Question's on mod's to Bonterra Swing View DW8
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    8

    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. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    21

    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

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,842

    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 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    8

    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!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,842

    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 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    122

    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

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    8

    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!!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    8

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

    I Finished the hive so I figured I'd share some pics. Thank you all for your help/advice!
    IMG_2498sm.jpg
    IMG_2499sm.jpg
    IMG_2530sm.jpg
    IMG_2538sm.jpg
    IMG_2539sm.jpg
    IMG_2542sm.jpg

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New London, Ohio
    Posts
    57

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

    Very nice!
    I am so jealous.
    I notice the chair by the hive also, right where you can sit and watch while you have your coffee.

    --- marty ---

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bethania,NC,USA
    Posts
    5

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jbest View Post
    I Finished the hive so I figured I'd share some pics. Thank you all for your help/advice!
    IMG_2498sm.jpg
    IMG_2499sm.jpg
    IMG_2530sm.jpg
    IMG_2538sm.jpg
    IMG_2539sm.jpg
    IMG_2542sm.jpg
    Very nice. I built the double wide 8 frame two years ago and have loved it as do my bees. Is that mahogany? I left a space at the top accessible through a round vent (2" copper soffit vent) to feed syrup,etc. The syrup is poured through the vent into a copper trough with a screen insert for the bees to climb on. What are you using for covers? I made my glass frames deep enough to rabbet a 1/4" groove to receive a 1/4" panel that I leave in place until I want to observe.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,214

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

    Quote Originally Posted by bonterra bees View Post
    I am the creator of this product and here’s some answers straight from the horse’s mouth.
    Mark
    Bonterra Bees
    Awesome! I love the design, and I aspire to own one of your fine hives some day. I just need to figure out how/where to put the entry/exit port so they don't go right into my back patio area.

    Are you based in California or Maine? Your "Contact Us" page shows a map of Pasadena, but a PO box in Addison.

    I ask because I'm worried about earthquakes here in Los Angeles. There's nothing worse than stumbling around in the dark, in a violently shaking house, with broken glass all over the floor. Except for all of the above + 10,000 angry and confused bees.

    If/when I buy one of your hive kits, I would definitely use safety glass. Have you ever done a "drop test" where you drop/tip an assembled hive from some distance to see how well it survives?

    I was also thinking of some sort of spring-loaded door to cover the entrance hole if the entrance tubing were to get pulled away from it.

    If you're based in Pasadena then I'm sure you've thought about this sort of thing!
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,850

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

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWaterbug View Post
    Are you based in California or Maine? Your "Contact Us" page shows a map of Pasadena, but a PO box in Addison.
    Interesting.
    When I look at that same map link, it shows Johnson City TN, which is not that far from me, and is the likely network node for CenturyLink, my ISP. It appears that the Bonterra Mapquest link initially shows the location of the viewer (you / me) based on the IP address assigned by your/my ISP, but if you click to enlarge the map then the map jumps to the Bonterra physical address of "P.O. Box 275, Addison,ME, 04606,US".

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Dixon, MO, USA
    Posts
    80

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

    jbest, How are your bees doing now? Knowing now what you do, would you change anything?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    21

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

    Quote Originally Posted by blueskydixon View Post
    jbest, How are your bees doing now? Knowing now what you do, would you change anything?
    I hope they're doing good. We're in the middle of a month of very cold weather, The hive is outdoors in an uninsulated barn. I debated on putting colony in a hive to better their chances of surviving winter. Ran out of time and busy so didn't get done. Wrapped hive in insulated blanket and hoping for best. They had about 8 frames full of honey. Waiting for a warm snap to check on them but temp has been around 10 Fah. Check back with me in March/April and hopefully will have good news. As far as design I really like it . The swing aspect works great. Ventilation I would have added a couple more holes but the bees seem to regulate that by plugging up ventilation sometimes and reopening it other times. The top feeding hole didn't work out the best as the bees gathered at top and started building comb at the top. I modified and put a feeder at the bottom. Lost a queen during summer but introduced eggs from another hive and they made new queen which I saw late November before wrapping hive. Hive is a 10 frame hive and its a 2-3 person job to unattached to take outside to service. Not a problem though. Some people want to hinge glass panel but I need to take it outside when I work on it anyhow. The way they propolise it shut a hinge seems like a waste of time, it's not like you can just swing it open. You can see pics and vid on " kelkenberg farm of clarence" facebook page. If they don't make it thru winter probably just put another 3lb package in it.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    clarence center, ny ,usa
    Posts
    21

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

    looks great, You'll be glad you got rid of 2" space at top, mine they just fill with burr comb.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    8

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

    Sorry I've been MIA.
    dsbuster -> The wood is Black Walnut from a tree w, its been a busy winter. cut down at my sisters place and had milled into boards. I used clear polyurethane (minwax I believe) for the finish. As far as covers, for the time being I am using black corrugated plastic (like the election sign material) attached to the glass with 2 squares of Velcro it the upper corners. they don't look as nice as the rest of the hive but they work fine and are pretty light weight & convenient.

    blueskydixon -> February has been a cold month around here (southeast PA) so the bees are still hunkered down and haven't had any nice days to go out but their numbers still look fine. Their honey reserves appear to be getting low so I might try throwing a jar of syrup or honey on top soon just for insurance but other than that the girls appear to be fine.

    I didn't complete the hive until late summer 2014 so I haven't opened the hive since adding the nuc last year. Therefore I don't have a whole lot of input on things I'd do differently. Sometimes I wish I did a single deep design since I often wonder what is going on in the middle out of my view but I was hoping the larger volume of the double deep would be better for the bees and easier for me to maintain. We'll see how that works out. The only other thing I don't like is glare off the glass but that is just the nature of the beast. Otherwise I am very happy with the design from bonterra and the modifications I did to create an upper entrance to go through the top of a double hung window.

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
  •