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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,417

    Post

    I have another question about observation hives.

    1- what is recomended... a three frame observation hive or a 6 frame observation hive?

    2- does anyone have building plans for a 6 frame observation hive?

    3- is it to late to start an observation hive if I can get bees from another bee keeper?

    4- where is a good place to get a 3 to 6 frame observation hive for a reasonable price?

    thank you all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    711

    Post

    1. It depends on what you intend to do with it, but in general the bigger the better. It will be easier to manage, and you could overwinter it. Mine is 8 medium frames. (roughly the same area as 5 deeps or 3 deeps and 3 mediums)

    2. There are some plans here on beesource. I used the plans as a guide for spacing and adjusted to suit my needs.

    3. It's probably not too late if you can get a nuc from someone to populate it.

    4. I really haven't looked.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,386

    Post

    >1- what is recomended... a three frame observation hive or a 6 frame observation hive?

    I've found anything less than three deeps or four mediums has trouble maintaining critical mass to keep going.

    I've found that anything more than three deeps or four mediums is too difficult to haul in and out of the house for maintenance.

    So I'd go for one or the other (three deeps or four mediums).

    >2- does anyone have building plans for a 6 frame observation hive?

    If you want more frames you could go two frames wide, but you won't see the queen much. I suppose you can just build it taller, but then it's hard to carry and it tips over easier.

    >3- is it to late to start an observation hive if I can get bees from another bee keeper?

    If you can get frames of brood and bees you can start one now with no problems.

    >4- where is a good place to get a 3 to 6 frame observation hive for a reasonable price?

    Brushy Mt. has about the best and most reasonable hives. But the space is a bit tight. I think the space between the glass should be between 1 3/4" and 1 7/8". Most seem to have more or less. I took the Brushy Mt. hive and added some screen molding on the hinge side and put some screen molding as a stop to hold the door out. This added 1/4" of space to the hive which turns out to be perfect. It also has a nice feeder on the side that can be refilled easily with a standard quart jar. If you run deeps in your other hives for brood then buy the "Huber" if you run mediums buy the "Von Frisch".

    >1. It depends on what you intend to do with it, but in general the bigger the better. It will be easier to manage

    From a beekeeping point of view, yes. But from a moving it in and out of the house view, I think bigger is very hard to deal with.

    >and you could overwinter it.

    I've overwintered on three deeps and also on four mediums with no problems.

    >Mine is 8 medium frames. (roughly the same area as 5 deeps or 3 deeps and 3 mediums)

    That is a nice size if you can keep it from tipping and haul it in and out.


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