In a nutshell

Unique thermosolar beehive consists of following parts

  • outer cover
  • thermosolar ceiling
  • thermosolar super
  • varroa bottom
Raising temperature

Raising temperature

Simple treatment process

During the treatment the beekeper removes the outer cover of the hive and the thermosolar ceiling is exposed to the sun. The increasing temperature is monitored on the built-in sensors. Once the temperature reaches 47°C in the upper part of the hive, the beekeper ends the treatment by puting the outer cover back on.  Thanks to the unique technical solution the temperatures within the hive even out and keep over the healing limit for more than 2 hours later. That is sufficient to kill the mites hidden inside the brood. Bees, bee brood, and the combs tolerate such increased temperatures without any problems. Most of the Varroa mite is killed; only those mites attached at the moment to the bees outside the hive survive.

The remaining mites move from the old bees on the larvae during the following 10 days. So it is perfectly sufficient to repeat the treatment once again, and the Varroa is exterminated completely.

13 thoughts on “In a nutshell

    • Hi screaminkid! Thermotherapy in Thermosolar Hive kills all the mites on the brood and part of the mites on adult bees, especially on house bees. It is usually declared that during brood rearing about 80 – 85% of mites is on the brood. Added to this is another big part stuck on house bees (around 10 %). Those Varroa mites which are not in the capped brood generally do not suck on older forager bees, but mainly on house bees. In summer the female Varroa mites suck on the bees in average for only 3-5 days. Then they return to the brood chamber and have themselves capped into the brood cells. Thus we can say that since the 7 to 14 day after hatching from the brood and sucking on the bees, vast majority of the remaining female mites is capped again in a cell to start reproductive cycle there. Therefore, if the beekeeper carries out a repeated thermosolar heating a week or two later, he/she manages to kill even those females that escaped the first treatment. Mites are killed together with their offspring of both sexes, because all these mites are now trapped under the caps of the brood and can not escape the heat. This is how the entire population of mites is wiped out completely after the second heating of the brood chamber. The result is the extinction of the entire population of mites in the hive.

        • This possibility is very unlikely. Varroa destructor has developed together with the Indian bee (Apis ceranae). Varroa parasitizes naturally on Indian bee and is unable to kill the bees. This is because Indian bee heats the worker brood to 35.5°C (95.9°F) and the drone brood to 33°C (91.4°F), therefore Varroa parasitizes only on the drone brood. At temperatures above 35°C (95°F) Varroa is no longer able to multiply. If the mite were able to adapt to higher temperatures, it would certainly have done so over the millions of years of coevolution with the Indian bee. That makes the difference from treatments using acids or pesticides, where the growing resistance is evident already after a several years of application.

  1. i kept bees in the desert for many years and summer temps were from 115 to 120 for weeks yet the bees still had mites so sorry not convinced

    • Ion, there is a huge difference between air temperatures outside the hive, air temperatures inside the hive and brood temperature. Bees thermoregulate very effectively and can easily decrease temperature. For example one bee research institute tried to kill the mites with two hairdryers that blow hot air into the hive. They were not successful. Bees were able to ventilate even this strong current of hot air. So do the bees in the desert. In extreme conditions like this, they probably can’t thermoregulate the whole hive, but they will thermoregulate the brood which will stay around 34-35°C. Device that is able to eliminate the mites have to be very stong in its output and more importantly do it very differently than to blow hot air inside the hive. It took us a really long time to figure out the combination of a strong output overcoming airing of the bees and at the same time ensure that the the brood will be warm slowly. So it is obvious how the mites survived in your hives. Majoryty of the mites (80-90%) are on the sealed brood. Bees were able to maintain ideal temperatures of the bood and therefore majority of the mites were completely safe. On the other hand Thermosolar Hive focus on thermal treatment of the brood where it eliminates all the mites there. It does not focus on increasing the temperature in the whole hive or on elimination of the minority of the mites on older bees with hardened cuticle (about 5% of the mites), which could be tricky for this bees. But it is easy to repeat the treatment several days later when the rest of the mite population move from bees to the brood.

    • It does not need to be all day, but at least from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. It is the time when thermotherapy takes place. Before and after this period, place can be in shade. However, we advice beekeepers to choose sunny places.

  2. Could this temperature melt the comb or honey within the hive? I have no idea at what temperature honey or wax melt, or even become soft enough that the sheer weight would cause damage to the comb construction.

    • Tracey, this can’t happen when the hive is used as it should, according to the methodology. Thermotherapy is used at the end of summer or (optionally) at the beginning of spring. It is a time when honey supers are not used, only brood supers are treated. You can read in our FAQ this: Wax melts at temperatures about 65°C (149°F). Temperatures never reach such levels during the thermotherapy. At about 50°C (122°F) the wax loses its firmness. Such temperatures are not reached during the thermotherapy either, however, we recommend being cautious in case of heavily overloaded frames. If such frames are not wired or are wired vertically they could potentially lose coherence. Therefore we recommend horizontal wiring of the frames, which protects the comb. It is not recommended to have virgin comb in the brood chamber either, especially not one heavily overloaded with reserves. We have carried out multiple tests with temperatures increased above the recommended limit – the comb always remained intact with the above mentioned conditions kept.

    • It is a metter of view: We understand that to change all the hives if you have 40+ of them is costly. However, this is the same as if you think how much it is to start beekeeping and buy equiptment and classical hives in one year – it is also very costly. But it is usual for beekeepers to buy/change their equiptment gradually, year by year. It is usually not a one term investment. Thermosolar Hive has benefits that make this change easier: honey yield is significantly higher in Thermosolar Hive and the return of investment is a matter of few seasons, especially in western countries with high honey prices. There are other reasons which help beekeepers also financially – no varroa mortality means lot of colonies saved etc. One more thing to mention: Thermosolar Hive is not only a hive, but also a treatment device. You can have a few Thermosolar hives and treat more colonies with it. So if you want to treat very effectively and ecologically, you can do it even without a change of all your classical hives.

      • Can you explain how one can use a few Thermosolar Hives to treat an apiary of traditional Hives? Do you have to temporarilymove all the frames from an existing hive to a “treatment hive” for each treatment?

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