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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Question

    I am completing my project and am in need of ideas.
    I found the instruction plans for my observation hive on this site and am nearly done. It is a beautiful piece of furniture made from black walnut that we grew at our family farm.
    I am curious if there is something that I can apply to the inside glass that would keep the bees from propolizing the glass making it hard to see through?
    Maybe Rainguard? That's the stuff you put on your windshield that keeps everything, even bugs, from sticking. I would think that if it had sufficient time to evaporate that it might be ok...?
    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Rain-x seems like a good idea. I have a new observation hive I want to start using in the spring. I used plastic instead of glass. I intend to vaseline the edges so they don't glue it in the slot. Let me know how it comes out?

    Dickm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I had heard of the vasoline on the edges and why, I just didn't want to obscure the view.
    I am also wondering how far will the bees travel through the one inch tubing. Is there a maximum distance from the window? And does the height make a difference?
    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    >I am also wondering how far will the bees travel through the one inch tubing. Is there a maximum distance from the window? And does the height make a difference?

    My observation hive has a stand with a pivot so the tube comes out by the floor and goes up and then out a board with the hole in it under the window and then another board with a hole in it under the storm window. In all it's a little more than three feet. It did take the bees a few days to all learn their way out and it took a black cloth hung over the glass so they would see the "light at the end of the tunnel".

    As for the glass. I think glass is best because you can scrape it clean with a razor. I do use plexiglass sometimes, but you can't clean it very well.

    I've never coated it with anything. I just accepted that I have to clean it a couple of times a year. The RainX might help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Michael wrote;
    It did take the bees a few days to all learn their way out and it took a black cloth hung over the glass so they would see the "light at the end of the tunnel".

    Over the glass, or over the tube? Does your hive have wooden covers over the glass to give them privacy?
    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    I purchased mine and it did not come with any privacy covers. I just took a doubled up piece of black cloth and doubled it over the top of the hive hanging down on each side. This puts two layers of black cloth on each side of the hive. It's just a curtain. It's easy to pull it aside to see the bees and easy to put back and it took nothing but a pair of sissors and the cloth to make it. If I wanted it facier I suppose I could hang a prettier piece of cloth over that one.

    Without the cloth, when I first put the bees in, they weren't finding the exit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    I am in the process of building one myself. I had glass in mine, was mounted in and everthing, and my dog knocked it over. Now I have plexiglass. It won't get knocked over now though! I do have a question for Micheal. Does you tube for exiting outside bend, or is it a straight shot? I want to mount mine in the basement rec room, and it will have to be about 4ft high. (bottom from the ground). If the tube can bend, it would be more manageable. I read it is better if it is a straight shot. Logic tells me, however, that in the wild, it would never be a perfect world and the bess would figure it out. If in fact you do have a bend, is it a 90 degree angle, and what is the diameter of you tube.
    Details details...........
    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited January 12, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    My tube was an extension that was made for a sump pump. It is black and flexible and about 1 1/4" in diameter. When they were having trouble finding the exit, I set the hive on a table to make it a straight shot so they could see some light. After that I put it on the floor and there are two right angle bends in it now. I think it's better with the bends because it cuts down on the cold air in the winter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Hook,
    If you have a Lowe's hardware in your area, they sell clear flexable rubber tubing in one inch dia. They also have some with cord reinforcment, white, and black, all in a variety of sizes. They also have the plastic drain hose with ribs like Michaels.
    Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    IMHO.

    I suppose they would eventually find their way out anyway, but the black over the clear has the advantage of them not banging against the sides so much thinking they can go toward the light. The black hose has more of a chance of finding the light, going toward it and succeeding in getting out.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I agree, I think that it would be easier for them to find their way out if it is black. When I was buying my tubing I was remembering all those stories about the resteraunts in Mo. that had hives with tubes that went through the building for the patrons to see them comming and going.
    Bill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    619

    Post

    Hi Bill, Those old Stucky Resturant' are what first got me interested in Bee's. I always enjoyed watching them. Maybe there is someone that had some experience with them that could shed some light on the subject of observation hives. Just my $.02 Dale

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I have re-worked my OB hive to four Permacombs, requeened and they are starting to build back up slowly.

    I am wondering since they seem to have used up all the pollen and are not bringing any more in, should I feed them pollen subsitute? And if so, how do YOU do it?

    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    When I reworked mine, I put two holes in the top with #8 hardware cloth (I should have used #7). I made a "frame" feeder that filled the excess space at the top. It's like a dug out canoe only made of a 2 by. I cut out the middle so I could fill the feeder from the top through the holes. When I have feed them any pollen, I just dump it in the same hole through the screen. It ends up on top of the syrup (if there is some) or honey (which is what I feed in the winter when I don't have to worry about robbing) or an empty feeder if I let it get empty. I've thought about putting a hole on the side angled down so I can use a funnel and put pollen in there.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >When I reworked mine, I put two holes in the top with #8 hardware cloth (I should have used #7).


    I have three one inch vent holes with screen on the inside across the top on mine already. I guess I could use one of these for feeding, I would just have to press it down against the screen every now and then.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    It doesn't go through the #8 very well. I should have used #7 (and will next time I open it up, if I remember).

    But it will go through the #8 with some gentle persuasion.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Question

    so,aside from the chance of breaking,would most people agree that glass is preferable to plexiglass?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    Plexi is easy to work with in some ways. You can drill holes in it etc. I prefer glass. It's much easier to clean. I'd use the little mirror brackets to hold it on so you don't need to cut grooves etc. Glass needs to be easy to get off so you don't break it when you open it up. If you use the mirror brakets to hold it on and a hair dryer to get it off, I think it would work well.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >so,aside from the chance of breaking,would most people agree that glass is preferable to plexiglass?

    I made both glass and plex for mine. Had I used the glass I would have broken it getting it open. I have the grooves to slide the glass down into, and had to do some serious bending to get it out. I will have to invest in a hair dryer, been a long time since I needed one.

    I had thought of coating the inside with Rainx to keep the wax from sticking but you can't use it on plexiglass.

    One main problem with the plexiglass is that it will bow, mine pulled into the hive where the bees attached it with wax. I like that I could bore a hole through the plex where one of my PC frames was too close to one side of the glass, the bees were getting stuck inbetween. So I drilled a hole in the plex and inserted a screw to push the frame and pull the glass out. Worked well and all is happy now.

    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    8

    Post

    Anyone know if a three deep frame observation hive can survive four seasons? Fed, of course. I'm in Northern Virginia, and am helping set up a hive for an educational farm.

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