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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why aren't observation windows more common in Langstroth hives? I understand why commercial beekeepers don't need/want them, but for hobbyists/backyard beekeepers, it is a great tool for demonstrating to guests the wonders of beekeeping, and is also helpful to check simple things like progress drawing comb without disturbing the hive.
 

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I assume you are talking about putting glass/plastic in place of an inner cover? Ventilation would be a concern. Cracking or breaking the glass / plastic when removing after the bees get it all glued down. I find that I can pop the cover off and check the progress pretty easily without getting the too upset. Guests are pretty rare that want to get that close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I mean windows like what are offered on Warre and Top bar hives. I also find that it gets guests to feel more comfortable with bees. My bees are at my lake house, so I get very popular in the summer.
 

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If they were put on the front or back of the hive, I suspect the frame sidebars would block the view of the bees working on the comb. All you would see is the frame side bars, with maybe an occasional bee. If you put them on the side, you would be able to see the outside face of the outside comb, which is usually a honey store frame. I don't think it would be as interesting as the window in a TBH or Warre.
 

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Yeah, its a lot of extra work for not much return on your investment.

Now don't get us wrong, there are observation hives that are specially designed just for this "watch your bees work" kind of thing, but they're a lot more work to put together than a simple lang box.

So yeah, its either have a regular working hive for honey production/pollination, or an observation hive that just looks cool but isn't much good for harvesting. The two don't really seem to mix well.
 

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Bees want the hive dark.
The window will be propolized by the bees.
Glass forms condensation more readily.
Guests love to tap on the glass without the bees tapping back.
Show them a video with sound, or put them in a suit and really share the experience.
 

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I tried this with an old hive when I started keeping bees, you really can't see anything since the bees don't work next to the window much. I had a window on the side and one in the end but the bees didn't work next to the windows enough to make it worthwhile. If you want to see the dynamics of the hive you'll need an OB hive.
 

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Bees want the hive dark.
The window will be propolized by the bees.
Glass forms condensation more readily.
Guests love to tap on the glass without the bees tapping back.
Show them a video with sound, or put them in a suit and really share the experience.
Well I would assume one would be smart enough to put a cover over the window to keep it dark whenever you weren't actively trying to look through it.
 

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Something I've wondered about is if there will eventually be technology to let us monitor the inside of a hive. It could probably be done now. You could have temperature sensors if you are worried about heat or cold. Infrared cameras, if small enough, could send images by wireless. The first problem I see would be the bees covering lenses and sensors with propolis. Just one of the random ideas that crosses my mind. But it wouldn't surprise me if "hive imaging" is eventually a term that enters our lexicon.
 

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There was a "Book Hive" which someone built to be able to observe each comb. Was that Huber perhaps?

I don't know what one would be able to see through a window on the side or end of a Langstroth type beehive other than bees crawling around. Build an observation hive. Then people will really be able to see what bees do.
 
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