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Thread: Observation hive tips plse.

  1. #1

    Default Observation hive tips plse.

    I'd wanted an observation hive since I started beekeeping so when one popped up locally I was interested.
    Fuzzy pictures didn't show much but it looked like 3 levels and the description mentioned a swivel base, so I assumed it would be a 3 frame observation hive and since it was going cheap I took it.
    What I wasn't expecting was a full size glass national hive, base,brood and 2 supers plus queen excluder and roof. Anybody have any experience of running one of these ?FB_IMG_1472376472709.jpg

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    I'd wanted an observation hive since I started beekeeping so when one popped up locally I was interested.
    Fuzzy pictures didn't show much but it looked like 3 levels and the description mentioned a swivel base, so I assumed it would be a 3 frame observation hive and since it was going cheap I took it.
    What I wasn't expecting was a full size glass national hive, base,brood and 2 supers plus queen excluder and roof. Anybody have any experience of running one of these ?FB_IMG_1472376472709.jpg
    Wow - I've never seen one like that. Looks like it would last about 10 seconds in my hands.

    I think you would need to have it in a permanent site ? I cant imagine it being moved about much.

    Maybe with a covering of sorts as well ?

    Keep us updated. Looks braw !

  3. #3

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    It's remarkably simple to make too. I could build the whole thing in an afternoon, as long as the glass is cut with no sharp edges.
    The lower base is just skirting board and 20mm ply and stays still, the swivel part is just the same but with 4 trolley type wheels to help it swivel the entrance pipe is just press fit and swivels easily. I'm going to make some adaptions to it , add a mesh floor for improved ventilation( although double glazed on 2 sides it's basically going to be room temp) but also so I can vape the bees without opening them. They need cleaning once a year which will be a case of transfer to another hive.
    3 possible locations are a local school, uni labs at the botanical gardens or the cafe of a water garden nursery where some of my bees are. I won't stock it til spring as I'd rather know where I am with the colony that goes into it, rather than trying to figure out whether it was the bees, the hive or something else that caused problems if they occur.
    I may have built another couple by then.

  4. #4
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    I suspect it will need insulating and another problem may be keeping it under control strength wise. Lovely thing though. Good luck

    PH

  5. #5

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    The insulation question is the one I really can't find advice on , inside a building like a school that's in daily use, it should be draught free and never drop much below 10c ( I would have thought) Do you think it would need insulating in an environment like that ? The build of it makes it effectively double glazed on 2 sides.
    As for colony strength , I imagine it being rather a let alone thing, opened probably no more than twice a year. The ability to see swarm cells being prepped and the issue of the swarms themselves, would surely be part of the appeal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    I seen one like this years ago, made out of glass glued with fish tank silicone basically a 10 frame national hive. It was at a bee farm in devon, the only big problem is that you can see the bees on the outside but cant see the queen laying etc in the middle frames so in my eyes a bit useless as an observation hive. Would not worry about insulation for that size of box, but keeping the bees in the subdued light or covered when not being used keeps them from struggling to find an entrance to get out to forage.

    Love to set one up in my study but don't fancy drilling a hole in the wall or window frame

    Also book: The Observation Hive Paperback – 11 Oct 1978 by Karl Showler there is one on amazon for around 7 at present
    Last edited by busybeephilip; 29-01-2017 at 02:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    It will need insulated yes and to keep the light out?? Hint.

    PH

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