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Thread: Bee House

  1. #1

    Default Bee House

    Has anyone any experience of using a bee house?

    I have just started keeping bees (the hives were my fathers). My job means that I can only open up the hives on a Saturday and Sunday - weather permitting. Due to the bad weather and other important familly stuff during May, I was unable to do any active swarm control. As a result I had a swarm on the 1st of June. Luckily I was able to get to it and I have managed to get it into a a hive and it has settled nicely.

    I am considering a bee house for next season so that no mater how wet or windy it is, i can open up the hives for a proper inspection etc.

    Hints and tips will be gratefully accepted

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    Funnily enough I was thinking about bee houses today so will follow this thread with interest. No idea myself but someone's bound to come along with useful advice.

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    Hi,
    I have bees in 3 different bee houses my mentor has his 30 cononies in one, they are very popular here in Germany. Here are some pictures I uploaded of some.
    On the plus side:
    they are secure
    you are out of the weather (although the bees can be tempremental in bad weather, or not)
    you can pack alot of gear into them
    your well away from the young bees when they are on their orientation flights and returning bees
    On the down side
    they are dark so seeing things like eggs in a queen cup is a pain
    the bees that fly in also need a way out
    when you drop a frame it is just you and them in a small space.
    they are a pretty investment and need to be big enough for your future needs.
    I do not know if you need planning permission - here beekeepers have special concessions so they can be build almost anywhere.

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calum View Post
    .... when you drop a frame it is just you and them in a small space.
    LOL!! That paints a picture ...

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    yup. just like you imagine. But there are some colonies that have not seemed to notice they'd been dropped. Others - well just opening the hive during changeable weather can be enough.
    I only wear a straw hat when I work so (in a shed with poor light and a hood you really need a led torch with at least 8 leds) is up close and personal.

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    Surely when the hives are opened bees end up inside the beehouse. How do they get back into their hives if the entrances are outside the house? (Doesn't apply with the open ones - though I can't see the advantage of the last couple of types in your photos; not much extra shelter - but the big one with the lovely scythe looked like a proper shed.)

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    There's a guy on one of the other forums who's built himself a beehouse on his allotment, I seem to recall he stuck some vids up on you tube, I'll try and track them down. As for bees inside the thing, leave the window open

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    Hi
    normally 'windows' are installed with a build in gap in the glass/plastic/corrugated sheet of about 10mm at the bottom so the bees can escape. Otherwise you have to hang around to close the window once they have all left..
    Yes Trog the last two offer no real protection from the weather. Third to last offers little security, and has very poor lighting. But it is 94 years old.
    Last edited by Calum; 06-06-2011 at 08:25 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    On our windswept hill I often wish for a bee house or bee shelter as in some of Calum's photos. Surely a shelter might give some protection?

    I often wonder how flying bees in a bee house could find their way back into their hives without having to first find their way out of the bee house and then back through the pouring rain. Would it help if the hives had two entrances - one open to the outside, and a smaller one at the back?

    There is a little diagram in Ted Hooper's 'The Beekeepers' Garden' (1988) on how to position a hive inside the bee house. I've made a pdf copy of that page, but I don't know how to attach it to this post - so if anybody wants a copy, just send me a private message.

    You can also Google for 'An Introduction to Bee-houses' by David F Bates. It's a help, but still leaves me with a lot of questions.

    Here is a link to the Finsbury Park bee house: http://www.honeyshop.co.uk/Bee.html.

    Kitta
    Last edited by Mellifera Crofter; 06-06-2011 at 10:54 AM.

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    hi Kitta,
    the problem with a small entrance on the inside is that it increases the chances of 'silent' robbing, 10 mm window gap is fine (also helps keeping smoke levels down), I'll take more pictures the next time I am in my new bee house.

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