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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    111

    Default SINGLE-WIDE vs. DOUBLE-WIDE ObH

    I would like to contribute my experience to the often asked question: “Which is best a double-wide or a single-wide design for an Observation Hive”?
    I have had bees since I was a kid and I’m the creator of the Bonterra Bees Observation Hive models and I have had many hours observing ObHs. I‘ve come to know and love bees, however I should add, though disapointing, I’ve never had a two way conversation with one of them, although I've tried, and I must say they have often confounded my predictions and often proven me wrong, kinda like beekeepers.
    .
    That said, we offer both styles but we highly recommend double-wide hives.
    First: “How often will I be able to see the Queen in a DW, double-wide hive”? That is the contentious question I often hear.
    From our experience the Queen will be doing a couple of things in an ObH during all but the deepest, coldest “clustering” part of the winter season. She will be on the viewable outside of a double-wide frame design at least part time everyday. She will be laying eggs, looking for clean, empty cells and at the same time she will be circulating thru nearly the whole hive scouting and collecting Colony status.
    Second: The Queen’s activities are just some of the many fascinating, entertaining and educational bee activities to attract your attention, to watch and learn from. Don’t forget those lazy drones and the many faceted lives of the worker bees with their multitude of duties.
    Third: We believe a double-wide hive is a healthier hive with more frames, more condensed comb structures as in a feral hive, there’s less distance for those hard working little girls to have to hike around the Colony when doing their work, honey stores are closer to brood areas and, importantly, in our experience the double-wide hive will prove to require less beekeeper maintenance.
    Forth: We believe anything less than 6 deep frames is more of a temporary, display hive and it will stand a good chance of dying out and/or will take a lot of extra maintenance. We suggest a minimum of 6 frames. Configuring 6, 8 and 10 deep frames in a double-wide design makes a more manageable height for an ObH.

    Every beekeeper is different and it should be noted that each Colony is different and is an individual maintaining itself in its’ many different environments. We are just saying, in our experience with Observation Hives and with all things considered, we recommend double-wide designs.

    Mark
    Bonterra Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,954

    Default Re: SINGLE-WIDE vs. DOUBLE-WIDE ObH

    Mark, your website suggests that package bees are one option for installing bees in an OB hive. It would seem to me that adding populated comb frames would be the simplest, but perhaps you could offer some comments on installing a package into a new OH hive.




    Note that Bonterra Bees is a Beesource advertiser. See the ad to the right of the screen. Advertisers help keep Beesource free of subscription fees.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: SINGLE-WIDE vs. DOUBLE-WIDE ObH

    Thanks Mark
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Washtenaw County, MI, USA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: SINGLE-WIDE vs. DOUBLE-WIDE ObH

    I have a double-width, 10 frame observation hive, built pretty much from the plans in Caron's observation hive book.

    Other than wintertime- the queen is often spotted on the outside frame, brood is laid in normal patterns. Since she usually lays the eggs in batches a day or so apart, I see her making repeat trips pretty frequently and just cruising around checking for open cells.

    The glass I used is 1/4" which makes things heavier. Post-build, I have seen some people mention that using thicker glass may help with heat retention/ encourage egg-laying on the outermost frames, but I don't know how much evidence there is to back this up.

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