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I am thinking about building an observation hive. The plan I think I have decided on takes two frames. Only one is visible through the glass. The other is below. Question is: I have read that you can remove frames from the hive for about two days. Anyone do this? Which frames do you remove? Do you do anything in the hive when you remove them?
Thanks.
 

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We use a portable observation hive for club events all the time. The ones we have are a single deep, double medium, and a triple medium. I've pulled frames from a colony on a Friday morning and returned the bees on Sunday morning. That's about the longest I can remember having them out. As I'm typically pulling the frames from a nuc I include the queen along with frames that have some stores, open cells for her to lay in, and brood in all stages. Some club members won't include the queen if the bees are coming from a larger colony but still attempt to provide frames that provide an example of what is going on inside a colony. In a nuc I leave the empty spaces, in a larger colony I would add frames to keep unwanted comb from being constructed.

OH's are great teaching tools, crowd drawing devices and something for us beeks to look at during the lulls while manning the booth at the local event.

Pete0
Bena, VA
 

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pete, when you take an OH to an event, are the bees trapped inside the whole time? and if so, what type of ventelation would be needed?
I'm guessing indoors wouldn't be too much of a problem, but what about outdoors?
 

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Yes, bees are trapped inside. There are 4 ventilation holes, 2 top and 2 bottom, that are about 1-1/2 inches in diameter on the 1 and 2 frame OH's. The 3 framer has 2 additional ones on the side. On the 2 framer there is an extention off the bottom frame that is fitted for a feeder jar. On the 1 and 3 framers the bees are watered or given syrup through one of the vent holes. All these are wired with #8 hardware cloth, bees can't get out but plenty of ventilation. As always, by the evening of the second day there are a few dead bees in the bottom and poop on the glass. We have cardboard covers that are fitted to cover the glass when the OH is not on display (glass = plexiglas). Amazing how on approaching an OH full of active bees that the first thing a kid will say when they come up to an OH - "look at the dead bee!"

Pete0
Bena, VA
 

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read "observation hives" by thomas webster. your library can get it from another library if they dont have a copy. good luck,mike
 
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