Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings from Montana....
I went into one of our assisted living facilities with a presentation on bees last year... I took my one frame OB in with me... The folks in there really enjoyed watching the bees crawl around... One of the employees ask if there was a way to place a OH into their facility...
Anyone like to give their thoughts on the idea???
Currently they have a walk-in size observation aviary with parakeets, etc. in it....
TIA
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,003 Posts
Assuming the OH is going to be there for more than a few days, the OH would need to have an outdoor entrance. Probably the least intrusive way to do that is through a vertical sliding window where you can fabricate an adapter to have the window 'closed' above the OH exit tube. But that means a window near the OH, and a suitable style of window, plus approval by the "powers that be":) to allow that. Does all that exist, or can it happen?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Nothing exists at the moment... I have never done an OH and I am not even sure if it's a good idea, so your point about the window is exactly the intel, that I am looking for.... Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,865 Posts
check out the photos of one of the beesource sponsors Bonterra bees. Lots of ideas on observation hive. And if you decide to do one, make sure they will allow you to have another hive onsite. You will need to be able to add/remove frames from the Obs Hive throughout the season to help prevent swarming or to boost bee numbers. Having a hive on site makes that so much easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,003 Posts
I don't have an OH hive. But, maintaining an OH in a semi-public facility is not a trivial task. You can't open it up indoors, so you will have to take it outdoors periodically.

Perhaps keeping an OH at your home first to learn more about what issues may come up would be a good first step?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,818 Posts
One potential issue is most of the "common areas" I've seen open onto a court yard or other type gathering or sitting area. Not sure where/how you could have an entrance where it wouldn't arouse a lot of phobia concerns and create lots of headaches. I could see where a lot of residents would find an OH fascinating but that handful with phobias is likely a deal breaker. I wonder if there is an old beekeeper's assisted living facility, not sure they could handle that many "not quite right" folks in one building.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
that many "not quite right" folks
LOL
Reminds me of a scene in the movie "Brave Heart" ..... The Irishman.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,818 Posts
I also like the scene where the point of arrow goes through the Irishman's shield and he looks at Gipson and says he's talked with the almighty was told "We're pretty well F%^*)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,651 Posts
Wonder if the outside entrance would interfere with lawn mowing and trimming right near it . and general building maintenance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Wonder if the outside entrance would interfere with lawn mowing and trimming right near it . and general building maintenance
They do have shrubs around the outside of the building, so lawnmowers won't get too close. But then you have those gardeners that will be trimming those shrubs..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Sorry if this got long, but hope some of this will help. OHs in public spaces really do draw attention and are great for educating the general public, if done right.

I currently maintain 3 OHs (Home, office and a museum) for over 7 years. The home and office hives are used each Jan for our state farm show. They are set up with a wire cage for the bees to be able to carry out the dead and go back to a normal activity in the OH. They are set up for just over a week. One year I set one up in an assisted living facility for the month of Feb with the "bee run" attached. It worked well, but it was winter (don't think it would work as well in spring and summer).

The one in the museum is in it's 4th year. It is 4 medium frames. Some issues to consider....

1. As was said before you will have to take it out to service it. When you do, NO bees can escape or you will be trying to catch that bee or bees for a while....especially if they have high ceilings. That will freak people out. I have made a slide setup that closes quickly and allows no bees to escape....I have removed the OH with kids standing beside me watching.....NO escapees!!

2. Keeping another hive on premises would be great but not always feasible. At the museum we have made 2 identical OHs. When there is a need to make changes, I will put new bees in the empty one and just go in and exchange the OH. Bring the other OH home and deal with it in my home apiary. If you do service it there, you will have to be sure there are no bees hiding in vents or on you when you bring it back inside.

3. Exit / entrance would be nice to be able to drill through a wall or door or window frame....Took years for the museum to decide to allow us to drill through their brick wall, but it has worked very well. I have drilled through the window sash (works well if it is of the old wide type sash). Adding the block in the window means you have to stuff foam or something between the upper and lower windows, plus will have to block the window in some way, since it will no longer lock as it was made to do when closed.

4. The exit tube can be an issue, mostly in the winter. In the winter, cold air flows into the hive through the tube. Our tube at the museum is about 3 feet long. The hive was lost one Dec because the bees could not carry the dead out those 3 feet of cold tubing, so they dropped them in the exit tubing (the exit goes out the bottom of the OH). The bees piled up and blocked the exit. Then the bees freaked, overheated and died in just a day or so. Fixed this with a catch bottle directly below the exit (has worked well for past 2 winters). Even short tubes can clog in the winter when the tube is wet from condensate and the dead bees being removed stick and pile up.

Please do not be discouraged by any of this, just trying to pass on my mistakes and solutions to save you time and energy. In the end when the staff tells you that "Mary", who never leaves her room, now must come out every morning to find the Queen, makes it all worth while......Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Sorry if this got long, but hope some of this will help. OHs in public spaces really do draw attention and are great for educating the general public, if done right.

I currently maintain 3 OHs (Home, office and a museum) for over 7 years. The home and office hives are used each Jan for our state farm show. They are set up with a wire cage for the bees to be able to carry out the dead and go back to a normal activity in the OH. They are set up for just over a week. One year I set one up in an assisted living facility for the month of Feb with the "bee run" attached. It worked well, but it was winter (don't think it would work as well in spring and summer).

The one in the museum is in it's 4th year. It is 4 medium frames. Some issues to consider....

1. As was said before you will have to take it out to service it. When you do, NO bees can escape or you will be trying to catch that bee or bees for a while....especially if they have high ceilings. That will freak people out. I have made a slide setup that closes quickly and allows no bees to escape....I have removed the OH with kids standing beside me watching.....NO escapees!!

2. Keeping another hive on premises would be great but not always feasible. At the museum we have made 2 identical OHs. When there is a need to make changes, I will put new bees in the empty one and just go in and exchange the OH. Bring the other OH home and deal with it in my home apiary. If you do service it there, you will have to be sure there are no bees hiding in vents or on you when you bring it back inside.

3. Exit / entrance would be nice to be able to drill through a wall or door or window frame....Took years for the museum to decide to allow us to drill through their brick wall, but it has worked very well. I have drilled through the window sash (works well if it is of the old wide type sash). Adding the block in the window means you have to stuff foam or something between the upper and lower windows, plus will have to block the window in some way, since it will no longer lock as it was made to do when closed.

4. The exit tube can be an issue, mostly in the winter. In the winter, cold air flows into the hive through the tube. Our tube at the museum is about 3 feet long. The hive was lost one Dec because the bees could not carry the dead out those 3 feet of cold tubing, so they dropped them in the exit tubing (the exit goes out the bottom of the OH). The bees piled up and blocked the exit. Then the bees freaked, overheated and died in just a day or so. Fixed this with a catch bottle directly below the exit (has worked well for past 2 winters). Even short tubes can clog in the winter when the tube is wet from condensate and the dead bees being removed stick and pile up.

Please do not be discouraged by any of this, just trying to pass on my mistakes and solutions to save you time and energy. In the end when the staff tells you that "Mary", who never leaves her room, now must come out every morning to find the Queen, makes it all worth while......Jim
"God Save the Queen!"
Thank you, Sir!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Does the home have large picture windows? I made a design that is physically attached to the outside of a window. There's nothing to carry outside. Search for my thread titled WindOH. It's really easy to work. There's an insulated, hinged door like a cabinet door on the outside face. There's an album linked in the first post. I have more pics if you're interested. It resolved a lot of issues for me. The downside is that you only see one face of frames but you still get to see a lot.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top