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Thread: Ulster OH

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Alma, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Ulster OH

    I recently bought a new Ulster observation hive. I've been wanting to do an OH ever since I made the decision to become a beeker last year.

    Here's a photo: http://www.tclong.net/pics/observationhive.jpg

    I've got a lot of questions about getting this hive up and running.

    First is the look. I'd rather stain/varnish it than paint it. Any opinions on a good stain for it (or any stain at all)? I'm thinking a natural stain to bring out the grain of the wood. I have a Marine Spar varnish that I'll be using on it (which I read about on another post).

    Next question is about placement. I won't be able to keep this in our house, but I also don't want to just leave it outside in the weather. Would it be okay to keep it in one of my storage buildings with an entrance tube to the outside? And then when I needed to work the hive I'd just close off the entrance and then move it outside.

    That raises another question, though. Should I use the OH full time, or just pull frames out of an existing colony whenever I plan to do a demonstration?

    And lastly (for now), any recommendations for securing the entrance cover during demonstrations? I would really hate for a kid to open up the entrance in the middle of a classroom.

    Thanks!
    TC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,191

    Default Re: Ulster OH

    Hi,
    I bought my wife the same one for x-mas. They are made to take bees to fairs, schools for teaching, etc. The nice thing about them is that the bees can stay in them several days. If you're doing several events you can bring them home between events & open the entrance, all you need to do is fill the feeder, & you're ready to go. Its not designed to be a full time hive, but I bet you could keep it going outdoors a long time in the summer.
    All our hives are stained with a green deck stain. Some of it is 5 years old & still looking good.
    For indoor OH check these guys out, http://www.bonterrabees.com/
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Ulster OH

    >First is the look. I'd rather stain/varnish it than paint it. Any opinions on a good stain for it (or any stain at all)? I'm thinking a natural stain to bring out the grain of the wood. I have a Marine Spar varnish that I'll be using on it (which I read about on another post).

    I wax dipped mine, but the varnish is fine.

    >Next question is about placement. I won't be able to keep this in our house, but I also don't want to just leave it outside in the weather. Would it be okay to keep it in one of my storage buildings with an entrance tube to the outside?
    > And then when I needed to work the hive I'd just close off the entrance and then move it outside.


    Sure, but, as you say, you need to take it outside to open it so the bees don't get trapped in the building.

    >That raises another question, though. Should I use the OH full time, or just pull frames out of an existing colony whenever I plan to do a demonstration?

    I have done both. It's a personal choice. Do what is convenient at the time...

    >And lastly (for now), any recommendations for securing the entrance cover during demonstrations? I would really hate for a kid to open up the entrance in the middle of a classroom.

    Use something that is screwed in with a wood screw and it's doubtful that a kid will have a screwdriver handy and if he does it will take a little time to get it out, and you have an opportunity to stop them. I did make the mistake of lifting it by the center of the top and it sprung enough to let a few bees out... lift from the sides...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: Ulster OH

    Yes to the varnish or stain. I painted mine like my hives but wish I had stained it instead. It's left outside all summer and treated just like a nuc. Friday night before the weekend farmers markets I lift up the frame with queenie. And yes, there will be someone that just has to pick and pull at all the parts and I've lost a few bees when they swing open the entrance.

    Have fun,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mount Joy, PA, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Ulster OH

    newsize.jpg
    The PA State Beekeepers Asso. has a Learning Center at our State Farm Show. We have set up OHs with the atrium area for several years using 2 frame OHs This year we used 2 of the Ulster hives. They were started as nucs in early fall and were set up at the Farm Show Jan 4 until Jan 12. To secure the hives (for the week) the cover and the observation top are secured with 4 screws in each. There is a plastic tube that allows the bees to get out into the atrium in the middle, a screw is run through the tube at each end so it cannot be pulled out. Bases were screwed onto the bottom of each and the base was screwed to the wooden table again with 4 screws.

    They did work well but the bees had the option of going down into the hive and so were not always as visible as in the 2 frames hives, but the queen was always visible. There was a patch of brood in each when the one frame was moved up on Jan 1. By Jan 11 and 12 there was capped brood and larva in an area the size of your open hand so it kept many bees in the observation area.

    If I am taking bees for a talk, I will just use the top portion, covering the bottom slot with some screening...just too much to lug the whole hive.

    Jim

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