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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    506

    Default Observation hive?

    I was at a local museum this weekend and they had an observation hive. The entrance was a PVC pipe, at one section was only 3/4" with most of it being 1 1/4 or so. The entrance tube went to the side, then directly up about 10 feet, then thru the outside wall.

    My question is will a hive survive with a setup like that? I'd love to put an observation hive on the back porch. I don't need nearly that long of an entrance but it would be nice to get the entrance a bit away from normal porch traffic.

    The entrance they have seems like it would be prohibitive.

    ~Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,898

    Default Re: Observation hive?

    An entrance on an OH like that is prohibitive. But bees are amazing creatures, and most of them would learn to use it.

    With running PVC vertically, the bees will have a hard time gripping and climbing up the sides. So you need to do one of two things: 1) take a piece of string or rope and put it in the tube, running the entire length. If the bees slip on the pipe, they can climb up the rope. 2) (and my favorite) scratch up the inside of the PVC really well. You can do this by taking some steel wool, pack as much in as will fit at one end, then take a stick and push it through the pipe. Repeat the process a few times. You will notice the inside of the tube will be all scratched up and rough. That will give the ladies enough grip to get through.

    As far as distance goes, I've noticed that the bees will go through 6' or less without much of an issue. Beyond that and they begin to be weary about running through such a long entrance. But, it doesn't mean you cant "teach" them to do it, or that they won't learn on their own. If they won't use the entrance (and make sure the hive is dark so they try and find the light), then use a shorter entrance (like 4') than make it longer every couple of days. The bees won't notice much of a difference between a 5' entrance walk and a 6' entrance walk. Eventually you can get it longer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Observation hive?

    Actually 4" is plenty long for my use. I was thinking a foot or two would be stretching it. After I saw the 10-15' long with several turns in it entrance at the museum I was thinking either they couldn't possibly be using it or that I'd be fine with what I wanted to do.

    I don't need to go vertical either, just away from the porch.

    ~Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: Observation hive?

    It would work for mild temperatures, but not in your Winter -because of the need to cluster for warmth.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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