A Nighttime View of the Bee Hive

A Nighttime View of the Bee Hive

I took two photos of three of six of our bee hives at 8:30 PM using a FLIR Scout, thermal night vision camera that detects “hot” objects that are putting off heat.

The box on the far left belongs to Mark and Jena, and you can see that the bees are bunched-up along the right-side middle, and hence the brighter heat signature.

Mike and Tina’s hive (center) has the pocket of bees more within the interior of the box, and less of a bright signature.

My hive shows the bulk of the bees concentrated toward the front of the hive, as that is where it is the brightest.  You can see the seams of the hive where heat is escaping.

Behind the bees is the chicken pen with a night-time heat lamp, with heat escaping from the roof line opening.  In the foreground you can see the dark wood-chips (warmer/brighter) in the chicken pen, compared to the green grass in front (colder).

Even the trees in the background release heat early in the evening, but this signature will begin to fade as the evening progresses.  A 4:00 AM FLIR photo should show a more apparent, hotter bright spot where the bees are huddled around the queen and keeping the hive warm.  You can see where the wooden handle indentations are on the boxes, with its thinner wood, showing the release of heat, as the handles stand out as brighter in the photo.  The exterior sugar water feeders are quite bright, but will “turn-off” as the water reaches the ambient air temperature within the next few hours.

Temperature at photo time was 38-degrees, and the daytime high was 52-degrees.  Today’s sun angle was equivalent to that of September 2.