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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any clever setups for bee morgues for large observation hives? We setup a lower exit for our 12 frame observation hive so the bees could have an easier time exiting the building and cleaning the dead bees out during the winter, but it seems that they still have some trouble in that they have to carry the corpses through the tube and it is about 2 feet of travel. They seem to give up on carrying them and end up leaving the dead ones halfway along the tube...over time they get enough stacked up that it starts to block the tube. I've seen some observation hives with a jar type morgue/debri setup and I made one from my vague memory of the ones I've seen, but looking for ideas.......
 

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I've often thought that an observation hive could be designed having extra space a good distance below the bottom frames. Dead bees could fall into the bottom space and perhaps the morgue bees would not go down there to try to retrieve the dead. If the space had a tray, the dead could be removed by the beekeeper from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think your right, a tray underneath is the way to go...something like a plastic drywall mud tub with flat tab handles on the end that run in slides. I think I'd rough up the inside of it a little so that bees that do go down there can crawl back out. Before we put our second observation hive in service we are going to modify it with a debri tray underneath. I think 3/8 or 1/2" hardware cloth will be the answer for screening it (1/8" too small for debri, 1/4" may not allow dead bees to fall thru...so I think the bigger mesh will allow debri and dead to fall while discouraging them from building burr comb down.
 

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I think your right, a tray underneath is the way to go...something like a plastic drywall mud tub with flat tab handles on the end that run in slides. I think I'd rough up the inside of it a little so that bees that do go down there can crawl back out. Before we put our second observation hive in service we are going to modify it with a debri tray underneath. I think 3/8 or 1/2" hardware cloth will be the answer for screening it (1/8" too small for debri, 1/4" may not allow dead bees to fall thru...so I think the bigger mesh will allow debri and dead to fall while discouraging them from building burr comb down.
Yes, one of those mud tubs would be perfect if long enough and roughened. Good idea. I like the idea of screening. Actually the one I have has screening. 1/2". Bees have to crawl down through the screen to access the open space on one end of which is the round opening leading to the exit tube. I think the screen was added to prevent the bees from drawing the lowest frames of comb ALL THE WAY down into that space. If they did, that would defeat the purpose of the space as a collection point. So, screening is good.
 

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In my observation hive I have a couple inch hole drilled through the bottom 2x4 with plexiglass and one screw. The bees drop the dead ones in when needed I loosen the screw swing it out of the way dead bees fall out. I also saw it with a mason jar lid cut open and screw to the bottom of the hive. Screw the jar on to the lid when needed unscrew the jar and clean it out. I liked the jar idea better a little more room but my hive is on a lazy Susan and the jar hit the base.
 

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In my observation hive I have a couple inch hole drilled through the bottom 2x4 with plexiglass and one screw. The bees drop the dead ones in when needed I loosen the screw swing it out of the way dead bees fall out. I also saw it with a mason jar lid cut open and screw to the bottom of the hive. Screw the jar on to the lid when needed unscrew the jar and clean it out. I liked the jar idea better a little more room but my hive is on a lazy Susan and the jar hit the base.
Cool. But do you mean the bees will drop the dead into a hole instead of removing the dead out the front entrance?
 

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i Find bees use both the entrance tube and into hole. The bee will drop them in and if I don't clean the dead ones out within a week they seam to then drag them into the entrance tube
 
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