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Author Topic: OBSERVATION HIVE  (Read 2969 times)
Wombat
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« on: May 28, 2005, 02:45:48 PM »

Hey guys. We just constructed and put in a new observation hive here in lab, and thought you guys would be interested in checking it out. The design is pretty impressive if I may say so myself, and the bees are going crazy working their butts off. They seem to really like it there. Check out the pictures!!!

The hive has been designed to be a permanent installation, conducive to overwintering our bees. It consists of 3 stacked, connected nuc boxes for a total of 15 frames. The two lower lower bodies have removable sides with glass inserts that allow for easy viewing and can be put back in to give the bees dark when not being observed. For ventilation, there is a "front porch"/screened in vestibule that the bees really seem to respond well to. The vestibule connects to the tube that takes the girls outside and lets them come back in.

ENJOY THE PICS! I hope I can post these things correctly...
Interested in hearing your comments...
peace
mh

Here's whole contraption:


And a few closer up!



One showing the depth...



SEE YALL LATER...
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2005, 03:26:42 PM »

My first question would be after they get the thing full of brood, pollen, honey, bees, is that book case going to collapse?  shocked
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2005, 03:52:22 PM »

I have two that are four medium frames and only one thick. They overwinter most every winter.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Wombat
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2005, 01:11:18 PM »

Actually Jerry, I could probably do jumping jacks on the top board of the bookcase. The bookcase itself is also screwed securely and directly into the wall in several different places. So, not really worried about it.

But...That board does look like its bending a little bit from the camera angle, though, doesn't it?

later
wombat
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Barny
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2005, 01:24:05 PM »

I could watch it for hours cheesy
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drobbins
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2005, 01:59:42 PM »

I love the idea of an observation hive
I'm building my first wooden ware today and the idea of an OB sounds great
Question
if you try to overwinter them, how does this effect there regular, ummm, cycle??
it'll be warm if they're inside, but they won't be able to fly because it's too cold
what do they do about food?
does this cause them to feed more or less?
can they survive on their stored honey or do you have to feed em?
I think I gotta have one of these

Dave
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2005, 02:21:25 PM »

>I love the idea of an observation hive

You'll love having one even more.  Smiley

>if you try to overwinter them, how does this effect there regular, ummm, cycle??

Not at all.  They stop rearing brood becuase of the shortness of the days and start rearing brood because the days are getting longer.  It has nothing to do with the temps outside or in the hive.  Besides the temps outside don't change and if the other bees could they would have the same temps inside.

>it'll be warm if they're inside, but they won't be able to fly because it's too cold

Yes.

>what do they do about food?

Eat stores.  If you think they're going to run out, feed them.  Any observation hive should have a method to feed in the winter in case you need to.

>does this cause them to feed more or less?

More.

>can they survive on their stored honey or do you have to feed em?

Somtimes yes, sometimes no.  Observation hives have more ups and downs than regular hives.

>I think I gotta have one of these

Absolutely.

You can check out one of mine:

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

The observation hive pictures are down about the middle of the page.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2005, 11:50:32 PM »

From the top pic it looks like it is flexing quite a bit.
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Ryan Horn
SherryL
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2005, 12:15:39 AM »

Hey Michael,

This may seem like an obvious question, but if I had an observation hive INDOORS say, May-Sept., then moved the frames to an outside hive, what impact would that have on the colony, if any?

I'm not with my bees year-round, so I couldn't keep them indoors (I don't think) while I'm not there, and I can't have hives here in IL where I am Sept. - May, so that's not an option.  I would love to have an indoor hive for a few summer months, but then I'd have to relocate them outside, wrap them like the other hives, ect.  Do you think that's feasible?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2005, 09:54:39 PM »

I kind of doubt that a few frames of bees will make it through the winter outdoors.  But you could just combine them with one of your hives and then grab four frames in the spring to make a new observation hive and let them raise a queen.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2005, 11:22:41 PM »

that's a good idea MB, that would be fun to watch too and be some pretty good learning on how a queen is made and the progression of the hive after that.
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