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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rhinelander wisconsin
    Posts
    143

    Default Observation hive size ?

    Just wondering what would be the smallest safe size for a indoor observation hive ?

    I was wondering if one frame would work ? I know i would need to feed them durring the winter. Thats why i was thinking one or 2 frames. Im trying to figure something simple. Id like to leave them in place for the winter if i could.

    Any input is great. Feel free to tell me anything i dont bite..... ( hard )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesobserva...tm#overallsize

    The smaller they are the harder they are to manage. The larger they are the harder they are to haul outside to work them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,888

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    In my experience, three deeps or four mediums is about as small as you want to go, assuming you want a "stand alone" OH. Keep in mind, you will need to pull brood from and give brood to a full hive in order to keep it going.

    I wouldn't advocate going much smaller than that, especially for colder climates than mine. I could probably get away with a two deep or three medium OH, but it makes it much more challenging. The smaller it is, the more you need to open it up. Opening up an OH is very detrimental to their development.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rhinelander wisconsin
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    so a 3 frame would winter over inside the house ? How much should i expect to feed it ? ANd will the bees know not to produce any brood durring our winter?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    >so a 3 frame would winter over inside the house ?

    Overwintering any hive is not 100%. Overwintering a nuc is a little bit harder. But typically mine make it through the winter.

    > How much should i expect to feed it ?

    I keep syrup on all winter in case they need it. I put a bit of pollen in from time to time (I have a hole with #7 hardware cloth over it).

    >ANd will the bees know not to produce any brood durring our winter?

    All hives produce some brood through the winter. An observation hive probably won't make it to spring if they don't raise some brood. They typically stop, then raise a small patch shortly after the solstice (about Christmas time) and then after a break, another small patch before spring. That's in my location.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesobservationhives.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rhinelander wisconsin
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    OK that sound great. Im planning on building a 3 frame hive. I love to watch the girls work and my 2 yr old daughter loves to "check" the bees with me. I miss seeing the girls over the winter and thought why not have a hive in the living room next to the fish tanks ?

    Now do i have to switch the frames out of brood with a differnt hive often ? Or would they just swarm and leave me weak going into the winter ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    I think this might be something good to pick up. You can probably glean it all here on beesource, but it'll take much more time than having a good reference book. If I was going to do an OH (read that: if my wife would let me do an OH ) I'd definitely pick this up.

    http://www.beeculture.com/store/inde...&CatID=89#X74P

    Go a little more than half way down the page..."Observation Hives".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    >OK that sound great. Im planning on building a 3 frame hive. I love to watch the girls work and my 2 yr old daughter loves to "check" the bees with me. I miss seeing the girls over the winter and thought why not have a hive in the living room next to the fish tanks ?

    Mine is in the Living Room. My kids call it "Bee TV". It's the best channel by far.

    >Now do i have to switch the frames out of brood with a differnt hive often ?

    They boom and bust quickly. Just keep an eye on them. Hard to say how often as every colony is different.

    > Or would they just swarm and leave me weak going into the winter ?

    That is a problem. They often lose too many bees if they swarm, but watching them do it is a blast. You can always boost them with some more bees after, or if you're lucky, catch the swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rhinelander wisconsin
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Observation hive size ?

    So should the hive be covered more than not ?

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