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Author Topic: Watch me build an Observation Hive  (Read 20510 times)
specialkayme
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2010, 02:45:17 PM »

I'm glad you like it Doug!

Sometimes I wonder if I'm typing all this stuff out for myself, or if anyone is actually benefitting from this. If nothing else, at least it is giving me "plans" to rebuild it, if I should ever need to (although it's all basically in my head anyway).

I wouldn't say that I have "that much woodworking talent" though, it's all basically trial and error. I taught myself, and trust me, you can too. I don't have the expensive tools ($70 router, $115 table saw, $29 drill, and a few hand tools). If I can do it, you can too.

thanks for stopping by, I love getting comments/questions.
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2010, 03:06:10 PM »

Well it certainly looks like you do carpentry for a living. I like seeing what one does. I wanted to make a top bar hive and watched Daves Videos. I've started mine and it's fairly straight forward, no dado blades involved! It's really kinda funny since my entire family are general contractors (building houses since the early 50's) but I went the computer route. OH well.... threads such as yours and Daves get my juices flowing and me breakin' out the skill saw!

I think that after my top bar project, I might try and follow your steps here and see if I can build it.  Anyway, keep up the good work!

...DOUG
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P.S. Check out Daves videos in the Top Bar forum if you haven't already.
 
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phill
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2010, 03:38:39 PM »

This is great. I've collected several plans for an observation hive, but I like your model better. I also prefer the visual step-by-step approach; it's much easier to follow the process.

A(nother) question: Will the dead bees be dropped into those debris drawers, or will housekeeping carry them all the way outdoors through the hose?

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specialkayme
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« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2010, 04:26:11 PM »

Well it certainly looks like you do carpentry for a living.

Thanks Doug. Very kind of you Cheesy

It's really kinda funny since my entire family are general contractors (building houses since the early 50's) but I went the computer route.

I know what that's like. My father is an electrician, my grandfather a carpenter, I went to law school. But whatever, no reason why you can't enroll in a "self study" program.

I think that after my top bar project, I might try and follow your steps here and see if I can build it.  Anyway, keep up the good work!

I'm glad I could motivate someone! If when you are building, you run into some questions (largely, probably due to the fact that I took inadequate interim photos in the process) just let me know, I'd be happy to help. Or, if you want to change the design into something else, just ask. I might have tried it already, and if not I enjoy bouncing ideas around.

P.S. Check out Daves videos in the Top Bar forum if you haven't already.
 

I haven't checked out Daves videos just yet. Not really big into TBHs myself, but I might in the future. It would be worth while to watch, if for no other reason than the entertainment value. Thanks for the heads up.

Will the dead bees be dropped into those debris drawers, or will housekeeping carry them all the way outdoors through the hose?



I'm glad you enjoy it Phill.

I used #8 hardware cloth on the bottom screens. Because of that, it's too small for the dead bees to pass through. The undertaking bees will take care of them though. My concern with the screened bottom board is more for mites, moths, debris, and SHB larvae.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2010, 05:52:16 PM »

Didn't like anything about yours  rolleyes
Your ways of attaching parts and cutting Channels (awful)
Way to much detail left out  huh
I read none of what you wrote Lips Sealed

Tommyt

I bought most the wood for mine(yours) yesterday grin
Thanks I truly enjoyed watching
I think a lot of folks have read yours,gotten Ideas and already
started their own just didn't make a post

 From the start I have watched yours grow  Smiley
I also liked Daves
He pretty much ABC'd  it for dummy's
 The KTBH was my first bee build and I hadn't
seen Dave's until I was done, rolleyes
 Had I ,it would have gone faster.
On a good day I think I could do it, in an hour
But I'm a slam bam build  not a real Fine wood worker
Nail and screw guns is they way to Fly
When I build yours it may end up a closet Ob Hive grin







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specialkayme
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« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2010, 09:33:41 PM »

*edit: Misunderstood post*

I'm super excited you got the wood to make your own. What type of wood did you get Tommy? Feel free to make "modifications." Taking things out, or adding other things might work better for you. But discussing them might help you avoid pitfalls in the future, or help others avoid similar mistakes.

If others are building, speak up! I love OH's and think every beek (well, maybe not every beek) needs one in their home.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 04:48:59 PM by specialkayme » Logged
Tommyt
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« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2010, 01:27:34 PM »

Quote
Didn't like anything about yours 
Your ways of attaching parts and cutting Channels (awful)
Way to much detail left out 
I read none of what you wrote

This was a Joke that is why I wrote the things below it
I will let you know when I start and Hopefully
it will come out half as nice as yours

Tommyt
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specialkayme
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« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2010, 04:47:58 PM »

Sorry Tommy, sometimes I'm not able to pick up on sarcasm in writing. My bad.

Thanks for the kind words, and good luck on your build!

I'm always here if you have any questions. Smiley
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specialkayme
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« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2010, 10:33:41 AM »

Day 7

Alright, now we get started on some of the more complicated aspects that I havn't seen incorporated into any other Observation Hive. But hey, there has to be a first right?  cool

From here, we want to finish working on the base of the project, namely the lazy susan part as well as the part that attaches to the bottom board (the rails that were "completed" on day 6).

In the past I've used circles for the lazy susan tops and bottoms, but this time I wanted to go with something a little different, so I decided to go with hexagons. I think it will add a bit of mystery and intrigue to the project.  afro

So, to start off, I know that I want my top hexagon to have a diameter equal to the rails that I previously constructed. Mainly because I don't want the rails to hang out, or to sink into the top hexagon. This means the top hexagon needs a diameter of 24 inches.

I want the bottom hexagon to be smaller than the top, so as not to attract attention. Also, if the top hexagon is as big as the top, you are just using wasted materials, and we all want to save on materials (as well as cost). So I decided the bottom hexagon is going to be 18 inches in diameter.

Using a little bit of math, I know that I can make an 18 inch diameter hexagon with four 1x6 boards. So I take those four boards, and I cut them so that two are 18 inches long, and two are 14.5 inches long (this is where the math came in, but just trust me for now).



This makes the height 18 inches, but the width is over 18 inches. Something we will correct later.

The top hexagon needs a diameter of 24 inches. Unlike the bottom hexagon, the top one will have a "gap" in the center, where the observation hive will slide in and out. Knowing that the width of the observation hive is 5.5 inches (the width of a 1x6 board), I know that four more boards will be needed to make up the 24 inch hexagon. Two of which need to be 24 inches long, and the other two need to be 23 inches long.



Having cut the boards for the top and bottom hexagon, I went ahead and worked on the bottom hexagon. I glued all four boards together, then set the table saw to cut on a 45 degree angle. Drawing the hexagon on the board, I knew exactly where to cut. Having made the cuts to reduce the hexagon to a 18 inch diameter on all sides, I routed the edges of the top and bottom, to make a board that looks like this:



and then I drilled a 1.5" hole in the center of it.



I then turned my attention back to the top hexagon. I want the observation hive to slide out. This gets a little tricky if you try to use slots and grooves. I decided to use angles on this one. I set the table saw to cut on a 35 degree and lined up the bottom corner to the blade, cutting at a 35 degree angle through the rails:



And completing the other side



I then made sure that I cut the 24" long boards that make up the top hexagon at the same angle.



And as you can see they fit together quite nicely.



The bottom board will sit directly on top of the rails. Since the rails are made from one 1x6" board, and one 1/4x6" board, this makes the overall thickness more than the 1x6" board that makes up the hexagon. This gives a little wiggle room, that I wanted to avoid. So I cut a 1/4" board, about 1" wide at a 35 degree angle, and attached it to the top of the 24" hexagon board.



Now that the rails are completely cut, I can line it up with the bottom board, and drill the 1.5' hole directly through the center block.



and then continue it through the slide.



