Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    4

    Default Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    I recently purchased the Bonterra Plans and have decided I'd like to go with a Swing View double deep with 8 Frames and I have a few questions for anyone that might have experience with them. Specifically mounting to the wall, changes to the pivot mechanism with a top entrance, and the debris jar on the bottom.

    My biggest question is I'd like to go with a top entrance and out the top of a double hung window (Window AC unit in lower part of window during summer). My first thought was just to flip the bottom hinge/pvc entrance to the top (making the necessary changes to the hive itself) but I guess I'd have to make some modifications on the top hinge/bolt to pivot smoothly on the bottom. Has anyone here done anything like this or maybe have some suggestions/advice.

    With the mounting, they suggest cutting out the drywall, and adding 2 "backing plates" spanning between 2 studs, replace the drywall/repaint and then mount to these backing plates. Alternatively you can make finished backing plates to match the hive and mount them spanning the 2 studs on the inside of the wall. I guess I'd go with option 2 to save myself some hassle but is all that really necessary? Could I just use 4-6 lag bolts into the same stud vertically up the wall mount?

    Finally the debris jar at the bottom. I have my doubts whether it would be sufficient or should I add a mostly screened bottom with a drawer underneath?

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated as I am only in the planning phase at the moment.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    I just built a bonterra 10 frame swing view. I love the mounting system on the bottom with the entrance on the bottom. Very easy to remove when working on hive and seems to pivot and work flawless. I would be hesitant to mess with that design. A s far as the debris jar I would eliminate it all together. The bees keep the hive spotless. You might get more dead bees over the winter and I may use it but so far this year not at all. If anything it confused bees and they kept wanting to go in jar. I also replaced top feeder with a boardman type feeder at bottom of hive using the hole for the debris jar as entrance. The top feeder encouraged bees to stay at top and they ended up building burr comb in the top 2 inch space. Our hive is in a outdoor unheated barn(we do educational farm tours) and cool days caused condensation on inside of hive. I would a coulple more vents on side as you can always block them if needed. As far as mounting the hive is heavy and takes two adults to unmount and move . If you use 1/4 glass and fill it with honey and brood your talking quite a bit of weight and may cause one stud to bow. You can see mine on our facebook page "Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence" you may have to scroll back as pics are from april and may. Good luck and follow dimensions to a T

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,425

    Default Re: Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    I don't have that hive so I don't know all the details, but typical observation hive has a one by with frame rest grooves in it, screwed into the frame. If you remove those and turn them upside down and put them back in, I would think your spacing would then come out right. It may require something in one of the frame rest pieces to allow the entrance in (I assume that is coming in the side) but I would think the spacing of the frames would be the issue.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    Thank you for the input but of course that raises a couple more questions…

    Kelkenberg – I was thinking of using 1/4” laminated glass if its available. Is that what you used, and do you have a guess on how much your hive weighs empty?

    Michael – I’m making the hive myself so I can cut the frame rests accordingly but the design I’m considering uses a short piece of PVC to serve as both the Axis/Pivot for the hive and an entrance which exits vertically downwards through the base. Will they be able to get in/out ok if I switch that PVC to the top of the hive exiting through a short (3-5”) vertical pipe? I was planning on removing the 2-3” of empty space above the top frame and leaving only ˝ - 1”. Should I provide some type of ladder(string or screening) to make it easier for them?

    Thanks again, the knowledge and experience on this site is awesome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,425

    Default Re: Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    >Will they be able to get in/out ok if I switch that PVC to the top of the hive exiting through a short (3-5”) vertical pipe?

    Yes.

    > I was planning on removing the 2-3” of empty space above the top frame and leaving only ˝ - 1”.

    I would leave no more than 3/8" at the top. No more than 7/8" at the bottom.

    > Should I provide some type of ladder(string or screening) to make it easier for them?

    No reason to. But you can if you like.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    This thread asks several questions regarding the Bonterra brand, SwingView Observation Hive model. I have heard these questions often. I am the creator of this product and here’s some answers straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Regarding mounting:
    A 10 frame SwingView Hive Case when full of bees, honey and brood can be quite heavy; as much as 70lbs. The plans do indicate that the “3 piece bridge mount” is suggested. Better be safe than sorry.

    Regarding the pivot mechanism and an entrance at the top:
    In general this plan balances the major Observation Hive issues of: Colony health, Hive Case weight, view-ability, materials, parts and cost. For this plan the entrance and the hive case weight is on the bottom swivel joint. The top swivel joint is engineered to be removable so that the Hive Case may be easily lifted up off the bottom joint and removed to the outdoors when Hive Case maintenance is required. Indeed a plan could be engineered with a top entrance. That would require a step up in cost and some complication in engineering.
    The issue of what is best for the Bees can be debated yet a bottom entrance has worked well for the bees in this particular style of Observation Hive.

    About the debris jar on the bottom.
    This perhaps has been mislabeled in the plans. As it turns out the bees refuse to use this jar as a “Debris Jar”. I have spoken to the bees about this; yet we have left it in the plans and it has turned out to have other optional uses. One can, if needed, slip a Queen Cage into the Hive Case here. We now call it an optional future access point. The plans do indicate that a solid, electrical switch plate may be used to cover the hole instead of using the Jar.

    Mark
    Bonterra Bees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8

    Michael - Thank you for the info and spacing measurements! I figured if I relocated a feeder on the outside I could reduce the top spacing, I just wasn't sure how much.

    Mark - Thank you for the input and the great plans! They are very clear and easily followed. I like the design very much, cant wait to get it finished and fill it with bees! After I read the text in the back of the plans I did see that you listed the weight of full hives. I think your right about the supports, better safe than sorry! If I don't like the look I guess I can always do a bit of extra work and hide the supports behind the drywall but I have a feeling I'll be just fine with them on the outside.

    As far as the pivot mechanism and top entrance, I'd go with your original design using a lower entrance if it wasn't for the mounting location in my house. 1) I put a window AC unit in the lower part of the window I plan on using and 2) the window is fairly close to my back patio. I figured it would be best to get their entrance away from the AC exhaust and a little higher so they are not buzzing me and my guests on the patio. I also wanted to reduce the length of the PVC pipe entrance both for aesthetic reasons and to be easier on the bees. I don't mind an increased cost but I don't want to sacrifice quality or function so I'd be very interested in any ideas you may have on swapping the top and bottom pivots. My plan is to buy a 3" lazy-Suzan bearing (200lbs weight limit) to use for the bottom pivot but mounted in a way that it can just lift it off the bottom wall mount. For the top entrance I'm planning on using your plans for the bottom pivot/entrance but flipping them to the top. Instead of screwing it directly to the wall plate I'm planning on putting some slots in the wall plate and using some brass bushings so the top pivot/entrance can slide up and down far enough to allow you to lift the hive up and off the bottom mount. At least that is the concept in my head, we'll see if I can get it to work.

    Thanks again everyone for help!!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads