New Huge OH!
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Thread: New Huge OH!

  1. #1
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    Big Grin New Huge OH!

    I just finished building my first observation hive and will populate it in the next few days. I saw this design and couldn't resist giving it a go.

    I started with building the hexagon out of 2x4s, cut the slots for the glass then made the the wooden bridge pieces. I made it so that I can start it off using 4 medium/deep frames. It has four holes for feeders, two of which are sealed with wire mesh. I will either use the other two for feeders/dropping pollen/or ideally the bees will fill it with honey. The entrance is PVC and has a sliding door in which I can close off the hive. It has vents on the top and bottom.

    The only thing i wish it had was a larger screened bottom board that i could remove when I wanted to clean the base. For now I can just lift the top off. Also I didn't want to spend any money making the hive, so the glass is neither safety glass or tempered. This is obviously a risk...

    It is only a few feet from my deck so I don't think it will be too difficult to move with two people. That being said if it flourishes it will be very very heavy in a year.

    I will do inspections for a while but given the size and style of it I will to some extent just let it go and help however I can. I will let the bees draw comb however they please and will not try and prevent a swarm should I see signs. The hive I will be using to populate it was one that I extracted a month ago and has only drawn out 4 frames. Compared to my other hives I think this one would not survive the winter so the OH is a good place for them.

    Any advice or concerns? I can't wait!

    DSC_0147.jpgDSC_0149.jpgDSC_0152.jpgDSC_0141.jpgDSC_0150.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Holy crud. Cool looking but there's going to be sooo much bur comb you'll never get to inspect it. Once the hive get's going and fills even 1/2 of the space the entrance/exit tube it way too small. It'll be way too heavy to move it once it's full. As for the bottom. Once winter hits the dead will drop to the bottom, in mass especially as winter progresses. This will be a haven for SHB's and the resulting stinking mass. Being inside in an OB hive, they don't take a break during winter. It's very difficult to find a winter day to get them outside to clean up the mess. When they swarm, and they will how are you going to make sure they requeen properly? You'll not be able to see if there's a new queen until it's way to late to do anything about it. How are you going to introduce a new queen if something happens to the old one. There are so many basic things that an OB hive makes downright difficult. Of all my years of experience with an OB hive there are a ton of hard learned lessons taught.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #3
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    D Coates, thank you for your comment. I am at peace with the fact that the bess will draw bur comb making the hive impossible to inspect. Even if I could keep but comb from the glass I am not sure what I could actually inspect given that the comb will be fixed to the top and thus immovable.

    I hadn't really considered the tube being too small for when the population is much much larger. I have a lather diameter tube. Maybe I can modify the top so that I can start with a small tube then switch to a larger one. The other tube i have is 4"diameter. That would be plenty large right?

    I am disappointed with the inibility to clean the bottom. I think I'll rework it so that I can fit a tool up into it to scrape droppings and dead bess into one of the bottom vent holes to clean. The wire mesh on the vents would be easy to remove and reapply. It would be either that or make a false bottom...

    As for the requeening issue.... Your absolutely right. I won't be able to tell. I could requeen right as I see the hive divide by putting a queen cage in between two frames at the top assuming I would be able to remove them still. If that wouldn't work I could lower a queen cage into one of the feeder holes that do not have honey.


    Thank you for your help and experience! So if I devised a way to be able to clean the base and a way to make the entrance/exit tube larger how do you think it would fair?

    The hive i based it off of must have encountered the same inhibility to inspect due to bur and weight.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillonmartin1 View Post
    I devised a way to be able to clean the base and a way to make the entrance/exit tube larger how do you think it would fair?
    The enlarging of the entrance/exit tube is a must. How it fairs depends on your ability to quickly understand what's going on with the respective hive. Without being able to inspect this will be challenging to say the least. Managing this hive will be like piloting a tanker ship. On even keel and calm seas no problem. However, when rough waters or tight quarters are encountered it's going to be very difficult to change the direction especially if a reef is ahead. Like piloting a ship managing a OB hive well is also dependent on your level of beekeeping experience. I wish you the best of luck.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  6. #5
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Dude! Cudos for the imaginative design! Sure, there are some things that are entirely impractical about it but it's still fantastic. Have fun!

