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Thread: Bubble Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Bubble Bees

    I'm sure many of you have seen this already. In fact, I'm sort of counting on it.
    mtdome.jpg
    (source)

    Does anyone know what that bubble actually is?
    Closest thing I've been able to come up with is that its a skylight dome. In fact, it looks very much like the dome found here, although they don't list prices for just the dome (or even if they sell them separately), and the only ones I can find for sale online are much too small for this (only 10 inch diameter).

    I'd love to try building one of these for next year if I can find the parts.

    Looks like its just the dome, probably using a piece of plywood cut to fit into the rim there with was on the underside to give them a place to attach to, and I'd want to add a covered exit for them on top (a small exhaust cover should work) and some handles to make lifting the top off easier.

    Probably need to drill a few holes around the bottom for ventilation and moisture drainage...

    Or maybe deviate from this design a bit and put a dowel going down the middle to support a "landing bay" at the bottom. Cut out a circle from the bottom and add a PVC pipe with a wooden base and add an entrance cut into it. That way dead bees would fall, slide down the sides, and fall into the "cup" next to the entrance where they would be easier for the bees to push the rest of the way out.

    Then could just add a hole in the top for a normal mason jar feeder and a few ventilation holes around the base of the dome (under the lip there to prevent rain from getting into it), and done.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Bubble Bees

    Could be any number of things.

    Do you remember those Macramé‎ plant hangers that everyones mother used to make in the day? That's what's holding it up.

    As for the bowl? You can find large glass salad bowls on Amazon, Wal*Mart, etc.

    Roof? Not sure what they use. Can use sign metal and just form it over it, which looks like what they did. Leave a bend for an entrance.

    Just keep it out of direct sunlight. Indirect/dappled would be best.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Bubble Bees

    Okay, so I whipped up a quick 3D model for a bit more elaborate design.
    (and the image attachment feature is not working, so I'll just photobucket it)



    Clear plastic dome with the bottom cut out of it. Piece of PVC pipe with a lip on it to make sure it sits in the hole snugly, cap base of pipe and cut an entrance into it. Cap the top and put entrance holes to the pipe inside the dome (here I just modeled it as a cap with some dowels connecting to the pipe). Long dowel going up through the middle to another wooden cap attached in the same way to a hole in the top plate to give room for a feeder. Coat the undeside of the base and the feeder bottom cap with wax (in yellow here) to give them something to draw off of, and stick a couple handles on top to lift the whole thing out of the dome with as needed. Suspend in rope hanger as before.

    Come to think of it, can probably remove the central dowel completely as long as the entrance pipe at the bottom has enough of a lip on it that it doesn't need support. Still makes for an easy road for the bees to crawl up and down though until the comb is fully filling the bubble.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Bubble Bees

    Well, if you're going that far and want to drop large $$ into it, consider sourcing lexan domes from places like http://www.cleardomes.com/ and other manufacturing facilities.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Bubble Bees

    Lets see, normal frame is 19 inches long, so start with a 20" dome... that would run $45 from these guys.

    If nothing else, that provides me a very good price comparison point, thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Mojave Ca
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Bubble Bees

    This looks amazing! Love the solid works or maybe CATIA model.

    I'd just want movable frames... Like a top bar hive setup but in a dome. Then you can still get to the bees if needed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Bubble Bees

    I helped some friends take down a yurt a few years ago. That looks a lot like the dome that goes at the top of the yurt. I think they come in a variety of sizes, and you can get tinted or not. The tinted might be a tad easier on the bees. Here's a link to what I'm talking about:
    http://www.coloradoyurt.com/yurts/yu...ring-and-dome/

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