Upgrade of the Infrared Camera System

Biene mit Varroa Milbe

In the last weeks I spent a lot of time to upgrade my system for recording infrared videos. I replaced the old 0.4MP camera with a 3MP camera with a wide-angle lens. The illumination is now via 9 infrared LEDs (previously one LED) and is now recorded at a frame rate of 60fps (previously 25fps).

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Bee hive Gruibert


The instructions for a new hive are now available under hive building: The Gruibert hive. The idea was born together with Gabi and Norbert Dorn. The goal was a hive with the following characteristics:

  • Thermal insulation comparable to tree cavities inhabited by bees
  • Entrance tunnel and volume of the brood chamber comparable to tree cavities inhabited by bees
  • Operation with top beams
  • Geometry based on tree cavities inhabited by bees higher than wide
  • Inserting of a common frame size possible
  • Access to the brood chamber from above and below possible
  • Hanging in the tree
  • Varroa screen board
  • Hive can be reconstructed with simple means and without special previous knowledge

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Tom´s Tree

Toms Tree

In the fall of 2017, I made Thomas Seeley an offer he couldn’t possibly refuse. I offered him 10 of my just finished Beeloggers to use in the Arnot Forest in the natural tree cavities he knows. I wrote him an e-mail with all the information about the data loggers and offered to climb into the trees with him. Thomas Seeley answered quickly and firmly: Unfortunately no time.

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Straw bee hive with frames

apiary of the abbey beekeeping

Almost 100 years ago, straw hives with frames were already used for beekeeping. The hive has a wooden bottom, the entrance hole is only a small slit, the side walls are made of straw and the lid is a double-walled wooden construction with straw filling. In these hives there were no problems with mould and … Read moreStraw bee hive with frames

Orientation of the entrances

In “The nest of the honeybee” in 1976, Tom Seeley describes a random alignment of the entrances in tree cavities inhabited by bees. Unfortunately, he does not give data on the alignment of uninhabited tree cavities in the region. It is therefore not possible to verify whether the bees prefer a certain direction for the entrances of their tree cavities or not.

Alignment of the cave openings
Orientation of entrances in “The nest of the honeybee”, 1976

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Physical properties of propolis

Wood with propolis layer

The antiseptic function of propolis is generally known. This property slows down the development and spread of pathogenic germs in hives and tree hollows. However, propolis also fights condensation and mold in a different way, which is probably unknown to beekeepers. It is a simple physical effect: In the propolis layer there is no capillary condensation, propolis is not hygroscopic.

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News on the Diffusion Lid, October 2017

bee hive with D-lid

The Diffusion lid works, but not as well as calculated:
The calculations for the diffusion lid are basing on approved calculation methods of building physics. The difference in the temperature, the thickness and the type of the material are decisive for the amount of water vapor diffusion.

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Grooming Time

groomed varroa

You can see the grooming several times a day in my video recordings. Sometimes “Grooming Bees” appear and work off one bee after the other. However, grooming is usually started without planning. Shaking and cleaning movements of a bee (that wants to free itself from pollen/parasites) are apparently the trigger. Under Videos I have already published both versions.

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