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Author Topic: Oservation hive entry tube  (Read 2053 times)
twb
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« on: January 12, 2008, 08:22:00 PM »

I plan to start an observation hive this spring and I wonder how long the entry tube can be.  It looks like I will need to have one about four or five feet long from outdoor entry to hive.  Is that going to be a problem?  I will want the tube to resist the teeth of rodents where it exits the house.  Also I plan to have it leave the house and then turn 90 degrees and go straight up for a foot or two, so will a tube with a smooth interior be o.k.?  Once in the house I want to use clear tube so we can watch the bees enter.  Any suggestions for exterior tubing material?
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2008, 10:45:34 PM »

It shouldn't be, I've seen bees travel 20 feet along a wall from entrance point to hive.
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Ken
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2008, 07:07:36 AM »

I have probably six feet of 1 1/4 inch pvc pipe from the window to the observation hive. it has not been a problem.

The tube runs behind the snowmen
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twb
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2008, 10:18:01 AM »

Good, thanks guys.  I will continue with my plans.  Great looking hive there, Buzzbee.

How did you start your hives?  I've read here that it can be difficult to take a couple of frames from an existing hive because the bees have drawn it out too far for the dimensions of the ob. hive to handle.  I really do not want to purchase a package just for the ob. hive.
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2008, 11:23:50 AM »

I used one drawn frame,as long as the wax doesn't stick out much past the wood it will be okay. I did put my frames in a nuc box,dumped the bees in and when most of the bees were on the foundation ,I moved them into the observation hive.I pressed the queen cage into the wax on the drawn frame being sure to leave the candy end exposed.
http://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l65/kwrabbit/Observatioin%20Hive/
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 08:39:13 AM »

I have probably six feet of 1 1/4 inch pvc pipe from the window to the observation hive. it has not been a problem.

The tube runs behind the snowmen



Well, sure it isn't a problem, those imaginary bees very rarely have imaginary obstructions!!!  Or is that picture from LAST winter?  grin

I just use 1 or 1.25 inch( I don't remember which) clear tubing that I found at the hardware store.  The bigger the better.  But wait till you have the hive before getting it.  I have only a short run, so can't comment on length.

I put in 2 frames of eggs/brood with the bees attached.  They raised their own queen.  Sadly, one frame of capped brood was too thick like you mentioned, and they ended up culling most of them because the young bees could hardly hatch, they were stressed out, and fighting off a SHB infestation.  But they conquered, and it was fascinating to watch.
So I took out that bad frame and replaced it with an empty frame.  They  only managed to draw out one frame, and have been a very small hive, but they have been interesting nonetheless.

Don't buy a package for it!!  You can try putting a swarm in there (only if you use a queen excluder!!) or even buy a queen and make up your own package (shake bees in there).  But you should be able to put in some frames of brood or eggs with bees and let them raise their own.

Rick
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twb
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 03:20:46 PM »

Thanks again for the advice.

I enjoyed the photos, Buzzbee.  I felt your pain on the sting in the finger Cry Smiley.

I am looking forward to watching bees in the house but it looks like it could be just a bit frustrating at times, too.  Must take the good with the bad, though. 
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 05:13:40 PM »

To be truthful,it's been very low maintenance since I put it in. I just keep them fed when they need it since they don't have a lot of storage area.I did one split  right before we took it to my sons school so we wouldn't lose the marked queen in a swarm.The bottom where it swivels has a door in the base and one in the upper section . When you close both doors you may have a couple bees in the middle ,but you can lift the top section off and open it outside if you ever have the need.
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 02:56:04 PM »

Buzzbee,
That is one great looking ob hive!! I have been looking for something simple and effective. Thanks for the photo's and the link.. They were great. One question, how did you attach the entry hose? That was about the only question that I could not find an answer to by looking at the photos. I think that I may have to attempt to build that for the kids this year. I figure there are lots of ways to attach the hose, but no sense reinventing the wheel. If you have found something that works well.
Thanks again for the pics
F
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 06:04:54 PM »

You should be adventurous and put an opening into those hive bodies below the OB  shocked
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 06:40:30 PM »

Jerry ,
I am not quite that adventerous!! cool
Frantz,
I added two more photos to my link. I just capped the end of my ob hive tube with a flat piece of wood and used a hole saw to make a hole the size of the 1 1/4 pvc fitting. It fits really snug,but I guess you could silicone around the tube if you wanted.
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2008, 08:19:47 AM »

I used 1 1/4 inch clear tubing and went through the wall with it to a wood block on the outside (and inside).  It was quite snug, but then I also used expanding foam to help lock it in at both sides. I've never pulled with all my strength, but I can put a lot of pressure and it doesn't budge.
It has survived  2,4,7 and 8 year old boys so far!!

Rick
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2008, 02:25:07 AM »

One observation hive at a local farm has over 20 feet from entrance to the hive.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2008, 06:49:33 AM »

Keep in mind the shorter the tube the less problems all in all.  20 feet is a long way to haul the dead.  Mine is only Three feet or so and it often gets clogged with dead bees through the winter and has to be cleaned out.
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twb
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2008, 05:19:43 PM »

Keep in mind the shorter the tube the less problems all in all.  20 feet is a long way to haul the dead.  Mine is only Three feet or so and it often gets clogged with dead bees through the winter and has to be cleaned out.


Yes, I will keep it as short as possible, thanks.

Anybody know someone you trust who would make me a 3 or 4 medium frame obs. hive?  I would prefer not to pay shipping costs so if it were within, say, 100 miles of me that would be a plus.  My leads are not panning out.  Or do you have plans for one that size and I may try to make it myself Undecided.  I have neither the tools, time or desire to but if necessity dictates, I will.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2008, 07:56:57 PM »

There have been postings in the for sale section on Beesource from time to time.
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