The next set of pictures, for some reason, got deleted from my phone. I don't know what happened to it, but it is what it is. I can explain everything I did in the lost set of photos, and you'll see their end result later on, but the step by step photos have been lost forever. Sorry about that.

Anyway, having drilled the hole through the rails, and through the shut off, I went ahead and glued the rails to the bottom board that we previously made, making sure to line up the holes correctly. The slide should be on the bottom, and the wider part of it should be on the bottom as well.

From there, I glued the 24" top hexagonal board to each of the 23" top hexagonal boards that we created earlier. I cut a 24" hexagon out of them, routed the edges, and made it look all nice.  afro

For the observation hive, it's important to have two shut off valves. One for the hive, and one for the base. When you slide the hive part out, you don't want to leave the entrance open for returning foragers to fly directly into your house. (made that mistake a few times) So the second part of the shut off valve will be located on the inside of the bottom hexagon. (some of these photos got lost too, sorry)

To start off, I created a channel that is 1/4" deep, and 1.75" wide going from the edge of the hexagon and up to 1/4" away from the center 1.5" hole



And used the chisel to square the edges. The rest of the slide is created using 1/4" oak, and creating three pieces. Two fit directly in the channel just cut with the router. The other has a 1.5" hole drilled through it. It looks something like this (pictures taken much later, so bear with me).



By pushing on one side of the slide, you are able to shut off the entrance hole.









Having completed the construction of the second shut off valve, I then got out the polyurethane and gave everything a good couple of coats.  afro

After that, I attached the top two sections of the hexagon to the lazy susan mechanics, available at Lowes.

By flipping over all the pieces, it's important that you place the center of the 1.5" hole in the center of the lazy susan. If you don't, it spins out of control, literally.

Starting with the bottom board, flip it over and place the lazy susan in the center. Then slide one of the top hexagonal pieces up to the bottom board, and attach the lazy susan ONLY TO THE HEXAGONAL BOARD, make sure you don't attach the lazy susan to the bottom board.



And repeat the process for the other side.



Then you can go ahead and flip it over.



Then you can see how the bottom board will be able to slide away from the lazy susan, as well as the base of the observation hive.







Then, with the bottom slide mechanism in place, you line up the bottom hexagon, and attach it to the lazy susan, giving you the end result of the base.

Alright, my hands are kinda tired, so I'm ending this day right here. Hopefully the lost pictures won't be too detrimental to anyone's attempt to recreate this. If you are having difficulties, just let me know.

Just so you know, I've just about completed the construction of the observation hive (although I havn't started it's stand), I'm just very behind on the updates. Please bear with me.

Thanks again for stoping in.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2010, 10:56:34 AM »

Looking Better with every Post
Thanks again for sharing

Tom
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specialkayme
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« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2010, 03:02:29 PM »

Day 8.

I apologize for this taking so long. I've been swamped with work lately and haven't had an opportunity to update.

But, I'm here now, so let's go.

Today I will be discussing the top of the observation hive. Along with it, I'll be discussing ventilation.

Ventilation is very important for an observation hive. Both too much of it and not enough can doom a hive very quickly. Since the observation hive has less room to regulate their own temps, they need adequate ventilation. I've seen some hives that put the ventilation in the sides. To me, this weakens the overall structural integrity of the hive (not something you want inside your house). To me, I put it in the top. This allows heat to escape durring the summer easier. But, to each their own.

I first started off with a 1x6 board of equal length to the bottom board. From there, I routed the edges smooth, sanded it nicely, and gave it a few coats of polyurethane. From there, I drilled four separate 1.5" holes in the center of it, equally spaced. I'm sorry, but I don't remember the spacing of it, but I can measure them if someone is really interested.

From there, I cut the sink flange, mentioned earlier, into four .5" sections.



I then took #8 Hardware cloth, cut it into 2" squares, placed them over the holes, and pushed the sink flange disks into place.



Until they were smooth.





Continue to push it through till the screen is flat with the other side. If there is any excess hardware cloth, cut it off.



Grab your Guerilla Glue.



And place a very small bead in-between the sink flange disk and the wood.



Allow it to dry, and you're good to go. I like to keep my flat screen side on the outside of the hive, and the "inner cup portion" on the inside of the hive. This makes it look nicer from the outside.





Sorry, but that's all I have time for today. Take it easy, and thanks for stopping by.
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rockdog200
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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2010, 10:35:10 AM »

Now I'm ready to start building.
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cdevier
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« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2010, 05:07:40 PM »

Thanks for the great pictures and how-to info.  I am also going to build one of these this winter.  My wife (also into woodworking) and I finally have gotten our shop heated, so this will be a nice winter project.   cdevier
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specialkayme
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« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2010, 02:47:02 PM »

Thanks for the kind words rockdog and cdevier. I'm honored that your first posts were in this thread. Thanks for watching!

I figured it had been a while, so I'll give you an update: I've finished building the hive, but I'm WAY behind on the posts. Finals came around, and right now I left for Europe. Not trying to make excuses, but that's basically what I'm doing.

So, when I make it back to the states, I'll take some more pictures and show you how to finish it up. Then, once it gets warmer, I'll put some bees in it too!
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fuzzybeekeeper
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« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2010, 10:41:44 PM »

specialkayme,

GREAT series.  GREAT photos.  Even a novice wood worker like me OUGHT to be able to do this right.  I like the way you are moving the feeder to the front rather than the side.  I also like the debris opening and trays in the bottom.

One comment....you talk about measuring and getting the "hexagons" correctly.  The trouble is.....you measured and cut "octagons" instead.  Hexagons are 6-sided and your upper and lower Lazy Susan boards are 8-sided.

Sorry. 

That is the only thing I can find wrong.  It is a wonderful design.

Enjoy your trip to Europe.

By the way...I tried to print your post and it is 91 pages SO FAR!  I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Fuzzybeekeeper
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specialkayme
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« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2010, 03:56:58 AM »

HAHAHAHA.

My 8th grade Geometry teacher would be angry. I think I meant to type Octagons, but just wrote Hexagons. Who knows though. Thanks for bringing it to my attention though. And heck, if that's your only issue with the post, I'll take it and run Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

It might be better off viewing it electronically, rather than printing it off, if it's 91 pages. Although looking at the pictures as you are making cuts would certainly be helpful.

Thanks for all the kind words. I really appreciate it. If in the process of building you get stuck, just give a hollar. I'd love to lend some helpful advice, or further clarification on what was unclear before.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2011, 04:46:28 PM »

So it's been almost two months since I posted an update, and almost a month since I've finished the hive. I'm real sorry if anyone has been waiting for pictures to finish their builds. But, it's my hope that I can finish it up today. Unfortunately, since I've spent so long between posts, some of the pictures have walked away  rolleyes, or maybe I deleted them Lips Sealed either way I'm sorry. We'll make do with what I have.

Day 9

Having finished the side rails, the dual windows, the top board with ventilation, the bottom board with feeder and screen drawers, and the detachable lazy susan base, we next build the "shutters" that keep the light out, and put it all together.

So first we start off with two 1/4" oak boards, each 29"x17". I don't have pictures of me cutting them, but I should hope by this point you can cut them on your own.



At this point I've already given one side of the boards a few coats of polyurethane.

Next, grab some felt, available at Walmart for fairly cheap.



Additionally, you will need some glue to attach the felt to the boards. The choice of glue is yours to make. I chose Tacky Glue. I grew up with the stuff, and it works great. I especially like that you can spray it on, and then you have a few min to position it before the glue totally sets, but when it does it holds very well.



Position the boards out and cut the felt so that it is just a little bit larger than the boards.



