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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    I've been looking at his design for the o.h. for some time now. I'm planning to build one soon. I'm really interested in this:
    Super Em Up

    It is easy to add a 'super' or two to this observation hive. Such a super could incorporate an excluder and simplify colony management. Excess honey or bees could easily be removed without disturbing or removing the entire hive.
    How exactly would one super this observation hive? Build another identical to his plans and put it one top allowing the bees travel through the hole on top? Edited to ask if the hole would even be large enough for that.
    I tried to contact D.Murrel himself but he does not allow PM unfortunately.
    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    From his bwrangler.com website

    BWrangler
    @
    live.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    I sent him an email 3 weeks ago. I guess he doesn't check regularly?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winsted, CT, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    I have made a stackable 4 medium frame OB hive that has been quite successful. I suppose it could be supered up by adding another section however the small cluster of bees is more likely to need help building up supplies than ever making an excess. I will try to get some pics up. Is there a market for such a product?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    hey JBW
    is your OH an indoor hive with entrance outside? If so I'm curious how they wintered in CT. with indoor temps. above freezing and outside temps 0. I'm trying to perfect a good design and management for an OH. I've got to succesful units (a 4frame and a 5frame)now but still not sure how they'll deal with winter mode.
    bonterra bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winsted, CT, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    Mine wintered over just fine. It is in my shop which I heat during the day and let go to 50 deg. at night. It is important that they have heat because they cannot cluster well with the single frame however it works. The condensation will be a clue as to the ventilation needs and I would recommend making this adjustable to a degree. Keep in mind convenience of feeding also.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    Hey JBW
    Thanks for the reply!! Have you found that workers will try to go out from the warm hive when temps. are 0+- then freeze in flight or do they have more sense, and that’s a old wives tail?
    I dearly love my bees and my OH, I’ve practically got them all named. Watching them in every aspect of their lives is so interesting and I have such heart felt respect them.
    I do think there is a market for a good observation hive that comes with management directions. Considering the current plight of the honey bee and their importance to our civilization I would like to introduce more people to the joys of an indoor OH.
    I would enjoy exchanging info with you. In creating my designs I tried to make them hang flat on the wall, much like a painting and have perfected a swivel mechanism so you can turn it and see both sides. My first 4 frame works great and I’m fine tuning a second 5 frame. The 4 frame has had a voracious queen ( “Bella” de Bonterra ) she has filled most of the 4 frames with brood, thus not much honey stored and a very crowded hive. I’ve been thinking of incorporating an excluder in the design thus forcing at least 1 frame of storage; especially in the 5 frame. These are experimental in THE process of perfecting an optimum design and writing the book on OH management. I’m also a Filmmaker and hope to do an, “independent” on bees.
    Would love to see pictures of your hive. I’ll be glad to send pictures and Video to you if I can figure how to get them to you. I’m new to this sight and a bit computer challenged.
    Looks like great weather for several days out and I hope to get a nuc into my 5 frame soon.
    HAVE A GREAT DAY
    MARK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Frisco Texas
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    Hey Mark,
    When I lived in MA I put my bees in the basement. I made a shelf under the window and I put a half inch pvc pipe from the hive through the basement window. I put a 3/4 inch piece of ply over the window to put the pipe through.
    It worked fine, the basement was warm enough.
    Steve

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winsted, CT, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by bonterra bees View Post
    Hey JBW
    Thanks for the reply!! Have you found that workers will try to go out from the warm hive when temps. are 0+- then freeze in flight or do they have more sense, and thatís a old wives tail?
    I dearly love my bees and my OH, Iíve practically got them all named. Watching them in every aspect of their lives is so interesting and I have such heart felt respect them.
    I do think there is a market for a good observation hive that comes with management directions. Considering the current plight of the honey bee and their importance to our civilization I would like to introduce more people to the joys of an indoor OH.
    I would enjoy exchanging info with you. In creating my designs I tried to make them hang flat on the wall, much like a painting and have perfected a swivel mechanism so you can turn it and see both sides. My first 4 frame works great and Iím fine tuning a second 5 frame. The 4 frame has had a voracious queen ( ďBellaĒ de Bonterra ) she has filled most of the 4 frames with brood, thus not much honey stored and a very crowded hive. Iíve been thinking of incorporating an excluder in the design thus forcing at least 1 frame of storage; especially in the 5 frame. These are experimental in THE process of perfecting an optimum design and writing the book on OH management. Iím also a Filmmaker and hope to do an, ďindependentĒ on bees.
    Would love to see pictures of your hive. Iíll be glad to send pictures and Video to you if I can figure how to get them to you. Iím new to this sight and a bit computer challenged.
    Looks like great weather for several days out and I hope to get a nuc into my 5 frame soon.
    HAVE A GREAT DAY
    MARK
    Hey b_b, Sounds like you have quite a program going there. In response to your question the bees do on occasion fly in the winter on a warmer day. Some will die as do those that fly from my regular hives, however it has not been a problem. They go into winter heavy with bees and loose some this way through attrition. I like the stackable OH (photos to come) because I think it is easier to service and close up. They tend to stay in the sections when taken apart. It also makes it easy to just change a frame or two as sometimes I will steal from another hive and add to the OH. If you should get too large of a population, you could take a frame of bees and give it to a weaker hive so the OH doesn't swarm. It is also fun to watch them build up and swarm. Very educational. I am also a woodworker so would be interested in working with you in developing a good marketable design if you are interested.

    Jack

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    Hey Jack
    Thanks for the reply. I’m enjoying talking to you about observation hives.
    I’m pretty happy with some aspects of my current design;1) it has a good “look” and is appropriate to a living room/den etc. and 2) the fact that it fits almost flat against the wall yet swivels to see both sides. The visitors I’ve had have really enjoyed it and have gone away with a new respect for bees.
    Yet making changes to the hive, adding/removing frames, at this point requires that the entire hive body is removed from the wall bracket to the outside, to be worked; as opposed to your “stackable design”. Full of bees, honey and brood, it can be quite heavy. It does have “gates” making moving it inside to outside safe, but its entire weight might bee more than one homeowner might want to do alone. I’ve been chewing on “stackable” as part of the swivel design, but haven’t got there yet.
    I have entrepreneured wood products ( go to www.Tedcotoys.com “blocks and marbles” ), and I don’t know if I’m up to that whole process “from garage to market” again. However I would think a place to start would bee a good, proprietary set of plans and instructions. My gut feeling is that there is a “Market”; museums, schools, households, etc. etc. Perhaps practicing beekeepers would like the work of instillation and management of the unit??—I’m rambling here—
    In any event I’ll try to get you some pictures and we can “bluesky” some ideas. How can we get info back and forth without opening ourselves to all of cyberspace?

    Mark

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winsted, CT, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Dennis Murrel's Observation Hive

    Mark,I sent you my email addy on PM

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