We have just experienced our first very hot dry days, of what everyone is saying, is going to be a very nasty summer.
My question is, in light of expecting continued periods of very high temperatures (mid thirties and above, up to early 40’s), and setting up a new hive at this time of year (Summer in Victoria), what considerations should I make in placement of hive & support requirements?
In reading about Bees & forms of environmental stress I came across this which is quite interesting. ( I intend to be a minimal interference beekeeper, do what is necessary to keep a healthy & happy hive, & enjoy all the incredible talents the bees have.)
‘In a living tree, the honey bee colony is surrounded (usually) by several inches of heart and sap wood plus a layer of living tissue (the cambium) and bark. The R value (1 divided by the thermal conductivity of the material) for the cavity walls in a living tree likely falls between 5 and 15 and perhaps higher, although precise measurements are unavailable. The R factor for a one-inch pine board (which is actually about 0.75 inch) is 1, essentially zero insulation…
Studies have shown that the temperature inside an uninsulated box hive differs little from ambient temperature (Owens, 1971). Thus, depending on locality, internal hive temperatures outside of the cluster may range from -34 degrees Celius to 46 degrees Celcius.’
Stress and Honey Bees
ERIC H. ERICKSON