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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Observation Hive Maintenance

    Did some maintenance on OBH tonight. Bees had built almost all comb in top 2 frames of 10 frame Bonterra hive, Cold weather seemed to encourage them to build comb at top where feeder was. Noticed queen cells in top of hive even though 6 empty frames at bottom. I think bees sensed hive as being crowded with all action at top of hive. Moved brood frames to bottom of hive with empty frames above. All went well, saw queen safely move between two bottom frames before closing hive up. After letting hive calm down several hours almost all bees in bottom two frames where brood is and not at the top where they had been for past 4 weeks. Hopefully this gets them building more brood comb and working their way up filling frames. Any comments or similar experience would be great to hear. Didn't really want to disturb hive but when I saw queen cells it seemed like the thing to do...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ashtabula, OH
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Observation Hive Maintenance

    Did you remove the queencells?? I did maintenance today too on my OB. My OB was over crowded so I did a cut down split.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Observation Hive Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by tomkat View Post
    Did you remove the queencells?? I did maintenance today too on my OB. My OB was over crowded so I did a cut down split.
    Yes I did. Today they were acting pretty crazy, bearding outside entrance and clustered around entrance tube at bottom of hive. Thought they were gonna swarm so put a hive outside entrance hoping to catch them if they did. Later today they seemed to calm down and entrance looked more normal and doing there normal pollen,flying etc. Maybe they were just adjusting/ getting used to moved frames??? I really don't want them to swarm cause hive is far from being overcrowded. Wait and see...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Observation Hive Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by kelkenberg View Post
    Yes I did. Today they were acting pretty crazy, bearding outside entrance and clustered around entrance tube at bottom of hive. Thought they were gonna swarm so put a hive outside entrance hoping to catch them if they did. Later today they seemed to calm down and entrance looked more normal and doing there normal pollen,flying etc. Maybe they were just adjusting/ getting used to moved frames??? I really don't want them to swarm cause hive is far from being overcrowded. Wait and see...
    back to bearding on outside entrance again and they are noticeably more aggressive. Hopefully they settle back down

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Re: Observation Hive Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by kelkenberg View Post
    Did some maintenance on OBH tonight. Bees had built almost all comb in top 2 frames of 10 frame Bonterra hive, Cold weather seemed to encourage them to build comb at top where feeder was. Noticed queen cells in top of hive even though 6 empty frames at bottom. I think bees sensed hive as being crowded with all action at top of hive. Moved brood frames to bottom of hive with empty frames above. All went well, saw queen safely move between two bottom frames before closing hive up. After letting hive calm down several hours almost all bees in bottom two frames where brood is and not at the top where they had been for past 4 weeks. Hopefully this gets them building more brood comb and working their way up filling frames. Any comments or similar experience would be great to hear. Didn't really want to disturb hive but when I saw queen cells it seemed like the thing to do...
    Is your hive a single or double frame set up?

    Are you pleased with the design of the Bonterra obs hive...for you managing it, for the bees living in it?

    I have been considering an obs hive but have been concerned about how much lifting and management is involved compared to a double deep Lang with a couple of dadant supers.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Observation Hive Maintenance

    Double deep 10 frame. It takes two of us to move it but we have a educational farm tour business and we decided that was our best option. Ordered the plans thru bonterra @$30 and built 2x swing view. I'm also a carpenter by trade so construction went really well. Great teaching tool as it swings back and forth and able to find queen @ 75% of time we take covers off to show kids/families. Even if you don't find queen there is so much else to see. To work on it/manage you have to take it of wall and outside but the mounting system is ingenious and works great. Evey one says there bust or boom as far as success but we have had a ball with it and our customers love it. You can see pics of it on Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence Facebook page along with videos. Feeding system on it could be tweaked a little and they built a lot of burr comb in venting space on top but I think that was due to cold spring we had and hive is in an unheated barn. In a heated area probably wouldn't of been issue. Glass spacing is perfect as we have had no comb built on glass. My only experience is with this design but I would do it the same in a heartbeat.

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