  7. #6
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    Dude! Cudos for the imaginative design! Sure, there are some things that are entirely impractical about it but it's still fantastic. Have fun!
    Thank you! I'm extreme excited to see it in action.


    D Costs, I reworked the base last night to have a sliding screen door that will allow me to clean the base. I'll be working on the entrance later today. I have a feeling that I can simply use one of the feeder ports as an entrance.

    I'll post pics when it is up and running.
    Thank you

  8. #7
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Excellent craftmanship... doomed idea :-(

    But have fun with it all!

    Cheers.

    Bill

  9. #8
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by eltalia View Post
    Excellent craftmanship... doomed idea :-(

    But have fun with it all!

    Cheers.

    Bill
    [edit]

    The image I based this design off of proves to me that it is possible. Does it have as high of a success rate as a standard OH? Probsbly not? How do you determine success? If the population exceeds the space and divides is that a failure? Are you actually suggesting I give up before I begin?

    I haven't seen any like this on bee source. Does innovation drive growth? Does failure lead to knowledge? Should I accept failure and miss out on this golden opportunity to learn?

    [edit]

    Cheers
    Last edited by Barry; 07-09-2017 at 06:25 PM. Reason: uncivil

  10. #9
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    The beeisms were a poor attempt at humor. I'm sorry that blinded you from the core of what I was trying to express.

    Yes I am passionate about this wonderful realm. I find it ever deepening, ever challenging and ever gratifying.

    I am also not someone who follows the norm. I thrive in the realm of possibilities. I thrive in pushing myself to achieve what both myself and others think is not possible.

    I believe it was quite evident that i am committing to populating and maintaining this hive. I undoubtedly have far less experience than yourself and those here. So by posting this topic I am pursuing the advice/critique that will be most beneficial to the bees and myself. If your your only purpose is to predict demise I simply ask that you contribute in a more constructive manner.

    D Coats recomended two things that will help the bees and I have made changes for both. Will you offer helpful advice?

  11. #10
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    I think what eltalia is trying to say is that the original picture you saw was a very forced piece of artwork. What most likely will result from your design is that the bees will make all kind of crazy comb on the top and eventually attach it to the glass since proper beespace is not being observed. Which will make it mostly unviewable, and definitely unworkable and will glue the top to the glass. So most likely it will be the equivalent of a hollow log for all intents and purposes after the bees fill it up and unless their genetics are solid stock, they'll succumb to mites without treatment.

    That being said, it's amazing craftsmanship. I would maybe start with nuc frames, since a package of bees would have a pretty high rate of absconding from something like that(only my guess).
    Last edited by Branman; 07-08-2017 at 06:17 PM.
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  12. #11
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Branman View Post
    What most likely will result from your design is that the bees will make all kind of crazy comb on the top and eventually attach it to the glass since proper beespace is not being observed.

    That being said, it's amazing craftsmanship. I would maybe start with nuc frames, since a package of bees would have a pretty high rate of absconding from something like that(only my guess).

    Thanks you for your comment. I expect the bees to be drawing bur comb left and right and will seal the lid to the walls. Even if they didn't the idea of doing an inspection with immovable comb would be fruitless. This hive was made with the expectation that this will happen and the acceptance that I will not be able to regularly inspect it.

    I do believe I will be able to do vapor oxalic acid treatment via the bottom for mite control.

    I think you are right in predicting a high rate of absconding via package installation. This is why I modified the top to fit 4 deep frames ( almost a nuc,) to start it off. I may also use a queen excluder on the entrance for a day or two to help prevent them absconding.


