View Full Version : observation TBH
05-16-2005, 10:23 AM
Hey, Everyone - I remember seeing that someone here built a TBH w/ an observation window along one side. If that is you...can you post the link that shows the pictures.. if it isn't you would you steer me to info about it?
05-16-2005, 02:44 PM
Here is a link to the picture's you're asking about. If you need bigger images let me know, I think I still have the originals hiding somewhere on my computer.
05-16-2005, 05:54 PM
Thank you Scotty. I looked at the hive construction and some of the other pics as well.
Guess your girls are still doing well.
I have 2 hives now and am thinking that if I make a 3rd one I will install a picture window.
Scot Mc Pherson
05-17-2005, 07:19 AM
Its easy to just replace one of the wooden panels with a pane of glass. But you gotta make sure not sunlight gets in there, neither direct nor indirect. A glass wall makes a good green house. I make TBH observation hives smaller than ordinary, using the same dimensions, but less top bars. I'd like to make an all glass TBH someday, including topbars. That would be neat, but obviously bee behavior is effected by the exposure and lack of darkness, so you don't get a real feel of what's going on inside a dark hive.
One of the scientific rules of observation is the obvserver is just as much part of the experiment as the subject being observed. The observer is an object of the observation. I think its quantum law, I can't remember really its been a LONG time since I did any scientific type thinking.
05-17-2005, 03:17 PM
Along those lines, I know that CCD cameras have a small filter on them to filter out the infrared light, since the CCD chip is naturally able to record it. I've considered taking a small wireless CCD camera and mounting the lens through the hole in the side of the hive. I would then take and string infrared LEDs together and put them in a plastic tube like the tube lights you can buy to decorate the house with at the holidays. I'd then lay this in the bottom of the hive. With the right setup, both the camera and the lights could be powered from a solar panel and/or battery.
Two really cool things I'd like to add on that are:
1) If the camera has a built in microphone, you could listen for sound changes remotely.
2) I've thought about the digital thermometers with the sensor on a wire designed for indoor/outdoor use. It would be cool if you could integrate the hive temperature into the display, allowing you to video tape behavioral differences according to temperature.
Dang. Now you got me started. Off to search the web for beecams!
05-17-2005, 05:19 PM
I think the observer affect on the phenomena observed is called Schrodengers cat...it's been about 100 yrs. since I learned about it but for some reason that stuck w/ me. Always thought it was an incredibly cool thing - interconnectedness is mysterious.
So, if I do make an observation hive I'll endeavor to make it unobtrusive. Maybe even use tinted glass?
Joe - I used a remote camera to watch my mare when she was due to foal - I think it would be a bit big for the hive and I bet they would cover it w/ goop in a short time.
Scot Mc Pherson
05-19-2005, 09:06 AM
Schroedinger's Cat is the core example yes for a binary result. Tinting the glass might help their feeling exposed, I don't know. It would make it harder to see into the hive though.
05-19-2005, 05:15 PM
Keeping the room dim is much easier than trying
to use tinted glass. Keeping the glass covered
when not "observing" is another good approach.
Bees adjust to light when exposed to light, so
there are two schools of thought on how to create
an ob hive that contains a "normal" colony.
One school says that one should simply keep the
room dim all the time, and never cover the glass.
The other school holds the opposite view, saying
that the glass should be covered as much as
I have a sign on the wall of my lab that says
"Schrodinger May Have Slept Here".
Very few people get the joke.
06-03-2005, 10:50 PM
Has anyone heard of using a screen box to build an observation hive. It would be like an open hive that you find sometimes in a tree. I think topbars lend themselves nicely to this concept.
I was thinking of just using window screen on 2 sides of a wooden box with the right dimensions.
I was thinking it would be nice in my living room with an entrance to the outside.
They will propalize every surface of screen. I have probably owned more observation hives than most (60 or so). It is common to use screen for venting but the bees don't seem to feel it is necessary and close it up quickly. It might still be an interesting experiment to see how long it takes. Good luck.
Scot Mc Pherson
06-06-2005, 04:57 AM
It would make a mess if an inside hive too.
07-31-2005, 09:18 PM
I just finished the most fun county fair weekend I've ever had. On Thursday I put the finishing touches on a 3 frame top bar observation hive and took it to the fair as a display in the agriculture section. Every time I went in there I ended up spending several minutes answering questions about bees in general and tbh's. Today as I was picking up all my family's entries I was told about several children that spent hours watching the bees. Maybe some future bee keepers. I'm using the observation hive as a nuke to produce queens in, then as a reservoir to keep a queen until I might need her in one of my other hives or to start a new one in the spring. It was just too much fun.
09-07-2005, 09:38 PM
Guess what is it, or what it could be, but please, not a bench.:) It would be unpleasant to sit on it or even very painful. Besides, it is a bit too high to sit on it.
Only about 30 KB
09-07-2005, 10:57 PM
Cool. Where are you going to place this work of art?
01-07-2009, 01:12 PM
JDI, are you saying you think its unneccesary to vent the observation hive ? I am intending to build one to install in my living room this spring, and the venitlation is something I have wondered about ~
01-13-2009, 04:57 PM
Wyatt Magnum wrote a good thread on "MAKING YOUR OWN" Building a Regular or Observation Kenya Top Bar Hive in the November 1987 Bee Culture page 646, today I just read it for the first time--my winter project is reading old bee books.
His KTBH observation model in this article is a ten stick model with four glass sides, I am thinking of building one to place in my liveing room,