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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brenham, Tx., USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Observation Hive

    Does anyone know how to build an observation hive? I need one I can put together myself and to set it up by myself. I usually see in catalogs only two brood frames stacked high and suspect those are only for display only. Is there anyone who can help me with this subject?

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

    Default

    I built this one

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/oh/

    out of cheap pine
    I'm slowly building a new one out of walnut to replace it
    I'll be glad to try to help you along in the process
    I love mine, it's empty at the moment but it's getting restocked real soon

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madisonville KY
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Nice drobbins!!! The oh is great looking!

    Hey I have a couple of questions about observation hives, if I can ask them here.

    Do people not use foundation on these hives?
    How often do you have to get into them, and what about releasing bees inside? ( A certain blonde I know is vetoing an OH because at some point she says I will want to open it!)
    Lastly, how long can an entrance pipe be? 5 foot- 25 foot??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    in mine, you can see in this picture

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/oh/dsc01232.jpg

    that the entrance/exit goes down through the center hole in the bottom into the base. the base is hollow and contains a passage going over to the wall where there is a piece of 3/4" copper pipe piercing the wall for them to get through
    here's the outside entrance

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/oh/DSC01591.JPG

    the board that forms the top support is hinged so you can flip it up and lift the whole thing off it's base and take it outside to work it
    you only need to work it once or twice a year, some folks have them that they never work

    there have been discussions here on the length of the entrance tube
    some folks have done them 8 feet long but shorter is definitely better
    some folks do long ones to get the entrance up high above people, do what ya gotta do, if you make a long one post back here, some tricks have been suggested

    I think I put 3 frames of bees that were on foundation in mine, the 2 additional frames I used starter strips
    either will work

    Dave

    [edit] hey you'll like this, last spring they got tiered of me leaving them uncovered exposed to the light and they ran away from home. they clustered in a tree in the backyard and I got em
    here's video

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/swarm/
    Last edited by drobbins; 02-25-2008 at 07:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brenham, Tx., USA
    Posts
    15

    Default diseases

    How do you put the treatment in if you have a certain disease problem? Is it better to work them or to let them go naturally? Do you have a building plan you could send me? Also, is it possible to build one to leave outside under a building? Can you use plexiglass instead of glass?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default

    I'll be building one eight or nine frames tall, however tall I can make it and still be able to roll it out the garage door from the basement. I'll have it built before April so I can put a few frames of brood and a queen in it when it's time.

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

    Default

    WV

    take plenty of pics and put them on your blog
    that sounds pretty cool

    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    I built one from the plans on this web site, it works very well I have used it in several school lectures, its a big hit with the kids you will keep the squirmiest child focused. I used glass but will spring for shatter proof plexiglass this year to reduce the weight.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brenham, Tx., USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Observation Hive for a camp with disabilities

    I am looking for plans to build an observation hive for me and to build one especially for a camp. This camp is located in Burton, Tx. and was built for a place for kids to go that have chronic illnesses. This is the largest handicapped accessible camp I know of in the U.S.A. They are worried about someone getting stung if there is an observation hive set up out there. I would like any help if possible or maybe I really need to start a new thread on this subject. Any suggestions? I am not good at carpentry work but they do have carpenters at the camp.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 88beehive View Post
    Does anyone know how to build an observation hive? I need one I can put together myself and to set it up by myself. I usually see in catalogs only two brood frames stacked high and suspect those are only for display only. Is there anyone who can help me with this subject?
    http://beesource.com/plans/obsrhive.htm
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,328

    Default

    88, Contact me.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    611

    Default OH's

    I saw one on the net for sale that has 2 rows of 3 frames. 3 deeps and 3 mediums. They state that it is big enough to over winter in. It is 1 1/2 stories high with a built in feeder at the top. Looks very nice however I would thing you would miss alot with most activity going on between frames instead of against the glass. Its also pretty pricey

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    "88, Contact me". -- Ross.

    88beehive: "Ross",.. didn't want to build one for me. Too many,............... "issues",.. I guess.--Oldbee.


    Anyway,.. how do you construct the part of the OB hive with the glass/plexi that needs to be removed for cleaning/examination? How do you deal with the propolis that inevitably the bees use to seal crevices? How do you measure the distance for proper "bee space"? Do you need to put another board on the "main frame" or just put a groove into the frame to hold the "ears" of the frames??

    The diagrams/illiustrations are disappointing from what I have seen; even from the Webster and Dewey,.."Observation Hives". I guess ya gotta be a woodworker.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default

    >Anyway,.. how do you construct the part of the OB hive with the glass/plexi that needs to be removed for cleaning/examination?

    I'd use the little "feet" that are made to hold mirrors on the wall.

    > How do you deal with the propolis that inevitably the bees use to seal crevices?

    If you use the feet, it won't be stuck that well to start with.

    > How do you measure the distance for proper "bee space"?

    Everywhere but between the glass it should be between 1/4" and 3/8". Between the glass I'd make it 1 3/4".

    > Do you need to put another board on the "main frame" or just put a groove into the frame to hold the "ears" of the frames??

    Usually you just put a groove into the hive side bars to hold the ears.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    check out these pics
    essentially the one half down the page that's outside a window

    http://www.outdoorplace.org/beekeeping/obs1.htm

    it's best to make them one frame thick so you can see all surfaces, if the queen has a place to hide she will

    what I did was make the piece that runs up and down (vertical) and has notches in it for the frames to sit in be exactly as wide as a topbar. Then make each piece of glass have a wooden frame all the way around it, make the frame out of 3/4" x 3/4" stuff
    now when you put the widow frames in they pinch the topbar in the notches in that vertical piece so they can't move side to side and get un-centered
    so, the spacing goes like this
    if the topbar is 1" wide and you put the window in the frame such that it is 3/8" from the inside of the glass to the joint between the frame and the vertical piece, the spacing will be 3/8" + 1" + 3/8" = 1-3/4"
    this also supports the glass so it won't break if you have to pry on it some to get it out (you will)
    is that clear or are you totally confused??

    Dave

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    Thanks Michael Bush. I think I can build one myself now. With gas prices at over $3.00 a gallon it would help to have a few bees to watch nearby rather than driving out every weekend just to watch them fly, lol. Gotta do this! Thanks.

    And, thank you,.....drobbins!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,328

    Default

    Oldbee, Sorry if I put you off. I generally keep too many irons in the fire most of the time. But, I do have some design experience in this are and will help anyone on the board.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Smile

    That's OK. Ross. I will send a PM, but it will be a little later. Thanks.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Edirne / Turkiye
    Posts
    8

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default

    I built mine out of Phillipen Mahagony back in 87 when my daughter was CA honey queen. It has a wide base (6 in) so it is stable. The sides have Two saw curfs for ventilation. Of coarse observe BEE SPACE. The top area is 3 in wide and the glass slides in and out in wide saw curfs. The top has 3 ea 1.5 in screen holes. The top screws on with 4 brass screws. With the top totally removable, it gives you the option to add. additional frames on top. Build your additions full, medium or comb with open top and bottom, 3 inch wide and screw them on as needed. Just like supering. Make a very vesatile observation hive. Single for class room talk. Ross comb added to show how it is done. Bottom with mediun added for fair display. Just add on to your hearts content.

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