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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my latest "non-standard" hive. I love using observation hives to educate the general public on bees. I've seen a couple larger "colony hives" from somewhere over in Europe, but here in the USA, we need to have "removable, inspect-able" combs. This is my design to be an affordable, movable hive. (my topbar combs have a really solid attachment to the bar, so they can stand a one hour trip in the car with no issue). The blue insulation is what will be used to keep out the light when the hive is not on display.

Property Shade Building House Gazebo


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Shed Roof Birdhouse Building House
 

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That design looks really neat, the bees can built to their own shape and such as well. But, how do you keep them from building burr comb all over the place? There is such an excessive "bee space" around the outside, seems like they'd start building all over like crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hocdkeyfan, if I were adding a package of bees to an empty cylindrical hive as this, I'd be very concerned about brood comb. But the way this one will work is that the 8 bars will be drawn out in a double medium hive, with the combs that will be transferred over. That way, I know the combs are well attached to the topbars and the "edges" have been established. Rarely do I see where the bees want to add more comb to the edges once that is established, and I've not had them go past 22" long either, even with side supports (I know they can because I've seen cutouts from houses).

Burr comb seems to be established if they feel the comb is not secure. And if they do build some, the bottom opens up and I'll be able to trim it away. The main point of this hive is customer education and letting them get up close to a full cluster of bees. There have been a few other larger cluster hives that seem to do ok without attaching comb to the glass/plastic.

This one is someone over in Europe.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the bees made it through the Virginia winter and have done very well this spring. We cleaned up the plexiglass in late Feb 2021 and replaced the queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now it is waiting for the Oct 2021 meeting of the Virginia State Beekeepers in Smithfield. I recently completed a full inspection where I trimmed the comb back and pulled out all the bars. I loaded those videos to youtube. Here are just a couple of photos from that inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is a short recap after it was all done.

This is a longer video of the comb trimming but the first 2 min shows how the side panel come off and the top lifts out

This video is when I am pulling out the topbars and then putting them all back. The comb is about 20" long.
 
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