View Full Version : Cool and crazy beehives

03-02-2012, 03:45 PM
So here are two, from the net, what are your crazy ideas?
http://seriousaboutcamo.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345175ae69e201287644a37b970c-pi and this from Philips (http://design.fr/product-design/urban-beehive-concept-by-philips-design/)http://www.tuvie.com/wp-content/uploads/urban-beehive-concept-by-philips2.jpg

03-02-2012, 03:55 PM
And I'll be building a three frame version of this observation hive soon I hope (two frames are too small - frames have to be constantly removed and removing 50% is too much)...

03-02-2012, 10:09 PM

How many bee keepers would be allowed to have one of these in the house? Not me :( already had that conversation.

03-02-2012, 10:58 PM
My wife gave me permission for this in our garden:
So I'll have to get a wiggle on if I want it in the garden this spring!

04-02-2012, 08:52 PM
Calum ... Is that a kit for sale (in which case where from?) or a DIY observation hive? Apologies, I speak no German other than what I've learned from The Great Escape. The second thing on your link translates to a "Dance protractor" which I presume is to decipher the wiggle dance and work out where the bees are foraging. Whatever, it looks great ... I might try and persuade SWMBO to allow me to swap the mini-nucs for one of these.


05-02-2012, 08:13 PM
Hi Fatshark,
thats to make for yourself. The frame sizes I use are different, so I had to recalculate all the lengths and heights, I am working on the assumption that the width needs no alteration as the comb width and bee space should be a constant.
Whats a SWMBO?
You are right about the dance protractor, I fancy I'll make one when I have my observation hive up and running, hours of fun for all the family and visitors. Nice gimmik to be able to show customers where the honey in the glass they just bought could have come from!

05-02-2012, 08:27 PM
SWMBO - She Who Must Be Obeyed. :D

re the dance protractor. LASI use a series of plumblines down the outside of the hive so wherever the bee happens to be dancing there should always be a plumbline in shot. I can also send you the formula to work out the distance of the dance if you like.

Regarding association sizes, I wonder how much has to do with the the relative sizes of the countries. I know the UK/France respective populations are very similar, but France in terms of area is nearly 4x as big. In Bristol we have nearly 150 members (for a 300,000 population city, Blagdon which covers a lot of the outlying villages to the West is actually bigger) but space is very much at a premium and in terms of agriculture a lot is Animal Husbandry so generally very little immediate need or desire for hobbyist beekeepers. Most of our members are concentrated into areas of the city that have big gardens and/or allotments and probably 30-50% of those members are within a mile of my apiary yet this is a city that I consider pretty "green" in comparison to others.

Maybe this is a discussion I should move out of the cool hives thread :)

05-02-2012, 08:45 PM
Nellie beat me to it ... SWMBO would need to approve of an observation hive in the garden*. On the assumption she might, I'll be very interested to see how your hive develops.

* not out of the question as there are two mini nucs and a six frame poly there at the moment ...

05-02-2012, 11:39 PM
I've copied the posts regarding Beekeeping in Germany into a separate thread. Rather than delete the posts here and having people wondering if they're going mad I thought I'd leave them be and hope that the conversation just drifts organically back to looking at "cool" beehives :D

24-02-2012, 08:33 PM
Not a man made hive and probably at least 1000 years old but this one is definitely cool.


I came across it last Sunday in Atlimeyaya, Mexico.

The tree is an Ahuehuete (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxodium_mucronatum).


I should also point out that this is definitely Apis mellifera Sp. as I managed to get stung while taking a photo.
The bees were a bit darker than most you see in Mexico which tend to be based on Ligustica.
There was a second colony in the same tree as well.

30-07-2012, 10:02 AM
unexpected on this site, but nice ideas (http://thechive.com/2012/07/30/finally-an-affordable-bee-hotel-in-paris-24-photos/)

30-07-2012, 10:05 AM
Not sure if they're crazy but they're definitely cool.

I want one; well I've got a few in the garden, just not on that scale.

30-07-2012, 11:28 AM
how deep do you drill the holes?

