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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    JErsey City, NJ, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Observation Hive Shut-off

    Hello All,

    I'm developing an Observation Hive exhibit for a local Science Center and need some advise.

    I'm going to have an outside firm build the hive itself, but I need to work out the connection details and base on our end. What I would really like your insight on is how to create a tamper proof shut-off valve for the hive? When the beekeepers come to perform maintenance/ extraction demos they will need to remove the hive from it's base. I've seen a few design that break down to a rectangular piece of wood or plexi with a hole that runs through a slot between the hive and the exit tube.
    This is a simplified version:
    Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 2.07.47 PM.jpg

    I'd prefer to avoid this design as it can be tampered with by mischievous visitors.

    Are there other options for this? I was thinking that a plate connected to a cam lock would work and be housed completely inside the base. There will be plenty of visitors seeing this hive daily and I can't have anything exposed that would compromise the safety and stability of the observation hive.

    Thank you, I look forward to your advice.
    Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    why not just use PVC pipe for the exit tube and then use two inline valves with valve locking devices on them to keep them either open or closed as you wish?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    JErsey City, NJ, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    Hi Beegeorge,

    A regular PVC valve could work for the exit/ entrance tube which will be Schedule 80 1-1/2" clear PVC. This could be concealed within the base. But the opening from the Observation hive case to the section below is not a PVC pipe. I apologize if my sample image was suggesting this.

    The opening will be a rounded slot at the bottom of the hive. This will open up to a chamber which contains access to the sugar feeder and the exit/ entrance PVC pipe.
    The image below shows the slotted opening (I removed the front panels for visibility):
    Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 3.47.46 PM.jpg

    Is there a normal detail for this, or does it vary from hive to hive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    I tried several fancy valves. None work the way I expected. I use three pieces of cloth and three hair ties. I pull the hose clamp off the hose, slide the hose off and put a piece of cloth on each of those two ends (one on the hive and one that is the tube) then I go outside and put one there. The cloth covers the hole and the hair tie holds it on. I've only had one or two bees ever get out. I've gotten pretty quick...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    JErsey City, NJ, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    Thanks, but I don't think this would work for us. Unless you can come by with your quick hands every now and then.

    I sent you an email before I realized that you replied to my post here. So forgive me asking the same type of question twice. What we really need is a simple and secure way to block the Observation Hive exit.

    I'm not sure if you've run across anything of note, but would appreciate any photos or links for research.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    I think you'd be surprised how quickly two people can do it. I'm always doing it by myself and it goes smoothly.

    Brushy Mt. has a kind of square hollow box for the bottom of the hive which leads to an area for a feeder and then has a slot in it for a piece of plexiglass to drop into. The plexi in one position blocks the path entirely. If you flip it over it has a scallop on the other side and it makes a reducer. It is very simple and quite effective. You would STILL need to close off the tube coming in (this one just blocks the hive) and you STILL need to block the actual entrance outside, in my opinion, so there isn't a traffic jam piled up when you go to connect things again.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    I've used a design like yours, only a sliding piece of wood over the pvc pipe. Key point to remember is you need TWO sliding parts. One stays with the hive portion, the other stays with the base.

    http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,30161.0.html

    Specifically, look at reply #28 on page 2.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    Take a look at google images for "camper sewer gate valve." I doubt it could get much more efficient than using two of these back to back.
    John Sampson-Tucker County, WV
    14 hives - All cutouts and swarms

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    JErsey City, NJ, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Observation Hive Shut-off

    Hi All,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I've worked out a gate shut-off that can only be accessed from inside the feed jar chamber. This meets our needs as a science center because it is not accessible to the visitors and can easily be adjusted by exhibit staff. Below are some images of our design:
    HB_Concept-1.jpgHB_Concept-2.jpgHB_Concept-3.jpgHB_Concept-4.jpgHB_Concept-5.jpg

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