Top entrance OB hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Coconino County, Arizona
    Posts
    34

    Default Top entrance OB hive

    I have my new 5 frame, single wide, ob hive nearly done. Was going to be a bottom entrance, but I'm now thinking I'll go with a top entrance which is necessary due to where I'm thinking the hive is going to be located. I have built a screened bottom with clean out tray below it, and will have easy access to clean the screen also. Anyone else using a top entrance? See any pros or cons to a top entrance vs bottom? I'll post photos soon.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Top entrance OB hive

    Quote Originally Posted by humm View Post
    I have my new 5 frame, single wide, ob hive nearly done. Was going to be a bottom entrance, but I'm now thinking I'll go with a top entrance which is necessary due to where I'm thinking the hive is going to be located. I have built a screened bottom with clean out tray below it, and will have easy access to clean the screen also. Anyone else using a top entrance? See any pros or cons to a top entrance vs bottom? I'll post photos soon.
    Having seen pix and read editotial on other sites telling of no short term problems with top entrances it is worth a go.
    Maybe some form of adjustable ventilation around the lower parts of the structure is a way to go?


    Cheers.


    Bill
    Last edited by eltalia; 07-09-2017 at 04:43 PM. Reason: typo?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Top entrance OB hive

    A top entrance might make it harder for bees to get dead bees and other stuff out of the hive.
    Mark Berninghausen

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Coconino County, Arizona
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Top entrance OB hive

    I finally got the ob hive in place and the bees installed. The hive is similar to the one from here in the observation hive forum by rookie2531, in the thread: My observation hive, best design? I think so. A few differences though, I wound up going with a top entrance due to where I installed it. I used cheap lazy susan bearings I bought off of ebay top and bottom so it can be rotated (the bearings have a 2" hole thru the center and are rated to support 300 lbs), and also it's only a five frame. Rookie had some ideas I liked, and I used them, along with some other ideas I picked up from other builds I've run across. Thanks rookie2531 for the inspiration of your youtube video that goaded me to finally build an ob hive.

    Each frame is installed into a slide in cartridge that easily can be removed and taken outside for maintenance. Each cartridge is spaced apart slightly so sheet metal shims can be slid between them to imprison the bees while carrying to and from the hive. What a great design. I can add or remove any frame without taking the whole hive outside or disturbing any other frame. Each cartridge can be quickly opened on either side just by the removal of 4 screws, so the frame slides out the front instead of up or down from the top. That avoids rolling bees since there is no room to slide a frame over because of the minimum bee space on each side of the comb.

    I had thought of building this style of an ob hive for years but had concerns about getting the cartridges apart due to the bees gluing them together. Then it dawned on me after seeing rookie's video that I could saw between the cartridges with a wire to separate them. A hack saw blade might be useful too. You can't just stack them and pry them apart or you would have to work your way down from the top to remove them. Not a good design. Having them slide in and out with them spaced apart for the metal shims to slide between is the way to go.

    The bees I installed were from a dink 4 frame nuc that had few bees, and little brood. I thought it was just a dud queen that wasn't laying well, because they just weren't building up and the population was dwindling. Then as I got to looking closer I found nearly every cell had nectar, or actually probably sugar water in them. My fault, I had been feeding 2 to 1 since I made up this nuc, and I didn't watch close and should have added a box and gave them room to grow. Instead, they couldn't resist storing the sugar water and left her nowhere to lay. At least I think that is what happened. I'm hoping that adding an empty comb giving her room she will start laying. Also, I added a frame of bees with a bit of brood (top frame on the ob hive) with a screen shim between it and the one below it to give them a day or to to get to know each other.

    Originally I was going to have a bottom entrance thru the lower bearing, but that hole I modified to an adjustable vent. There is also a screened bottom with a slide out tray, and ports for jar feeders on the top.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Top entrance OB hive

    Very cool ideas!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Coconino County, Arizona
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Top entrance OB hive

    A few more photos. One shows a slide in cartridge with a metal shim laying in front of it.

    The lazy susan bearings work pretty slick. I can rotate the hive very smoothly and almost effortless with just a finger.

    The passage way to the outside has a glass bottom so I can see the bees traveling as they come and go. It is removable for cleaning. I can close off their passage way with a slide in metal shim for times when I need to remove the top cartridge.

    One thing I would have done different, I wish I would have made it a double wide so there would be a better chance of them wintering in it. I may have to build another. DSC_1670.jpgDSC_1679.jpgDSC_1684.jpg

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Top entrance OB hive

    I really like the cartridge concept! Full spin is nice, too, compared to a pivot. The glass bottom will be fun to watch and maybe helpful if there's ever an issue that needs to be seen. Housekeepers don't seem to have a problem carrying up. In fact, they regularly carry up and all over the place even right on the glass in mine.
    Yeah, 5 deeps is a bit small. I had trouble with that size. At least it will be easier supporting it with quick change-outs. 2 of mine are at 9 deeps in a 3x3 and they're really stable. I miss out on some of the action but it's worth it to me.

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