, to create a kind of curtain, presumably to shelter the brood nest from the draft from the non-ideal location of the hole. In other words, in a space of about 40cm, the combs have twisted through 45 degrees, at least near the entrance.

My point is that if you let bees build comb how they want, they seem to be pretty adaptable to entrance holes being in the "wrong" place or orientation, provided they are not too large.

This hive is the same one where they created a 3rd entrance by expanding a small gap under the bottom-most segment. And now in the winter they have closed it up !
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BBC
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Rose wrote:
zaunreiter wrote:
Also from observations I conclude that the shape and size of the entrance is important


My point is that if you let bees build comb how they want, they seem to be pretty adaptable to entrance holes being in the "wrong" place or orientation, provided they are not too large.

What you describe is the reality of the situation, of course.

For those who have read Seeley's paper, you will notice how 'data rich' it is regarding so many aspects of the tree cavity - except for the matter of entrances, where Seeley fudges the issue by collating his observations into groups: top, middle and bottom. And I would have done exactly the same, for entrances are often multiple, or are slashes extending the full length of the cavity - and as such it becomes extremely difficult to display such data in graphical form without misleading data distortion.

But - without due discernment, beekeepers have decided that 'bottom' entrances have scored higher, and thus represent a preference by the bees - whereas a little thought about how the cavities have been formed (by the rotting of heartwood), automatically generates an entrance 'at the bottom', by a process of preferentially rotting away wood fibres towards the top. Thus this is pretty-much an inevitable feature of tree cavities, rather than the bees exercising their choice over copious amounts of available real estate.
Further, they interpret Seeley's diagram - although only intended to be schematically representative - as a true and accurate representation of what tree cavities actually look like in section.

It was an academic paper (and a very good one), rather than a blueprint for hive design.

Colin
BBC
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC wrote:
without due discernment, beekeepers have decided that 'bottom' entrances have scored higher,


That is your version of the story.

The following preferences were identified («>» means «preferred to»):
nest height, 5>1 m;
entrance area, 12.5>75 cm2;
entrance position, bottom >top of nest cavity,
entrance direction, southward>northward;
nest cavity volume, 10<40>100 liters.

from:
Nest site selection by the honey bee,Apis mellifera
Insectes Sociaux 1978, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 323-337
Thomas D. Seeley, Roger A. Morse
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02224297
http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2FBF02224297.pdf
http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/640/art%253A10.1007%252FBF02224297.pdf?auth66=1415286270_e84be94593d41c181eadd830aedf85c9&ext=.pdf
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BBC
Scout Bee


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaunreiter wrote:
BBC wrote:
without due discernment, beekeepers have decided that 'bottom' entrances have scored higher,


That is your version of the story.

The following preferences were identified («>» means «preferred to»):
nest height, 5>1 m;
entrance area, 12.5>75 cm2;
entrance position, bottom >top of nest cavity,
entrance direction, southward>northward;
nest cavity volume, 10<40>100 liters.

from:
Nest site selection by the honey bee,Apis mellifera
Insectes Sociaux 1978, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 323-337
Thomas D. Seeley, Roger A. Morse
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02224297
http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2FBF02224297.pdf
http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/640/art%253A10.1007%252FBF02224297.pdf?auth66=1415286270_e84be94593d41c181eadd830aedf85c9&ext=.pdf



And the data on which those conclusions were drawn is given where ... ?

Exactly.

In marked contrast to the quite precise data given elsewhere in the paper.

So why this omission of the actual data ?

You're confusing the conclusions drawn with the raw data, as measured.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on, Colin...do you think Prof. Seeley has something to hide? Send him an e-mail, I am sure he will hand you all the data you want from this study. I know him as an accurate and open-minded scientist, so I don't doubt his results.
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BBC
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not suggested Tom is 'hiding' anything (that is your interpretation of my post) but rather that it is not possible to present precise data regarding the entrances because of how varied they are, from tree to tree.

So he grouped them together - hardly a precise technique. But, as I've already said, that is also what I would have done.
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BBC
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incidentally, during the last conversation I had with Tom Seeley - in regard to whether vertical cavities were preferred by them to horizontal (which may be of some relevance here, generally) - he replied:

Quote:
Dear Colin,

Back when I was investigating the nest-site prefs of the bees, I did give them a choice between cubical and tall nest boxes that were otherwise identical in design and location. The bees showed no preference for the two shapes, whereas they did show strong preferences for nest boxes with small entrances, etc. So, to the best of my knowledge, the bees do not have a strong preference for tall cavities over cubical ones. But whether they would prefer a tall one over a horizontal one is not clear. It would be good to ask the bees.

I also consider it an open question as to whether bees in northern climates survive winter better in tall vs. horizonal nests. You probably know that Eva Crane found a strong pattern of beekeepers using vertical hives in northern climates and horizontal ones in southern climates. Testing vertical versus horizontal hives in terms of winter survival is in fact a project that is high on my personal list of research topics, given the heavy and heated discussion on hive design. Stay tuned!

