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Wofati bee wall

 
pollinator
Posts: 418
Location: Central Texas (Georgetown)
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tiny house wofati
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Paul talks about a wall capable of housing bees for heating living space inside a wofati.
Sketch-of-a-section-cut-of-the-top-of-a-bee-wall-idea..jpeg
Sketch of a section cut of the top of a bee wall idea.
Sketch of a section cut of the top of a bee wall idea.
 
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Davin Hoyt wrote:Paul talks about a wall capable of housing bees for heating living space inside a wofati.



That's an interesting use of the space, that would otherwise need to be filled with insulation, but what kind of heating would you expect from such a thing?  I'd suspect that it'd be more ascetic than practical.
 
gardener
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Bees do keep the inside of their hive about 95F, so there would be some warmth coming from that. You would need a massive colony to cover enough area to make a real difference. The larger a hive is, the more chance of encountering fatal infestations of mites or other issues. It used to be that beekeepers could let their hives alone most of the time, but there are so many pests now that unmaintained hives are at serious risk. A dead hive will not do much for heat balance.
 
steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Oh! A wonderful math problem!!!

A colony of bees eats about a gallon of honey per month during the winter. So around 4 ounces per day. There are 344 kcalories in 4 ounces of honey. Therefore,  the heat output of a colony of honeybees is about equal to 1/8th of the heat output of an adult man.

It would also be equivalent to burning a 4 ounce candle per day, or running a 16 watt electric heater.

Comparing fuel efficiency: A gallon of honey costs around $80. A gallon of kerosene, with approximately the same heat content, costs around $3.

 
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Oh! A wonderful math problem!!!

A colony of bees eats about a gallon of honey per month during the winter. So around 4 ounces per day. There are 344 kcalories in 4 ounces of honey. Therefore,  the heat output of a colony of honeybees is about equal to 1/8th of the heat output of an adult man.

It would also be equivalent to burning a 4 ounce candle per day, or running a 16 watt electric heater.

Comparing fuel efficiency: A gallon of honey costs around $80. A gallon of kerosene, with approximately the same heat content, costs around $3.



Heat output of one average man at rest - 700 btu per hour.
 
steward
Posts: 32879
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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I just now saw this.  

Here is my feeble attempt to express what is in my head.  

wofati-5-foot-eave.png
normal wofati wall with a five foot eave
normal wofati wall with a five foot eave
wofati-double-wall.png
the wofati double wall idea
the wofati double wall idea
wofati-double-wall-plus-honeybees.png
the double wall plus a langstroth hive thus making a bee heated house
the double wall plus a langstroth hive thus making a bee heated house
wofati-solarium.png
the solarium idea
the solarium idea
 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I'm going to chip in here as a beekeeper.

This looks like an EXCELLENT way to kill hives over winter.

Bees need to go dormant through the winter to both conserve their winter stores and to reduce the metabolic stress on the bees, which allows them to survive from autumn to spring when the next cycle of brood is reared. Bringing them into a structure - especially one that is substantially warmer than the outside air temperature - stimulates them to be more active. When they are more active they will consume more stores and each bee will die sooner. Worse still, if the internal conditions are too warm they may attempt cleansing flights on warmer days but get chilled when they are out of the hive and be unable to return.

In some particularly cold regions beekeepers will bring colonies into climate controlled warehouses, but the temperatures are kept deliberately low, not high, to avoid these issues.

In the designs above the needs of bees (sheltered, yet exposed to actual external conditions) are in opposition to the needs of the humans (shelter, temperature considerably higher than external).

I definitely like the idea of building good shelter for hives - especially in the climate condition in Montana - but I would avoid attempting to combine this with any form of human habitation.
 
paul wheaton
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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If the inside temp is 70 and the outside temp is 10 - i think it is a reasonable guess that the temp where the bees would be would be about 40.   Cold enough for dormancy.
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