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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
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    784

    Default Let's talk about viewing-windows

    .

    Again, I did a search and couldn't find a thread dedicated to just top-bar viewing-windows..................am I wrong?

    I am in the process of custom building two hives for a lady and I'm using the general design of Phil Chandler over at biobees.com
    for the overall hive.

    I saw someone mentioned over at his forums something about locking hinges. Has anyone here used those?

    Please post photos of your viewing-windows and a bit of explanation about what works good about it and what doesn't work.

    I was thinking about going with this general design. Any pros or cons I should look out for? (This is not my hive)




  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,844

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Make the window as full length as possible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    My new hive has a window that looks similar. It is hinged on the bottom but my hinges are farther apart and I used two half turn buttons on the top. It does take up most of the side of the hive like Odfrank suggests. If I get a chance I'll add a picture tomorrow.
    Window.jpg
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 07-25-2013 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Add pic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Also, where you cut out the wood, insert a new piece the same size, glued to an additional, bigger piece of wood on the outside. This helps with insulation. I have my window attached with two hinges at the top and a slide lock on the side. I put the hinges at the top, b/c my little kiddos are often the ones peeking in. With the hinges at the top, if they forget to lock the window, the weight closes it somewhat. With the posted picture, if someone leaves the window open, the bees are fully exposed to the light.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Quote Originally Posted by chr157y View Post
    Also, where you cut out the wood, insert a new piece the same size, glued to an additional, bigger piece of wood on the outside. This helps with insulation.
    You could route a lip around a piece of wood too. I thought about doing this because my purchased hive has it but chose not to do it on the one I made. Instead I will put a half inch thick piece of foamboard insulation in between the glass and wood for winter, with tar paper or foil insulation covering the seam. That should give a better R value than the wood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,470

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Make sure to leave room for expansion. I didn't use glass, I used 1/4 inch lexan. Glass would work better I would think, but I was worried about breaking it. It will get messy over time. I use the clasps with the bail on them. They work OK. The next one I may use the lock like you have in the picture. I've been told by the better half that the only hives allowed in the yard have to have windows in them!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    .

    Since I live in Florida, is there really any reason to have the part of the door that extends into the window area a bit?

    Notice the example I posted above. There is no raised part that fits snugly into the window opening - it just covers the outside flush.

    What would be the drawback of just having it flush against the outside besides lack of insulation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,470

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    I have the glass (lexan for me) flush with the inside of the hive, and I don't recess the viewing window cover. I figure if it gets cold enough for me to worry about it I will cover open the door and just put a piece of insulation against the plastic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    The windows run the full length on our newest top bar hive model. It works well.

    top-bar-hive-full-length-wi.jpg

    Best,
    Matt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,470

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Wow, looks like the whole side is window!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    It is! Our customers kept asking for it, so we made it. The problem with other windows is that you can't see the bees building until they are 3-5 combs in. With a design like this you can see them from the beginning.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    No, I didn't use locking hinges, as I used what was on-hand.
    Used turnbuckles like you use for storm windows. Two at the top edge, two at the bottom edge. We like our windows!

    IMG_3953.jpg

    Then, I used a piece of duct tape to make a 'strap' which allows me to get the window out. I started with a piece of ribbon, but that ripped on some of the windows within a month, so I switched to duct tape. The sticky side of the tape is stuck to the inside of the window-cover. Then the remaining chunk of tape is folded back on itself to form a 'handle' of sorts.

    My window-covers did swell in the heat. I ended up trimming just a 1/16" off all edges as I must have fit them too tightly to begin with. I had left a 1/8" gap all the way around - but that wasn't enough. Prying a window-cover off a hive full of bees is certainly exciting! I don't recommend it.....more gray hairs!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    The windows run the full length on our newest top bar hive model. It works well.
    That looks nice Matt, you are constantly tweaking and improving the design of your hives!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    I prefer hinges on the bottom but also like some of the hives that I have seen where the door slides into place. The inside wall is routed so that the glass fits flush with the interior wall. I have a turnbuckle closure on one hive and a simple twist clasp on the other. During winter I place a sheet of the foil covered bubble wrap type of material in the outer depression and close the door over it.

    Don't think you can go wrong with a window unless you neglect to put one in... I think it is one of the best features.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    The full side glass looks nice. If you go that way make sure you use double strength glass or a Lexan type material. Especially if your ever planning on moving it; regular glass may crack as the full length box racks when you pick it up. Glass won't scratch up like the plastic when you cut loose any attached combs also. I router mine in, use bottom hinges. I buy a 4' piano hinge and just use dykes to cut them 1 1/2" long. You can make a lot of hinges out of a 4" piece.
    Ed

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    The windows run the full length on our newest top bar hive model. It works well.
    Beautiful!!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    steeds, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    summer 13 120.JPGsummer 13 121.JPGsummer 13 123.JPGMy latest TBH has full length glass on both sides and a smaller window on one end. The side panels are held on with magnetic catches, it is mounted inside my barn and now contains a swarm that I caught last friday.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    Reflections can be a problem, don't know how to fix that, although the top swing out door should help, mine are pull out. When full of comb and bees a strong spot light helps but mine was still full and dark. You folk sure have some nice hives!
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    I don't make mine full length. I like the idea of them having more privacy and less light for the first 4 or 5 bars from the end where they start. Also they can seal that last area off in the winter better with them being totally surrounded by wood there. Glass will transmit cold down there if you make it full length. In my hives thats where the cluster ends up being in the winter so i like them surrounded by wood. I don't even bother in-setting the plexiglass in flush. Heck they can't tell the difference and i just nail it on the inside of the wood with the edge of thumbtacks. Works good and comes out easy. I use to put glass in my hives but it always breaks... just my humble 2 cents

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Let's talk about viewing-windows

    why does the glass always break on yours ?

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