The reason why you want the felt a little bit larger is so that it folds over the edges. This way, you ensure that it fits snug in the window and seals out the light. If you have a hard time fitting the board in the window you can always just take a razor blade and cut off the excess.



a snug fit means less light getting into the OH, and a happier hive.

Next, of course, you just apply the glue to the un-poly side of the board, then attach the felt.



So now we just need to assemble the parts. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of me assembling it. So sorry. But I can tell you that I used a dowel kit, drilled holes, put glue on the dowels and attached it all. It's somewhat anti-climactic that I don't have pictures of me finishing it, but I think you can get this far. Here is a shot of the dowels



The only other thing that you need to build is latches to attach the shutter boards to the window frames. I just used some scrap wood.



It doesn't really matter how big they are, or how many you use. Personally, I had to use 6 on each side. The boards were somewhat warped (didn't realize how much till I got home) and the only way to keep them in place fairly flat is to secure them two on each side and one on the top and bottom. Here is a close up of what one looks like in place.



The latches swivel based on the position of the screw, so don't screw them in too much. Here, you can see the finally assembled hive body, and if you look close enough you can see the positioning of the latches.



And the other side, the one with the feeder, with the shutter on.



Additionally, I built a base for the hive. You don't need to build one, but I had some spare wood lying around, so why not. Here's the lazy susan base attached to it.



And a look from the underside.



If you notice, you'll see a white tube coming out of the center. This is one of those flange tubes I was talking about earlier. I put this in the center of the base, and routed a groove to keep it in place. Additionally, you should see four 7/16" poplar dowels sticking out. In the past I've had a difficult time knowing when the base of the OH is lined up with the hive. If you don't line it up the entrance doesn't work and the ladies can't come in or out. Having to hold a heavy OH and push it around makes for a frustrating time as you try to line up the entrance holes. These four dowels stick out the top of the base and make it much easier to line up the lazy susan base.

First, you need to drill 7/16" holes in the base of the lazy susan, each of equal distance away from the two around them.



You don't need to go very deep, just enough to make a noticeable dimple.



Then make four 7/16" holes in the base in the same spot, and stick in the dowels. I rounded off the dowels to make sure they fit in the holes easier.



And another shot of it.



So, that's it! That's the build! In the end, you have a fantastic three frame deep or four frame medium observation hive made of oak, sitting on a lazy susan base with a dual shut off slide and a screened bottom board. Just about the best observation hive I've seen so far. I wouldn't say perfect (you can all see I've made several mistakes along the way), but it is a step in the right direction. So, lets take a step back and look at this fine oak observation hive (sitting on a weak pine base. sorry, but my wife said I had to finish it that day, pine was all I had on hand).



And one last shot.



So there you go. The only thing I need to do is take a tube and connect it to the window and fill it full of bees. Of course, I'll need to wait for warmer weather to install the bees, but that's ok, it's worth the wait.

Lastly, thanks to everyone for stoping by, checking in, reading and watching. I appreciate all the comments and concerns. If you think I did something wrong, say so! I'd love to find out I screwed up, then I can make another one that's even better  grin Just kidding!

Thanks again, and have a fantastic day!
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AllenF
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« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2011, 05:01:38 PM »

Looks great, just where the bees at?   grin  Looks very good.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2011, 03:12:54 PM »

Lol, sorry, no bees in it just yet. Still waiting for a few warmer days. I don't want to get chill brood on the few frames I have.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone found this thread helpful? Is anyone using it to make their own Observation Hive? Anyone making any modifications? I'd love to hear about it, love even more to see pictures  afro
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phill
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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2011, 03:41:14 PM »

Yes, it's been extremely helpful. I'm making my own OH, based mostly on your plan-- the main difference being that mine will be wall-mounted.

Here's my problem: My workshop is in my garage, which is unheated. When the temperature drops below 30, I stop work. (I think it's bad policy to work with power tools after you've lost feeling in your fingers.) So my project is suspended until we get some warmer weather.

I'll send pix when I get it done. You'll see the similarity.
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