    I guess I am just frustrated that any exception to the standard hive maintenance plan is deemed as unfit. I wholeheartedly believe in doing everything I can to help the bees. I keep a rigorous inspection schedule, mite control plan and do everything I can to ensure the prosperity of my 12 hives. Having done a few extractions I am amazed at how adaptive and resilient feral colonies are and how they thrive in what I would assume would be a sup-par environment. These hive flourish without inspections, mite treatment and variable space. This in part leads me to believe this hive will be successful. That being said I am aware that any observation hive is not natural. The lack of daily temperature fluctuations, the progressive seasonal changes and interruption of light changes everything. I hope this will be as fruitful of a learning experience as possible for me and I hope that it will in turn help me better care for my other hives. I also know that I can use this hive to get others to become interested in beekeeping.

    Lastly should this be an utter failure and I kill a colony of bees I will share my remorse and do what I can to make this a public example so that others can learn from my mistakes. I know I am not the only person who saw the original hive pic and wanted to build one.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    DM1, please post pics when this is occupied! I'm looking forward to it.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    DM1, please post pics when this is occupied! I'm looking forward to it.
    OH0.jpg
    11.jpg
    5h.jpg


    Here are some pics... The install went very smoothly give how small the population was. It took them a day to find the entrance because light could enter via the vents on the top so they congregated there and not though the exit. After covering up avery light source they found the exit and seem to be doing just fine now.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #14
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Thanks! Please update as they build it out. I'm very curious to see how they handle the sides. I have an OH with extra space just outside the frames and they ignore it.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    I will!

    So far I have been able to see the queen lay and emerging bees take their first steps. Its pretty amazing watching them seconds after being born as they get used to their body. Two of the frames that went into the hive were 80% capped brood and about half have emerged so with the onset of many young bees I would expect them to begin drawing comb soon.

    I'lll update later. Thanks

  17. #16
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Just curious, what will the Bee space bee from the center of frames to the glass?

  18. #17
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by captain776 View Post
    Just curious, what will the Bee space bee from the center of frames to the glass?
    It is open space. I would estimate 4-6 inches. They also have 3-5 inches from the edges of the frames to the glass.

    They will draw their comb how they please and will make their own beespace between combs. This is not something I can or want to control.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Hey, DM1, I do a lecture on OHs. May I use some of your pics and describe your setup?

  20. #19
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    Hey, DM1, I do a lecture on OHs. May I use some of your pics and describe your setup?
    Yes you may. Than you for asking.

    I would like to note two of the design flaws I have encountered thus far.

    1) The space I cut out to allow the frames to slide in was very tight. This was problematic when installing the hive because one of the frames I installed had capped honey that extruded past the bounds of the frame. This caused the the hive to rip open some cells causing the honey to drip to the bottom.

    Solution: give it more space. The top hinged cover makes sure no bees can escape keeping that slot tight was useless.

    2) The honey that has spilled to the bottom has caused some bees to get stuck and die on the bottom. In the standard langstroth bees could simply walk out and have the heat from the sun melt the honey off of them. In this hive they cannot do his. I would also assume the bees will be less likely to pick up the dead and fly them out of the hive.

    Solution: Possibly put the entrance on the ground level? I am not sure how this issue is handled with the standard OHs.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: New Huge OH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillonmartin1 View Post
    It is open space. I would estimate 4-6 inches. They also have 3-5 inches from the edges of the frames to the glass.

    They will draw their comb how they please and will make their own beespace between combs. This is not something I can or want to control.
    I asked because of what I read on Michael Bush's site about Observation hives.

    Space Between the Glass

    "For reasons unknown to me, no one seems to get this right. It's not the end of the world but it is a bit irritating. The Draper has about 2 1/4" between the glass and the bees burr the glass up a lot. The Brushy Mt. hives have 1 1/2" between the glass and when I put in frames of brood from a hive it was too tight a fit and the brood could not emerge and the bees absconded. I reworked the Brushy Mt. hives by adding a screen molding (available at the hardware store) which is 1/4" thick. I put it behind the hinges on the hinge side and behind the door as a stop on the opposite side and added one next to the door just to match the other side. This has worked perfectly and it is my most thriving hive now. 1 3/4" is just the right amount of space between the glass for an observation hive. 1 7/8" is ok."

    That is why I asked for Lessons Learned so if there is an issue others have had, I can address it before building.
    Thanks for your response.......appreciated

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