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Author Topic: observation hive to build comb?  (Read 924 times)
windfall
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« on: October 01, 2011, 11:36:19 AM »

I know many folks use nucs to build out comb. I am wondering if this efficiency translates to a 4 deep observation hive, or if the bees are more challenged in the flat configuration?

I really like the idea of having an observation hive. If I can also use it to build out nice flat even combs that would be great. Anyone allowing the bees to build (foundationless) in their observation hives care to comment on the speed.
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windfall
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 11:38:31 AM »

I guess it would be helpful to know the average rates for comb building in nucs for comparison...anyone here doing that?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2011, 12:08:15 PM »

If the goal is to get comb drawn, I think they do better in the nuc.  Building one comb without one on either side is not a very natural state of affairs.  When I've done foundationless in one, they sometimes will build several combs at right angles to the frames instead which they don't do in a nuc or a hive.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
windfall
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 12:24:34 PM »

Not the goal so much as a nice by product. I think an observation hive is coming either way.

It would have been really nice to have a half dozen empty brood combs this year. I have been told flat out that it would have kept my swarming issues at bay (but I would have learned a LOT less this year grin). I guess I will have some come spring from hives that don't make it, but hopefully not too many!
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windfall
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 12:27:39 PM »

Michael,
are you usualy stocking full combs into your observation hive? It seems like it would be far more interesting to have them working on one or two regularly?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 06:03:18 AM »

>are you usualy stocking full combs into your observation hive?

Sometimes.

> It seems like it would be far more interesting to have them working on one or two regularly?

It is interesting to watch them draw comb.  I'm just warning that sometimes in a one frame wide observation hive they may get a wild hair...

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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
windfall
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 08:46:18 AM »

Thanks for the heads up on that. I suspected they might not like the single frame space to build in. As you said "not a very natural sate of affairs".
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specialkayme
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 06:40:07 PM »

I enjoy watching them build come in an OH, without foundation. It's often not perfectly straight, but if they get going straight they usually finish straight.
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Tinker Belle
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 04:02:38 PM »

 Smiley  I have been so fascinated by observation hives, but have always felt they should be completely functional.  I finally designed and built one, with only the most basic of tools.  

It is 8 frame, 2 frames wide & 4 high, with the 2 bottom holding deeps (for easy brood transfer).   I have not put bees in yet, and I plan to have foundation rather than expect them to figure out where I want them to build.  But if you might like to build a hive, I have design plans for a fully functional observation hive built from inexpensive pine lumber and plexiglas.

I also plan to build a super which will clamp on to the top, with a center 1" entrance hole and ventillation above, in which I will have 2 honey frames.  That part will be easily removable, separately from the main hive.  I believe that will help relieve congestion and maintain a functional hive through the seasons.

http://observationhive.blogspot.com/
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 05:21:41 PM by buzzbee » Logged

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