Bees and Infrared Cameras

During the winter when outside temperatures drop below zero, an Infrared Camera can be very useful to see which colonies are still alive

The photos were taken using a borrowed FLIR E4 Camera https://www.flir.co.uk/products/e4/

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Below is an IR image of 3 beehives. The two to the left are two Paynes polystyrene hives, and the one on the right is a wooden hive. You can see the difference in surface temperature and hence heat loss.

These are the same beehives but from the front. Note that there is a relatively high temperature in the entrance of each polystyrene hive

A closer look at a polystyrene hive showing heat leakage from the gap between the brood box and the super, then a larger gap to the roof.

Paynes Polystyrene Hives

https://paynesbeefarm.co.uk/collections/poly-hives-nucs/products/complete-poly-14×12-jumbo-national-hive-empty-no-frames

Of course there are some downsides with Polystyrene Hives

  • cleaning – you cannot scorch with a blowtorch, use a large bleach bath instead
  • woodpeckers make deep, ineffective holes
  • the super will not fit onto the base in the same way that the brood box does. I cannot work how to invert brood/super in the spring

Here is a picture of the apiary in the daytime for reference

Woodpecker holes

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