I just finished building a 9-frame observation hive based on plans from beesource and the internet (slight modifications and hopefully improvements, e.g. miniature "miller" type feeder). My question is - How many frames from my big hive should I use to stock my observation hive? I plan on letting them raise their own queen. I actually have the wife's permission to put bees in the house.
Any responses or advice would be appreciated.
Hello Pancho -
Anytime we have an observation hive stocked with bees, we are bound by the glass walls, which requires constant attention to try and keep the hive balanced and from becoming too full or too small. Nine frames give you a bit more leeway, but once the bees get going, watch out. Why not start with 4 frames as one would with a nuc. This should give them plenty to build from.
I'd love to see a picture of it if you got one. You can email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or send me an email and make other arrangements.
Please forward me a copy of the picture as well.
[This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited July 07, 2002).]
How have you arranged the nine frames; is it one frame thick or three? I haven't seen plans for anything large than three frames.
Thank you for the responses. I don't have a digital camera, but I will try to borrow one or take regular pictures and have someone scan them for me, soon. The hive is three deep and three tall (the top three being medium size). I started with two frames from my outdoor hive and am hoping they will produce their own queen. Does anyone know how long it takes before I may see a queen cell? I think they started on one the first night. It looks like a drone cell facing down. Thanks again, I will post an update with anything interesting and hopefully with pictures.
I am very interested in setting up an observation hive also. It would be great if the website could have a special section dedicated to observation hives where keepers could send in pictures/plans for posting. I firmly believe this is the best way to educate others on bees and alleviate fears of hives. The absolute best (but pricey) hives I've seen commercially available are at http://www.draperbee.com/catalog/pag...VATION%20HIVES
I would love to have something like that in my house.