My 21 deep frame observation hive
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Here's my observation hive. I'm just finishing it up. It has 21 deep frames. They can be individually isolated and removed without releasing the bees, insert queen excluders and bee escapes. And, it has a screened bottom board with an area to insert an oil tray.
    0312181725a.jpg

  2. #2
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    Jan 2018
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Man , that looks huge!!! But, very nice.

  3. #3
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Will bees make use of all of it?

  4. #4
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    Feb 2016
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    ACT, Australia
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Wow that's an impressive work of art!

    I hope you've included a mechanism to close the screened bottom board or vent it outside.
    From experience... an observation hive with ventilation into your room/house can be pretty overpowering in a heavy nectar flow when your room starts to resemble a honey scented sauna. :-)

  5. #5
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    Mar 2018
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    Ascutney, VT
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    29

    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Wow very nice. That’s what my wife would like me to make. We a 8 frame that I made and wife wants me to expand on it and cover the entire wall.
    Could you post more pictures?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2017
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    Huntersville, NC, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Ffrt,

    That’s impressive. Can we get pics head on?

  7. #7
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    I will have to think about how to take pictures from other angles. The OH is located in a narrow dormer window. If I stand right beside it, I will be too close to get the whole thing in the shot. The screened bottom board is over the area for the oil tray which is closed off. The bees should use it all and I can section parts off until there are enough bees to fill it.

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

    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Awesome! I'd love to see design pics of the individual isolation technique. Also, may i use the image in lectures about OHs? I'd credit you y name for the design if you'd like.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    Awesome! I'd love to see design pics of the individual isolation technique. Also, may i use the image in lectures about OHs? I'd credit you y name for the design if you'd like.
    Brushwoodnursery,
    I never bothered drawing up plans. I just worked it all out in my head. I will try to put pictures of how I do the horizontal and vertical divisions when I finish making the dividers. My name is Henry Long. Feel free to use the photo in your lectures.

  10. #10
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    My prediction:
    Because the combs are so wide spread and there is not the usual cohesive brood chamber with side by side combs, a colony will never cover more than half of it. Let me know when I am wrong or right.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    My prediction:
    Because the combs are so wide spread and there is not the usual cohesive brood chamber with side by side combs, a colony will never cover more than half of it. Let me know when I am wrong or right.
    Odfrank, it may turn out that you are right about the bees not covering more than half of it. I wondered about that when I was planning it. But, my backup plan is to simply to insert the dividers either horizontally or vertically and add another entrance or 2 and have more than one colony housed in it. I did, however, see an observation hive that had frames stacked on top of each other and running lengthwise that the bees used just fine, so I’m hoping this works. This is way bigger than that one though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Monkton, MD
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    122

    Default

    That is so awesome! I wish I had one.

    As for installing the bees, I would put the queen cage on drawn comb in the middle on a frame, and then let the bees crawling through their exit tube (like with a swarm). I think if they smell the queen, they will move in towards her. Then you won’t have to shake bees, and she can get laying quickly.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted!

  13. #13
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Here is how the divisions work. The vertical beams are 2x2’s with a 1x2 attached to it with screws. The 1x2 covers where the boxes come together. The 1x2 is removed and dividers can be slid in the front vertically and/or horizontally. The end of the OH is hinged. Three screws are removed and the end opens up so that dividers can also be slid in horizontally.0323181956a.jpg 0323181958.jpg 0323182038b.jpg

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthz View Post
    That is so awesome! I wish I had one.

    As for installing the bees, I would put the queen cage on drawn comb in the middle on a frame, and then let the bees crawling through their exit tube (like with a swarm). I think if they smell the queen, they will move in towards her. Then you won’t have to shake bees, and she can get laying quickly.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted!
    How long does it take for all or most of the bees to get from the package into the observation hive? It's been about 10 hours and a bunch are in it, but most are still clustered inside the cage.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Athens, Georgia, USA
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    281

    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    I think you should load them onto frames in a regular hive then transfer them into the OH.

  16. #16
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    Jul 2017
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    I think you should load them onto frames in a regular hive then transfer them into the OH.
    I am sure you are right. I ordered 2 packages of purebred Russians in case something went wrong with one package and go wrong it did. The USPS shipped them without the shipping label attached so they ended up in the wrong state. To make a really long story short, I managed to get them several days after they were supposed to arrive but most of one package was dead. The other package was fine except the fondant plug slipped in on the queen. I hope she wasn’t injured. I put the package with almost all the bees alive in a hive outside. As for the package that was mostly dead, I put the queen in the observation hive and then attached the entrance tube to the package. Some went in, most refused to leave. It was a real pain. I don’t know if there are enough bees to get the observation hive going. There really aren’t that many. If the queen outside hasn’t started laying when I check her, I have a backup if I can figure out how to transfer her without her being killed. If the observation hive doesn’t have enough bees to survive (which is likely), then I may be able to move some from my established Italian hive if or wait and move the outside Russian hive into it.

  17. #17
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    Jul 2017
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    They are raising brood in the plastic comb in the OH. baby bees (1).jpg

  18. #18
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    May 2002
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    Default

    This thread petered out
    What happened? How is the hive doing?
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  19. #19
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Sorry, I didnít know anyone was still interested.
    The hive is doing great. Theyíve started raising more brood for Spring. Iíll post a few more pictures.

  20. #20
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    Jul 2017
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    Farmington, MO, USA
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    Default Re: My 21 deep frame observation hive

    Here are a few recent ones.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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