With best wishes,
Tom

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derekm
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC wrote:
Incidentally, during the last conversation I had with Tom Seeley - in regard to whether vertical cavities were preferred by them to horizontal (which may be of some relevance here, generally) - he replied:

Quote:
Dear Colin,

Back when I was investigating the nest-site prefs of the bees, I did give them a choice between cubical and tall nest boxes that were otherwise identical in design and location. The bees showed no preference for the two shapes, whereas they did show strong preferences for nest boxes with small entrances, etc. So, to the best of my knowledge, the bees do not have a strong preference for tall cavities over cubical ones. But whether they would prefer a tall one over a horizontal one is not clear. It would be good to ask the bees.

I also consider it an open question as to whether bees in northern climates survive winter better in tall vs. horizonal nests. You probably know that Eva Crane found a strong pattern of beekeepers using vertical hives in northern climates and horizontal ones in southern climates. Testing vertical versus horizontal hives in terms of winter survival is in fact a project that is high on my personal list of research topics, given the heavy and heated discussion on hive design. Stay tuned!

With best wishes,
Tom


when was that conversation? having measured the thermal performance of various hive types perhaps i should get in touch with him
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prakel
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

derekm, has your extensive research demonstrated that swarms show a preference for nest cavities with a certain level of insulation?
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derekm
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

prakel wrote:
derekm, has your extensive research demonstrated that swarms show a preference for nest cavities with a certain level of insulation?

No , i'm a physicist/engineer, not an animal behavior specialist. However the advantages are vast to the bees and some of them not that obvious
Some time ago before I started my research. Prof Seeley and i did discuss this. We both conjectured t that bees might be detecting a difference between the external and internal dimensions. But do they? that would need behaviour experiments to confirm.
There is more than enough work just getting the questions right for animal behavior bods to answer. The highly complex heat and mass transfer problems that bees solve to their advantage, shows an hidden beauty to an already quite impressive organism.
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CharlieBnoobee
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:24 pm    Post subject: tall hive research Reply with quote

Derek;
I was truly impressed by your ambitious endeavor to build “a very tall”, one mile high (4 X 400m) bee hive; but, since no one else seemed to share my excitement over such a feat, I concluded that, once again, I screwed up my metric-to-Anglo conversions.
My question to Bernhard is “why stick to the ‘standard’ ”? The old adage: “expecting-a-different-outcome-while-continuing-to-do-the-same-thing is wack-o” seems to apply here. Judging from Seeley’s and others’ observations, a 1.6m tall hive is not at all unusual. (A 1.6 km. tall hive is, however.) I’m getting back to work on my own 80” (5x 16” boxes) design, so clearly I’m biased toward weirdness in general, if 'weird' is defined as any deviation from the standard or the conventional, that is.

We’ve had a pretty good on-going discussion in the condenser hive thread and I’m sure that whatever you find in your research would make a large contribution to that discussion. Like Bernhard, I too have a question (or two or twenty two), namely, what do you mean by “the thermal behavior of bees”? Is it what bees do to control the thermal dynamics of the colony-hive system? Or will you also be looking into the ‘behavior’ of the hive itself —apart from the colony in it, such as: the thermal effects of shape, dimensions, level of insulation and insolation, shading, degree and placement of ventilation, apertures and other air leaks, etc. etc. I wait with bated breath to hear more.
Thanks for your undertaking, even if we never get to see a mile tall hive. (and I was really looking forward to that. Drat!)
BTW, setting up a hive in Denver, Colorado—elevation exactly one mile— doesn’t count—just in case you’ve been thinking along such lines.
Charlie


Last edited by CharlieBnoobee on Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Adam Rose
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also consider it an open question as to whether bees in northern climates survive winter better in tall vs. horizonal nests. You probably know that Eva Crane found a strong pattern of beekeepers using vertical hives in northern climates and horizontal ones in southern climates. Testing vertical versus horizontal hives in terms of winter survival is in fact a project that is high on my personal list of research topics, given the heavy and heated discussion on hive design.


Just a comment on this. Evan Crane did indeed find "a strong pattern of beekeepers using vertical hives in northern climates and horizontal ones in southern climates", although the pattern is a little more complicated than that. In the Mediterranean area, she found most 20th century traditional beekeepers using horizontal pottery hives, often embedded into a wall, and nearly always piled on top of each other, very much like the pictures engraved in ancient Egypt from four thousand years earlier. In the heavily forested part of North and Eastern Europe, she found traditional beekeepers used vertical log hives. In North Western Europe, straw skeps were used. The boundary between the skep zone and the log zone was roughly the boundary between East and West Germany.

There may have been some element of survivability in this choice, but the key to this pattern seems to be that humans used whatever materials were easily available. If you lived in a hot river valley, that was rough sun baked clay, and if you lived in a forest, you cut a log and stood it on its end. If there had already been some significant deforestation, then you used straw. This also accounts for the use of rushes in marshland areas.

You can see some pictures from Eva Crane's book here : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/axyi79um4wv7bvr/AAAoYZ15RP2vyuzph4h_Hii7a?dl=0. The dividing line between the forest and the skep zone can just about be seen here : https://www.dropbox.com/s/d1qip9nw79o64u5/2014-11-01%2021.25.47.jpg?dl=0.


Adam.
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