21 - 40 of 41 Posts

#### grozzie2

·
##### Registered
35
Joined
·
1,952 Posts
But 2-1/4" just looks too big:
A frame is 1 3/8. Bee space is 3/8, and you want it on both sides of the frame. 1 3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8 = 2 1/8. Seems about exactly where your ruler is.

#### IAmTheWaterbug

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
A frame is 1 3/8. Bee space is 3/8, and you want it on both sides of the frame. 1 3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8 = 2 1/8. Seems about exactly where your ruler is.
A frame is 1-3/8" wide at its widest point, but the bees don't draw comb out to the widest point. Otherwise, if we butted two frames against each other, there would be no bee space between them. There would be no space at all.

If we assume that there _is_ bee space between two adjacent frames, then the bees must draw the comb out to a width of 1". That leaves 3/16" on either side, so two frames butted up against each other will each have 3/16" of space, leaving 2 x 3/16" = 3/8" of space between the combs.

Does that sound correct?

So if the comb is drawn to a width of 1", and we want a full 3/8" bee space on either side, then the glass pieces should be 1-3/4" apart.

Michael Bush appears to have done the same math:

1 3/4" is just the right amount of space between the glass for an observation hive. 1 7/8" is ok.

#### brushwoodnursery

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
How long will it take them to burr up the inside face? Will there be so many bees up there with the extra space that it makes it hard to see eggs, larvae and maybe even the queen? Better spacing is probably worth the switch to a correct one. This is killing me because I had a brand new one from Mann Lake in my hands a month ago and I didn't measure it.

#### grozzie2

·
##### Registered
35
Joined
·
1,952 Posts
A frame is 1-3/8" wide at its widest point, but the bees don't draw comb out to the widest point. Otherwise, if we butted two frames against each other, there would be no bee space between them. There would be no space at all.
This is what happens when one responds, with math, before finishing that first cup of coffee, miss the details and get the wrong answer.....

#### IAmTheWaterbug

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
How long will it take them to burr up the inside face? Will there be so many bees up there with the extra space that it makes it hard to see eggs, larvae and maybe even the queen? Better spacing is probably worth the switch to a correct one. This is killing me because I had a brand new one from Mann Lake in my hands a month ago and I didn't measure it.
I sent a message last night to Mann Lake asking about 1) the exact clear space between the glass, and 2) whether or not a frame feeder is included. I hope to get an answer, soon.

Assuming that answers are good, I'll probably buy the Mann Lake one and return the Brushy Mountain one. But I'll wait until the ML arrives before I put the BM one in the return mail, so I can compare them side-by-side, with photos.

·
Joined
·
281 Posts
ThumbsUpIcon!

·
Joined
·
1,281 Posts

#### brushwoodnursery

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
I've heard it both ways.

#### IAmTheWaterbug

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
I sent a message last night to Mann Lake asking about 1) the exact clear space between the glass, and 2) whether or not a frame feeder is included. I hope to get an answer, soon.

Assuming that answers are good, I'll probably buy the Mann Lake one and return the Brushy Mountain one. But I'll wait until the ML arrives before I put the BM one in the return mail, so I can compare them side-by-side, with photos.
They never answered my email, but they answered the phone right away. :scratch: Must be old school.

Anyway, there definitely is _no_ frame feeder included, but as mentioned on the last page, the queen excluder is built in.

So I put a feeder in my cart for \$7.95 and ordered the Mann Lake hive.

The guy on the phone measured the clear space between the glass at 2-1/2", which is even worse than the Brushy Mountain model, but I'll have to just try it out and then see if I can fix it if it's a problem.

Ordered!

(and BM agreed to take back my damaged hive)

#### IAmTheWaterbug

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
So a big thumbs-up on the Mann Lake hive. I got to compare the two, side-by-side, and ML wins, hands-down:

Other than the bee space issue, the only improvement I'd make to the ML hive is I'd put the latches for the top cover on the vertical ends, like it is on the BM version, so that I can screw a handle to the top of the lid and lift the whole hive with it.

As ML hive works now, attempting to lift the hive by the top cover causes stress on those latches perpendicular to their design.

#### brushwoodnursery

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to do this!

#### Nightgardener

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Thanks for the in depth review, Waterbug. I was looking for information about the Mann Lake hive, and got confused by the earlier reviews in this thread. Looks like they paid attention to the criticisms from earlier posters and updated their design. Which says a lot about their business practices, when you think about it! I'm definitely going for the Mann Lake version. To the defense of Brushy Mountain, shipping damage can happen. I didn't watch the video where you're talking about the packaging, so it's possible that they messed that up. In any case, thanks again for taking to share this information with the rest of us; I'm ordering my observation hive today!

#### Michael Bush

·
##### Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,990 Posts
The Ulster is more of a temporary place to put the queen while at a farmer's market etc. The bees won't build much on the glass. When you have bees in a observation hive permanently the space is important to prevent a lot of burr on the glass. or to allow you to put a drawn brood comb into the observation hive without the honey getting smashed against the glass.