30-07-2012, 07:06 PM
Bits of garden cane 10cm long work perfectly well ... I assume holes of the same depth would also work.

31-07-2012, 02:07 AM
Agree with fatshark. I have a little WBC shaped hotel with 12 "rooms" each about 6 inches deep and mostly occupied by spiders rather than bees at the moment. The other is similarly empty, we get loads of bees of all types and while we think we get bumbles under the decking now and again I've not managed to coax permanent residents in any of the bee hotels; maybe it's the spiders?

31-07-2012, 07:22 AM
I put up one of the commercial bird-house type short cane sections bee hotels this spring. On a sunny wall at about 5 feet up. Worked a treat and the little guys featuring in this thread took to it rapidly:


One of the advantages of climate change - we are starting to get some of the wee beasties previously restricted to the southern part of these isles.

31-07-2012, 07:46 AM
I stuffed as many large bore garden canes ~4" long into a 5" long piece of plastic drainpipe as i could. I then zip-tied them above head height to drainpipes or trellis in full sun. The intention was to distract the mason bees from using air bricks and small plastic ventilation slots in the wall. It didn't work. They still use the air bricks and ventilation slots, but also fill the nests I provided. No distraction, just a population explosion. It's a fantastic sight for a few weeks in April/May. There are two or three species that use the canes, but I've only identified red mason bees so far.

It's noticeable that they really prefer to use nest sites in full sun. The air bricks and ventilation thingies around the other side of the house are ignored. The drainpipe sections I use are black and they get hot to the touch. They last a lot better than the wooden "nests" sold in garden centres - we had two of these that needed major reconstructive surgery after just a couple of years in the elements (though that was just outside Glasgow rather than balmier southern climes).

31-07-2012, 08:15 AM
Glasgow? You lived in Glasgow?! :)

31-07-2012, 07:11 PM
Can't you tell from my accent? '99-'06. I'd feel a complete fraud here if I didn't have at least some links with Scotland :o

31-07-2012, 07:20 PM
Oh, you were most welcome here before I realised. All welcome. You might have told me that once but I do manage to forget quite a lot of stuff. In any case, everyone has a Scottish great-granny somewhere in their background. I have a g-g-granny from Dorchester which made me quite proud of my diverse and exotic background.

'99-'06? Good part of your childhood then? ;) (That was a compliment by the way)

I'll bet that there were fewer solitary bee species near Glasgow then compared to now (see how I got back on topic?). Scottish bee armegeddon in reverse - we're picking up species. Not that there aren't conservation worries for some species, of course.

Did your Glasgow bee hotels work?

31-07-2012, 07:28 PM
The 2010 map does show the red mason bee - the most likely inhabitant of a bee hotel - near Glasgow. I know for a fact that they are more widespread in Tayside than the map suggests.


01-09-2012, 08:57 PM
My wife gave me permission for this in our garden:
So I'll have to get a wiggle on if I want it in the garden this spring!

Calum, did you build this and was it a success? I'm looking for a project for the winter :D

I had a good look at the plans and reckon it should be pretty straightforward to build though I'm not sure what I'd use for the insulation yet. I've also got to find some reasonable quality, weatherproof, hinges and other fittings.

Are you going to overwinter a colony in it?


04-09-2012, 08:59 AM
haven't built it yet, using a three frame one from a friend of mine.
no you cannot overwinter in it as the bees need frames side by side to keep warm (at least here where -20C is not uncommon). Weatherproof hinges - brass - ask a good chandelry they will happily charge you an arm and a leg... :)
The one I borrowed uses Wood Fiber Insulation, I took the frames out of it three weeks ago and put them in a 6 frame hive for overwintering - they built up fine.
Old link seems dead - here is a new one (http://imkerverein-wegberg.npage.de/get_file.php?id=7886225&vnr=330566) or here is another one (http://imkerverein-wegberg.npage.de/get_file.php?id=7886224&vnr=398818)
and how to build a beehouse (http://imkerverein-wegberg.npage.de/galerie177558.html)