A CFD investigation of the influence of bottom board geometry on physical processes within a honeybee hive
The influence of bottom board design on the honeybee hive environment was explored using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. Two design aspects were evaluated: in Experiment A the bottom board was replaced with a rectangular cavity of variable depth ([delta]) below the hive inlet; in Experiment B a shaped bottom cavity was added that was defined by the variable parameter a, to create a series of front-skewed and back-skewed bottom cavities. Adding a bottom cavity below the hive resulted in increased air exchange between the hive body and ambient environment. The nature of flow within the hive changed resulting in interesting flow patterns - most notably the formation of a vortex below the hive inlet. Bottom cavity shape influences the nature of flow within the hive body in suble ways. The results of this study indicate that bottom board design can be optimized. Data gaps that exist in literature must be filled to refine the current hive model and develop a design optimization tool.