#### Nightgardener

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Thanks for the comment, Michael. Yes, I realize that this is not designed to keep bees permanently. This is my first year in keeping bees, and my reasoning was that I would use the Ulster Hive as a learning tool for myself. Who knows, if I get bitten by the bug (or stung) I might end up making some YouTube videos. So it was more of an impulse buy, and I would probably have been wiser to spend the money on another regular hive. Like I said, I'm a newbie, so this might be a silly question, but I should be able to use the Ulster Hive as a short time nuc, right? Or for transporting bees if I buy I buy more bees from another beekeeper? A little clunkier than a nuc, of course, but from my newbie perspective this is essentially just a nuc with an observation window attached to it!

#### Michael Bush

·
##### Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,990 Posts
>Ulster Hive as a short time nuc, right?

The problem with it outside is controling the temperature in the queen portion of the hive. If you put them down in the nuc and not in the "queen" portion this isn't so much of a problem. If you keep them inside, then the issue is that things could be going badly and you can't see what is happening in that bottom box.

>Or for transporting bees if I buy I buy more bees from another beekeeper?

Of course. Any nuc can be used for transporting bees.

#### Nightgardener

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
>Ulster Hive as a short time nuc, right?

The problem with it outside is controling the temperature in the queen portion of the hive. If you put them down in the nuc and not in the "queen" portion this isn't so much of a problem. If you keep them inside, then the issue is that things could be going badly and you can't see what is happening in that bottom box.
Well, that makes sense. The more I learn the more I realize that these are not meant for permanent placement of bees. I have a book where the author keeps a (different type) observation hive inside and the bees leave via a plastic tube through the windowsill. It looks pretty neat, but it seems like an almost guaranteed swarming situation, which something I want to avoid, especially in my first year. So I'll probably take your advice and use it for short term study, only, and for transportation, if needed. Thanks again!

#### Michael Bush

·
##### Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,990 Posts
I think every beekeeper should have an observation hive in their house and you should let them swarm at least once so you can watch it happen. Normally you can avoid it. You can see everything that is happening in a one frame deep observation hive so if you let them swarm it's because you're not paying attention.

#### brushwoodnursery

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Totally agree! I've learned so much from them.

#### Nightgardener

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I think every beekeeper should have an observation hive in their house and you should let them swarm at least once so you can watch it happen. Normally you can avoid it. You can see everything that is happening in a one frame deep observation hive so if you let them swarm it's because you're not paying attention.
I think that sounds like good advice in general, but I'd like to have a couple of years of experience under my belt before I try this. We live in an apartment, and I'm not sure if my girlfriend would appreciate having a hive indoors! I want her to have a good experience with me keeping bees! There is a possibility I could do something in our basement storage room, which has a window to the outside. However, to begin with I might just bring in a frame now and then from the outside to see if I can learn something. This first year I only have one hive in our yard, and if it turns out I really enjoy keeping bees, I'll be setting up a few more hives next spring on some land that's recently become available to me. Thank you kindly for your comments, though; much appreciated!

#### IAmTheWaterbug

·
##### Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Other than the bee space issue, the only improvement I'd make to the ML hive is I'd put the latches for the top cover on the vertical ends, like it is on the BM version, so that I can screw a handle to the top of the lid and lift the whole hive with it.

As ML hive works now, attempting to lift the hive by the top cover causes stress on those latches perpendicular to their design.
So I finally put this to use back in June, putting a small captured swarm into it for a presentation to my son's youth service club. In general it worked very well, but with a few niggling faults that I may try to remedy during idle time this winter:

1. As mentioned previously, I like handles on everything.
• So I put a handle on it, right in the middle of the top cover:
• But when I lift up on it, it's lifting perpendicular to the latches, so the top cover comes up about 1/8":
• Two bees wriggled out as I was handling the OH, which cause some mild panic amongst the audience. But the bees went straight to the living room window and stayed there, which made for a nice opportunity to talk about not panicking when you see a bee.
• After putting the hive back into the their normal home, I could see that repeated lifting of the hive by this handles causes bees to get squished:
• I think some 3/16" weather stripping under the top cover, along the edges, might prevent bees from escaping and getting squished.
• But it doesn't fix the structural problem of stressing the latches 90-degrees off of their design axis. Ideally I'd like to have the ends of the top cover come out to the edge of the box, and then have the latches placed vertically, as they were with the Brushy Mountain design. Then the handle would lift along the proper axis relative to the latches. It wasn't a big deal with a small swarm, but if it were up and running for a few weeks, with 10 lbs of stored food, I wouldn't have so much confidence in the latches.
2. The gap between the plexiglass panels is definitely more than bee space.
• After being in here for less than 48 hours, they'd already started building comb where I don't want it:
• I'd like to reduce that gap by 3/16" on either side. I'm still uncertain how I can do that without rebuilding the entire hive.

I'd still recommend this hive for most users, especially for very temporary use like this, but I'm definitely going to put in the weather stripping before bringing bees to a school presentation!

21 - 40 of 41 Posts