Last year I ask if anyone had tried this for a an observation hive at a fair or show that is set up for a week or so. Well I finially tried it.
The bees have been set up this way since Christmas (Sunday I put them in their normal window so they could go outside...temp was 65). During the day a few (maybe 50 or so at the most) will come out into the tank and fly around. In the evening they all go back into the hive. After a few days there were about 50 dead bees on the bottom of the tank, I believe most of the dead were brought out of the hive. The hive seems to go about it's business inside without the normal "running around with trash" that seems to happen with a closed up observation hive.
Now it just needs a little dressing up!