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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    3

    Default Maintaining Observation Hive

    I am maintaining an Observation Hive for the 1st time. It has 4 medium frames and is doing very well but has swarmed once so far this year. Should I keep removing the frames that fill up with brood? Will this keep them happy? They are very busy and productive.
    What happens in the winter when I can't take the outside to work the hive. Will they behave like the bees in the outside apiary?
    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Maintaining Observation Hive

    Observation hive are rapidly overcrowded by an active colony. swarming is a natural occurrence. mine swarms a few times a year. I catch the swarms if I can, and hive them. other than that I just let them go. I do not work them to prevent swarming. The depletion and rebuilding is interesting to explain to those who do not understand bee-Havior. In the winter my hive area is heated to 54 degrees so the bees are a bit more active than in an outside hive. This means I have to feed them a bit more. but they venture down the exit tube, to where it gets cold and realize there will be no flying.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Maintaining Observation Hive

    That is the easiest solution. The hive is in a nature center for a school so the education piece is a good point also. I love watching the bees in the OH. Thanks so much for your response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Maintaining Observation Hive

    > Should I keep removing the frames that fill up with brood?

    I would.

    > Will this keep them happy?

    Not at all. But it will keep them from swarming if you do it often enough...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Maintaining Observation Hive

    There is never a single answer to a beekeeping question In the Spring, before Summer break, it would probably be best to control swarming. It might scare the kids too much to see the swarm. I will check with the school to see if swarming would be a problem over the Summer. Do they have classes at the building at this time of year?
    More food for thought. Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Maintaining Observation Hive

    Swarms are certainly not dangerous and it would be VERY educational to let kids watch it happen...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Maintaining Observation Hive

    I have a 4 deep frame observation hive and it is a lot of work to take it outside to work it, so I would only do it if they became hopelessly queenless. It swarmed this year and then sent out 3 more swarms with virgin queens. It was lots of fun to catch them, much more fun than moving the hive outside and working it. It's also been fun to see how the queens behave and how the bees have kept the emerged queens from the capped queens long enough for her to fly with the afterswarms.
    Last edited by Dana; 07-02-2013 at 09:34 AM. Reason: typo

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