Dave made a comment on my post about assembling bee hives:
"Bruce, hives painted a dark green actually do better in the snohomish climate, during the winter on sunny days the green absorbs more heat and they will actually get active even on the coldest of days, while the white hives will remain dormant."
If bees were in the hives it would be impossible to isolate the heating benefit of darker colors -- the bees maintain the hive at a temperature that is comfortable for them, by consuming honey and exercising to generate heat, or collecting water and evaporating it in the hive to cool. The original "swamp cooler".
I'll leave this up for a week or two and check the temperature periodically. It really doesn't matter what the temperature is -- what I want to know is if there is any difference in temperature between these two hives.
When the hives are full of bees and honey, they can weigh hundreds of pounds. that's a huge thermal mass, and I think that all of that mass would make the hives slower to warm up. With the hive bodies empty except for sheets of wax in the frames, the air inside should benefit from any heating faster than it would if they were full. What I'm saying here is that if darker colors make any difference, we'll see them.
21 hours ago