Having had OBSERVATION HIVES all my life I can’t resist saying: there is a whole new level of understanding and education to be gained when you can watch them any time in any weather, for as long as you like. You can’t think like a bee but you can watch them think.
There is so much you can’t get just popping the top for a short, pressured time in good weather and disrupting the colony of an outdoor hive. With your Observation Hive you get things like; hearing conflicting Queens, sing and battle it out; seeing a new little girl chew her way out of her cell and rub herself off and begin her duties; following a forager bringing in pollen to the colony and find a cell and deposit it and another worker come and pack it in; a respect for their body abilities; legs, wings tongues; this and endless more.
And a respect for the selflessness of the individuals of colony and getting to know each as hard working individuals and (oops) friends.
I highly recommend an Observation hive as a priority in anyone’s Bee Education, weather you’re a commercial beekeeper or just starting out. Build one of your own or buy one.
See ours at: www.bonterrabees.com