Infrared images of hives in winter

(Ambient: 2C.) Resembling a rocket taking off, the glow below is simply trapped heat in the shadow of the hive, which has not yet radiated away. The bees are clustered above.

I mentioned borrowing an FLIR (heat vision) camera from Jack in an earlier post. He blogged some pictures of his own TBH’s taken with it. Now here is what I saw on a variety of hives belonging to myself and others, at the beginning of winter, when the bees cluster together for warmth.

I had the camera for a couple of days and tried different settings. I realised a couple of things were artefacts of the way I was using the camera. For example it’s pretty low resolution, so if you take a picture from, say, 10 feet away you see a blurred “average” of the heat distribution. But go within 3 feet and suddenly you see bright spots in the wood – hot spots where screws are conducting heat out, and bees will feel colder next to these. It brings home why some people aim to minimise use of screws.

Here are the other pictures, with commentary


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