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Author Topic: Portable Observation Case  (Read 1507 times)
StevenSlaughter
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« on: April 28, 2009, 12:30:11 AM »

I'm not sure quite what to call it, but I have something in mind and wonder if it will work and I have a few questions about how I should build it.

I just posted my account of moving a large TBH up the side of a 20' wall with ropes and ladders last night. It is now in place on my church roof. One thing I'd like to do is to show the bees to others -- kids in the church, my students, folks at the neighborhood festival in June, etc. The rooftop, as I described in my other post, is not easily accessible, so I need a way to show just a few bars. Or even just one. My TBH is pretty wide (2'), so even one good bar of comb might be impressive.

Unlike a standard observation hive, in the which you establish a small colony in that hive, I am thinking of a glass-walled case that I could slide a bar into and seal up. It would only be for temporary viewing in other places, and then I'd return it to the hive. So here are my questions:

1) Will this work? Are there such things (plans or some for sale)?
2) How long can the bees safely stay in there if it is properly ventilated?
3) Do they need a feeder, and if so, what sort?
4) Any other considerations?

Since I don't need to build a hive anymore, I'd like to work on this portable Ob Hive.

Thanks!

Steven
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Steven Slaughter
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Chicago Public Schools
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RayMarler
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 01:47:05 AM »

1) Will this work? Are there such things (plans or some for sale)?

I don't see why it wouldn't work, I do single frame observation hives with langstrong frames.
I don't know of any plans for a tbh, but I don't do tbh and haven't looked.

2) How long can the bees safely stay in there if it is properly ventilated?

for a single frame, i wouldn't keep them in there any longer than a day myself. They don't do so well if they can't fly each day.

3) Do they need a feeder, and if so, what sort?

for just a day, shouldn't need a feeder if the frame you use in it has stores in it. should drop some water in thru a screened hole once an hour or two.

4) Any other considerations?

You could use a water bottle as a feeder and another with water in it for water. Drill a hole in the top cover with 1/8" hardware cloth over the inside of the hole for bees to get feed and water as needed.

You could make it with a wooden top, ends, and bottom, with plexiglass sides should work well.

Great idea, best of luck!
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 08:29:29 AM »

There are 1 or 2 frame obs hive that are for temporary viewing.  They can last a day or two in there closed up, with a feeder a few extra days. Beyond that and you'll end up with a new queen, or things can go downhill quite fast if they are cooped up too long.

As far as what's available...I'm guessing that with a TBH you'll have to customize something.  There are plenty of free plans available, I built mine from
http://www.beesource.com/plans/obsrhive.htm

You can customize the width, height, make doors on it, etc.  I did a little bit of customizing to make mine a full time obs. hive but portable as well.

Rick
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 10:39:04 PM »

Tew did this all the time.  Brushy Mt. had an observation hive named the Tew hive that was designed to take one deep Langstroth frame.   Yes, it can work.  Yes, it's a good idea.  Make sure it has adequate ventilation.
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Wojtek
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 11:19:29 PM »

Steven. I think that the simplest way to show your bees is to make a video. Something the same or similar as I gave you on CD. Make a stand to put a comb on it and you may show whatever you want to show.  If you don’t want to build such stand I can provide it for you. Just call me.

Glass case for one comb is quite feasible for your purpose, just a matter of time how long you want to keep bees in it. One or two hours I think is feasible. The shorter time the better because bees relatively quickly recognize changes in their home and make appropriate adaptation which affects entire colony.
There are several things to consider when trying to keep bees in glass case in addition to time. One of it for example is temperature especially when brood cells are involved.
Wojciech Wlazlinski

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Wojtek
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 10:36:11 AM »

The Cook/Dupage Beekeepers Association's last meeting was on Observation hives.

I think the key thing I saw was ventilation.  The frames had holes covered with screens, and I think the whole bottom was screen.  They had a hole with screen on top that could fit a jar for watering/feeding if needed (if frame was out of hive for > 1 day).
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