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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    990

    Default The Bee Cause Project

    Anyone have experience with this? It's a program started by Ted Dennard (founder of Savannah Bee Co.) The goal is to get an observation hive into 1000 schools through a grant program. The observation hives they use are huge - 8 deep frames - 2 wide and 4 high and are to be installed by a licensed contractor. They also have an option to get a top bar or langstroth hive. I just got approached by a local school to be the beekeeper/technical advisor. I like the idea. Liability is a big concern. The website says as an official school volunteer, you're covered under the school's general liability policy.

    http://www.thebeecause.org/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    I worked with them. They had an installation and initial load in at a nearby school but the colony died. I loaded a 5 frame nuc that wintered fine but had a catastrophic event during the flow the next spring. Not sure but it looked very much like insecticide poisoning. Anyway, the OH is reasonably well made. Still pretty heavy carrying outside to work on it. You should get a copy of the relevant insurance papers to make sure you're covered.
    In the catastrophic event, dead bees piled up at the bottom and moisture warped the wood, allowing some bees to escape into the room. The school found that unacceptable and has not had it repopulated as far as I know.
    I liked the 2x4 enough to make one. Smaller OHs take more work. They swarm a lot more and crash more. I also have 2 I maintain that are 3x3. The queen does show up (but isn't always in view like a 1x). I think 8 or 9 frames is a good number for a colony; especially if you don't want to be driving over there all the time to work it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    2,891

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    My wife is a science teacher and will be all over this!

    Please tell me it's not just for GA?
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    Another thread is floating up here, too, and she's in WA, so not just GA!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    pg county, md USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    Application deadline: November 15, 2016 at 5pm CT (3pm PT, 4pm MT, 6pm ET)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    It's an ongoing project. Maybe get in on the next round of grant money.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    990

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    It's nation wide - even in the Bahamas. They have all the hive locations mapped at this site:

    http://www.thebeecause.org/index.php/hive-locations

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clemson, South Carolina
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    I've been working with them in Oconee County, SC. We put 8 hives in the local schools last year. We had varying success with the hives themselves, some boomed, some had queen failures, others swarmed. Two were killed by the school spraying for ants. It's been a learning curve on how to manage the hives. We've been able to use splits and swarms from the hives to repopulate the ones that don't make it. The other issue is how to properly space the frames. We've been using door flashing as a buffer to get the proper spacing. You can't really move frames around and use foundation if you are putting new ones in or you always end up with some squished bees against the glass. our bigger issue has been the school advocates. Some have been great, but a lot of others have just refused to learn or do much with them. One hive was starved out because they didn't feed them.

    That said, the kids love it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    990

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    Currently, the school can't get anyone from Beecause to return their calls or emails. They might be swamped with installation questions - not sure. They may go with another commercially available 8 frame OH like the one from Bonterra Bees. The school seems set on getting one with or without the grant.

    I'm curious about the ant spray killing bees. Was it fumes from spraying in the building, spraying flowering plants outside, contaminating a water source, etc. For frame spacing, I assumed each pair of frames would sit end bar to end bar with proper bee space between the frames and the glass.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clemson, South Carolina
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    I believe in both cases it was spraying inside the classroom because ants had made their way in. We've worked with the schools to get signs put up in and outside the classrooms.

    On frame spacing, you're correct that the frames sit flush with each other on the inside, but with how you have to install the frames from one side and man handling the hive back in place, we found that the frames will slide and leave too much or not enough spacing against the glass. So you'll either get squished bees and comb or too much space and they'll start excessively building comb on the glass. This was the best we could come up with so far.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: The Bee Cause Project

    I suspect insecticide in the case of the one i was managing as well; intentional or incidental. One of the people at the school was acting funny.
    Take a look at my WindOH (another thread in this forum section). It's not commercially available so you'd have to build it but I love it! Much easier to manage than one in a classroom but the kids still get to see inside. I'd love to see more people try it and I want to learn from their experiences with it. Design features, shortcomings, etc.

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