I've built a very simple observation hive which requires minimal woodworking skills. Since I'm not using standard frames the only important dimension is the width of the frame and maintaining bee space between bars.
It is just a 1 3/4" wide frame with two 1 1/4" bars dividing the area into 3 parts. So basically this hive consists of 3 fixed top bars. I used 3 different "starter" techniques so I could observe how the bees attach comb to each. The upper bar (i.e. the top of the frame) has a single kerf down the middle. The middle bar has two kerfs just offset from center, and the lower bar has been cut into a wedge. (See detail http://www.z2a.org/photos.bees/tboh-detail-med.jpg )
There is a 3/4" hole for the bees to go in and out. I haven't figured out how to feed them but in Carrier's book he mentions drilling a tapered hole and using a honey bear squeeze bottle.
Will it work? We'll see!
[size="1"][ April 13, 2006, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: BruceBee ][/size]