Hive Homeostasis

Hive Homeostasis

The term Homeostasis refers to the mechanisms that allow insects (in this case your honey bees) to maintain conditions within a certain range of values. These conditions may be temperature of the environment, humidity, food stores etc.  The bee colony as a group, will regulate these conditions to an optimum state to ensure their survival.

Hive Humidity

The humidity of the brood nest is important for the overall fitness of a honeybee colony. During summer months, bees will fan to regulate temperature and humidity. During winter months, in cooler weather, condensation occurs due to the temperature difference between the outside and inside of hive walls. It may require the beekeeper to ventilate the hive to help bring the relative humidity in the hive down.

For beekeepers, there are a many factors which affect humidity and temperature levels within a hive. It can depend on the local weather, type of hive and status of the colony etc. The Arnia system, enables you to measure brood temperature, ambient temperature and hive humidity (amongst other environmental factors).  These measurements can help you when considering issues such as hive insulation and hive ventilation. Opinion on these matters varies however with the Arnia system you can assess these issues for yourself and identify what works best for your colonies in your location.

You can compare hive temperature and humidity between a wooden hive and a polystyrene hive. Or compare different methods of ventilation to see if there is any impact on humidity and temperature levels.

homeostasis

 

Graph showing hive humidity comparison between different hives.