Bee hive internal temperatures - with brood present and without

Asked February 12, 2020, 3:36 PM EST

Hi, I commonly read that the internal temperature brood area (taken between the center frames and centered top to bottom - if that makes sense) of a hive, when brood is present, is in the neighborhood of ninety-two degrees - I've measured mine and found it to be slightly higher and slightly lower on occasion. This temperature seems to be pretty much universally accepted, however, just the opposite seems to be true for hive temperatures when brood is not present - I see temperature of anywhere from the mid sixties to mid nineties offered as the proper temperature. Can you shed some light on the subject? If normal hive temperatures are something less than ninety-two degrees when brood is not present, I am wondering if a person might be able to detect the commencement of brood rearing in the spring by watching for a temperature rise to the neighborhood of ninety degrees? This could easily turn into an epistle so I'll stop here. Thanks for your time and assistance. D. Bright

Wallowa County Oregon

2 Responses

Hi D. Bright, You are correct the temperature rises when brood is present because larvae need a higher temperature to develop than do adult bees. This has led a handful of companies to develop internal temperature and humidity monitoring devices as well as hive scales so a beekeeper can keep track of colony weight gain or loss.

You might be interested in this article from Scientific Beekeeping by Randy Oliver.
"Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline: Part 13a".


Thanks for your speedy response and referencing Randy's work. I'll take a look at the article you referenced.

Have a pleasant day.

D. Bright