How Bees Keep it Cool - a smart airconditioning in the beehive
Did you ever wonder about what happens when you are sweating? Well, we constantly regulate our body heat to get it at 37 degrees C. If it gets above, we start to release water at our skin ( sweat), which then evaporates cooling our body!
In a beehive the same principle is true. The brood has to be keptat 35 degrees C. If it colder, the bees use their muscles to create heat. In summer, when it is hot, the bees use water, same principle as with humans.
WAter is important
Lots of water is used in hot days. This video shows a bee cafe drinking water. They bring it to the hive, spread itand start fanning with the wings. The evaporation can cool the whole hive. An airconditioning, avant la lettre ;-)
How does it work?
Water enthalpy is a factor that gives insight in the amount of energy in water molecules. When a water molecule escapes, the other molecules on the surface have a lower energy. Lots of research has been done on temperature profiles of bees in hives.
For example https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981874/
Heat control in honey bees