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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lakewood Colorado
    Posts
    60
    Hi all this is my first summer keeping bees, 2 hives, and my first real post what a fantastic resource this site is thanks to all that keep it running!!!!

    I am looking for some help making an observation hive. I have looked at the plans on beesource thanks a lot to who ever drew those up they are sweet. I think I can handle the whole deal except for cutting the 2 sides.

    What I am looking for is getting the 2 sides routed out for the glass and masonite I can take care of the vent holes and frame notches and everything else it looks like. Any help from somebody sharp with a sharp router or table saw or whatever you would use to cut the channels would be a great help I am more than willing to cover all costs involved

    Thanks,
    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    Matt, you don't need a router unless you wanna make it "furniture grade"
    look at Dennis's plans here

    http://bwrangler.madpage.com/bee/gobh.htm

    quick and dirty, does the job

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    I think you'll have trouble getting the glass out if you put it in a groove. But you can put two saw blades together to cut the groove. Personally I'd just use the mirror brackets to mount the glass so you can pry it off. I'd make the space between the glass something between 1 5/8" and 1 3/4".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Post

    You can also just rip wood strips to glaze the glass with. You can nail them or screw them in. A brad nailer makes it easy and less likely to break the glass. It's also easy to pry the strip out since the brads don't have much head. See the posts about rabbits (rabbets) in the equipment forum for a number of ways to cut the sides.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    I'm just finishing up an OH and I used plexiglass instead of glass. Nice because you can drill holes in it and attach with screws
    Might also prevent some umm, "exciting" events [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    Just don't tighten the screws too tight on the plexi. If you leave them a bit loose it works. I like pan heads for this use, but I still prefer the mirror brackets because they are easy to put on, easy to take off and don't weaken the plexi with holes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    errr!

    don't mention panheads.
    I just got back from purchasing a countersink.
    $9 !
    not a happy camper.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lakewood Colorado
    Posts
    60

    Post

    I am not looking to get furniture grade but I do want it to look nice. I guess basement grade would be about what I am looking for.

    Michael good point about getting the glass out of the groove. I do like the idea of using reel glass but Plexiglas would be safer.

    And I see from your site michael a cloth is a good cover.

    Mirror brackets are a good idea too. I will spend some time at the hardware store soon it seems.
    Thanks, all

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    You can buy one ready made from Walter T. Kelly for $20.00. I wouldn't work that hard for 20.00 if the wood was given to me. Supers are $17.50

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    The one from Kelly is only 1 frame high, it's twice that for 2 frames.

    That's still way cheaper than paying for somebodies time.

    Dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    91

    Post

    Hey Matt, welcome to the site. I'd be happy to help you out if you can't find someone closer to you, we are in Minnesota. You could try your local woodworker's club, or a high school or vo-tech woodshop if there is one near you.

    But, if you really get stuck, zap me an email at BearCreekBees@aol.com and tell me exactly what you want, type of wood, etc., and we can do it for you.

    We just built a really awesome OH which we are using at the farmer's market- we love it.

    Cheers,

    Elizabeth

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    487

    Post

    Seems to me bees like to put alot more propolis and burr on plexiglass than on glass but I have limited experience with OB hives . Has anyone else noticed this?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    I see plenty on both. It is easier to clean on the glass. You can use a razor scraper on the glass. I use FGMO on the plexi followed by windex.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lakewood Colorado
    Posts
    60

    Post

    Elizabeth,

    Thank you very much for the offer. I have found a guy that will cut the whole thing for me. Indeed your post did make me think about whom to ask. My neighbor started a woodworking business about a year ago. Its good to support the local guys right.
    Cheers,
    Matt

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    65

    Post

    I built an OH 3 top bars wide last week. I put a comb of mixed sealed brood, grubs, and eggs, along with two frames containing honey and pollen. So far I can see 3 queen cells started and assume there are others that I can't see. This is proving to be a real educational tool for my children and me too. I used plexiglass in grooves, but I think I will fasten it on the outside from now on. I like MB's Kiss way of doing things.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lakewood Colorado
    Posts
    60

    Post

    I just got mine done last night, I need to post pictures, and have been contemplating how to start it out. I have 2 hives to take brood and bees from but the OH will be close to the place that the 2 hives are. The distance between the 2 locations is about 150 feet and on the other side of my house, any worries? How do I load it up? just put the frames in with the bees and put the glass on and let them figure it out. I have a 5 frame nuc I could start them out in if that would be better. Any thought or suggestions.

    Cheers
    Matt

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    >any worries?

    Half of the bees will return. The other half will stay. Just make sure you have twice as many as you think you need.

    > How do I load it up? just put the frames in with the bees and put the glass on and let them figure it out.

    I'd put a frame of open brood, a frame of capped brood and a frame of honey in and let them build the rest.

    >I have a 5 frame nuc I could start them out in if that would be better.

    It would be tempting to set up the 5 frame nuc where the entrance will be and get them started and after the field bees drift home then install them in the observation hive. That way you won't have to try to fit more bees in to make up for the drifters. I'd keep the nuc handy and put it there when you need to work the hive. I find it useful a couple of times a year to put all the frames in the nuc and do a serious cleanup of the observation hive (get the burr comb off and clean up the propolis etc. on the glass. That and you often need to tweak things in the hive, like making sure the frames stay in the center (by putting in some sort of stop) or adjusting so you can feed or adjusting the spacing on the frames etc.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lakewood Colorado
    Posts
    60

    Post

    Michael,
    Thanks.
    I think I will do the nuc to start with. Any issues pulling frames from 2 different hives? or should I take it all from one?

    The field bees will drift back home in what a day or so?

    I was looking at the OH thinking it would be a good idea to put stops in to keep the frames centered both right left and forward back. A lot of work that propuls will take care of soon enough
    Hey how far is Greenwood from Seward. On another note have you taken any of the master beekeeping classes offered by the university of Neb

    Matt

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    >Any issues pulling frames from 2 different hives? or should I take it all from one?

    It doesn't matter.

    >The field bees will drift back home in what a day or so?

    Most by the first night. 24 hours on the outside.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    Hi Matt--about spacing for the frame in the OH, I just used popcicle stick cut to the distance between the front and back glass, rounded the edges and drilled a tiny hole in the center to push a thumb tack into the end of the frame--works superbly for mine. Hope this helps you.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

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