How Bees Keep it Cool - a smart airconditioning in the beehive

in #steemstem3 years ago (edited)


Body temperature

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!

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Beehive temperature
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
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Source:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022191010002362


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@beesteem you were flagged by a worthless gang of trolls, so, I gave you an upvote to counteract it! Enjoy!!

Evaporation stops working when the air is saturated. How do bees handle high humidity?

Good point! High humidity also happens in the hive. That is why bees are venting in front of the hive opnening to get a vacuum. The air is pulled out of the hive.

I think that you are right that if all air is humid it tends to get difficult. I have not experienced that, yet.