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Aerodynamics in small places (bee hives)

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Old   July 17, 2004, 13:36
Default Aerodynamics in small places (bee hives)
Peter Kevan
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In my laboratory at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, we do a lot of work with honeybee colonies and pollination. We have become interested in how to obtain data on the natural air currents in a living hive of honeybees. The hives are of standard size, and within are the frames with comb (with honey, or with brood) with standard spacing 3/8 inch (the bee space) between all components. We know that the bees air condition their hives by fanning at the entrance (air moves in and out!) and that air circulates through the brood chamber (kept at 35 C by the bees for incubation of brood). The aerodynamics of the system, including actively invoked air circulation by fanning and passive effects by convection, and the effects of wind outside the hive (wind pressure, venturi effects, etc.) must all interplay in complex ways to allow air movement at rates of about .5m/sec (from the few measurements available). We would like to examine in more detail the bioaerodynamics and invite interested people to contact us directly with their ideas on instrumentation, data logging, and CFD applications. Anyone especially interested would be welcome to join our small research group. With all best wishes and many thanks for taking time to read this. Cheers, Peter Kevan (Professor), Environmnetal Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
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