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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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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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I couldn't find anything that fit my current situation so here I am making my first post! If I overlooked a duplicate or similar thread I apologize!

I am looking for a creative and ideally tested solution to dead bees in the hive. We have 11 traditional hives and took on an observational hive with the intent of using the queen to replace one in the bee yard. We instead kept the hive in our enclosed porch and have been enjoying it a lot, however, as the weather has changed (we are in new england) there seems to be an issue with dead bees accumulating inside the hive. There is a still a very strong population in the hive, with brood to hatch, the queen is actually still laying a little bit. Up until now the dead bees may be in there a day or so before being removed but over the past couple of days there is now 30+ and there is no activity in the exit tube. I anticipate if they are resistant to removing them now the hive will be a couple mess by christmas or sooner.

The hive is screwed together and there are no movable pieces at the bottom. The only ideas I have come up with so far are:

Remove the exit tube when the bees are clustered and use a pipe cleaner to "fish out" the deads. I worry that removing the tube will irritate the bees and I will be struggling to get any out without letting live bees out too.

Use a plastic pipe snake lined with double sided tape, serpentine through tube and hope to "grab" any dead bees with the sticky tape. The hose is kind of S or Z shaped, this will probably be futile and frustrating.

Carefully use a vacuum to suck them out with someone watching the hive to ensure the suction doesn't grab the live ones too. The vacuum noise and suction will likely really them off but would also probably be the fastest and most effective method.

It is too late in the season to do any real alterations or retrofit the hive. What I need is a solution that works for the setup I have. I would love any suggestions, and if I can figure out how I will post a picture for better reference. Thanks!
 

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For my round observation hive, I found it best to have a removable screened floor. I did have to replace that this weekend as I set off a robbing event that resulted in the death of hundreds of bees. Normally, they will just shove the dead out the small hole in the bottom but there were too many for the clean up crew.
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I have a canning ring mounted to the bottom opening for the bees to push the dead ones into when it is on "show" but the glass jar needs to be opaque or the live bees think it is a way to get out. (sorry, no photo of that one). I do have an entire FB group if you want to see more photos and videos on this original hive my dad built for me. Log in to Facebook
 

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For my round observation hive, I found it best to have a removable screened floor. I did have to replace that this weekend as I set off a robbing event that resulted in the death of hundreds of bees. Normally, they will just shove the dead out the small hole in the bottom but there were too many for the clean up crew.
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I have a canning ring mounted to the bottom opening for the bees to push the dead ones into when it is on "show" but the glass jar needs to be opaque or the live bees think it is a way to get out. (sorry, no photo of that one). I do have an entire FB group if you want to see more photos and videos on this original hive my dad built for me. Log in to Facebook
Thank You so much for your reply! I think I have a good plan now, just needed your help with the inspiration!
 
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