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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

Sorry to do this, but I need to ask some basic, dumb questions.

I sell honey on our local farmers market, once every two weeks from May to October and I thought it would be great to have a movable observation hive to take along and display.

My way of approach was to build one like this: OH-1.jpg and set frames in when the market is and return them after in to the same position in the donor hive.

Initially, this sounded simple and easy to me but the more I read the less simple it feels.

Can I do it this way or would this be my dumbest move yet?

Your help would be much appreciated.

Joerg
 

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It´s much easier to take a nice honey comb and let the people taste this and the bees will say thank you to stay at home.
Take some information flyers with you.
:)
 

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Were you planning on including a queen in your market display box?

If you remove the queen from the parent hive, there may be issues later reintroducing the queen, or the parent hive may decide to start queen cells in her absence. And you may find that spotting the queen in your market display box is a favorite game for your younger market visitors, so if there isn't a queen present, they may be disappointed.

Choices! :p
 

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The idea of the Ulster hive is that you maintain it as a nuc and just move the queen up into the glassed area before you go to a show. Move her back down when you get back. You CAN steal frames out of a colony, but it's more work to find the queen etc. Why not just start a nuc for that?
 

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Were you planning on including a queen in your market display box?

If you remove the queen from the parent hive, there may be issues later reintroducing the queen, or the parent hive may decide to start queen cells in her absence. And you may find that spotting the queen in your market display box is a favorite game for your younger market visitors, so if there isn't a queen present, they may be disappointed.

Choices! :p
A bunch of years ago, my kids and I were at a Louisiana State Fair, captivated by an observation hive on display. There was a big ol' queen waddling around two frames, over and through the other bees, prominently marked with a blob of paint. While we were there, someone else stopped by, obviously more familiar with bees than me. He called out the beekeeper and said this isn't a queen, it's a painted drone! The beekeeper then explained that he didn't like disrupting his good hives too much by pulling the queen out all day, and that it was bad enough pulling and reintroducing the frames he used for display. It was a funny, light hearted exchange, and then we got a short class on the differences between drones and queens and other interesting hive facts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello and thank you already.

As I thought, more answers = more questions.

I am not an old beek, well I am getting old, but not by beek's knowledge and the 'Nuc's' put fear in my head. What to do with the nuc in October, not enough to live, but to much to die.

My thought was to use super frames, I know, no queen - no fun, but better than messing it all up, brood boxes I mean. I normally don't use queen excluders, but would set one hive up with on,so the frames would be out from 5.00 - 8.00, 3 hrs.

One believes what one see's.

Joerg
 

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Michael Bush is right (loads of experience). Run it as a nuc and balance the population as long as practical. When you feel it's getting late, let them build or combine them with another light colony. Then if you still have more shows, take a single frame with bees in the top and block off the passage to the nuc part so the population stays up in the visible part. When they ask where the queen is, it will be a good conversation starter. I've done this.
By the way, they say you can/should drop a division board feeder in there when you move the frame up. That can get sloshy. Also, don't let it sit in the sun. It's a greenhouse with those glass panels.
 

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I have multiple nucs in my yard so that I can "pick on them" for use in my observation hive. Never had a problem reintroducing the queen back to the small colony and I have kept them out for as long as 3 days for an event. I do like to add a QMP lure into the nuc while it is queenless to keep them happy (and they don't build queen cells).

And if you do take an observation hive, always take the queen. that is the one thing the kids know to ask about and were very disappointed the one time I took it without one. You also get the fun of watching the queen lay eggs in the cells.

I did build a nuc with windows onn all 4 sides but that was really heavy, so I stick with my first model that holds 2 bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I guess I have to start to learn that too (Nuc's). It never ends :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
More questions. I looked for some answers on building nucs, but could not find answers to my questions.

Why build a special nuc box and not use a normal box divided off for five frames plus frame feeder? If the divider is removable, it could be converted to a normal BB anytime.
 

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I would avoid the idea like the plague. the reason is simple, you would need to vent it to keep bees from overheating. Vented hive handy and honey in the area means bees will visit... as cool as a OB hive is, wild bees buzzing your table WILL effect your sales.

When we do shows we take great pains to kill any wild foragers on the first trip, most of our shows do last more than a few hours though.
 

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gmcharlie- I had a small number of foragers visit my OH at a fair recently. When they can't get honey, they go away. While they visited, I stroked one on the back a little. It was a great conversation starter about honey bees and the nature and conditions of the defensive reaction. One of the kids even touched one of them. Eyes were opened. I think if any of the public had seen me killing bees they would have been appalled. I understand why you'd kill them and that it's not a big factor for a colony but it's a lot harder to explain when the public hears "save the bees" all the time now.

Biermann- as long as you set up the box correctly for the number of frames, it should work. You could pull all 5 and place them into the Ulster each time or even go with 6 frames if doing it that way. I don't have a separate box for them. I keep all 5 in the bottom when not in use and place an inner cover and telescoping cover over the bottom of it when I'm not taking it out. The top section stays cleaner that way, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hello,

I am back at this for planning purpose and have more questions:

Combination of two 1/2 boxes, so they each would be max. 8 1/8" wide, minus 1 1/2" for each 1/2 box walls = 6 5/8" for frame space,but each frame is 1 3/8, so five frames wont fit, only four with space.

Next issue: My frame feeders are 2 3/8', so if I install one, I only have room for two frames, but not three. Are smaller (more narrow) frame feeders being build?

Cheers, Joerg
 

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It is my suggestion that your observation hive have a frame of honey rather than a frame feeder. Honey frames do not slosh, splash, or spill.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I should clarify this a little.

The plan is to build two 'multi housing units' if possible, usable as nuc's with proper lids and four or five frames and for this it would be ideal to have a small feeder that would make things much easier, particularly late April/early May when nectar & pollen are still low. The two units should fit on a normal brood box, perhaps with reversed entrances.

I also like to be able to use one at the time as display hive / ObH, moving one frame up, preferably with the queen and set all back in the evening.

Joerg
 
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