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Observation Hive build


I’ve just completed my Tasmanian Oak 8 frame observation hive.

The main body sits on a pivoting frame that hangs from the shed wall and is secured with cupboard Allen screw fittings.

It was important that the hive body was easily removable from the frame, six Allen key screws all accessible from the outside and that the hive was kept “clean” without having gate hinges attached to it so it can be placed into a display stand for markets or school projects etc.
The doors are 4mm toughened glass rebated into the frames to give me 10mm beespace, 4mm was chosen to keep weight down and 4mm is the minimum you can get toughened, each pane weighs 4.6kg keeping the door weight around 5kg, total empty weight is around 15kg.
Glass was chosen over Perspex for clarity and cleaning.
The exit is positioned in the chicken yard next to the shed window, so as I’m working at the bench I’ll have a good view of them
Venting involved a lot of head scratching with my final thought being, better too much than not enough, they’ll propilise anything they don’t want.
It’ll be at least a month before I’ve built up my other hives enough to populate this one unless I pick up a swarm.
All in all, for a very novice woodworker I’m pleased how it came out.


You should be well proud with the results and it is well thought out Brad. Looking forward to seeing some pics when it is underway with bees. A ripper job.


Thank you Peter, it certainly stretched my abilities and involved hours of sitting and staring trying to figure the next step out :grin:


I think we all pleased with your effort. Well done.

I know the feeling. I always seem to take the most complicated, truncated way to start then find it doesn’t work well,:upside_down_face: so I change and usually get it right.:thinking::thinking:


It’s mental chess, thinking five moves in advance-“if I drill a hole here, is it going to interfere with…” my head hurts :joy:


But in the end you have new skills and the brain exercise and patience you put into the job is worth gold to you. If the bees like it I would patent it, think of the educational value, for scientific research, you have made something bigger than you realize.


Awesome job. Thought you are a professional. Gives me hope.


Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated. :+1:t2:


Actually, you are an inspiration and after assembling plenty of hives and having now learned to use power tools in combination with a good geometric sense, I reckon I will have a go too.
Never mind I’m a grandmother of many girls, they are VERY interested. Thanks @Brad13.
I love sitting in my beelab pondering, taking notes and working out beek related solutions.
Glad I’m semi retired, so my observation hive is not all that far away. Using hubby’s man shed for the wood work.
Busso also is an inspiration, being a couple of years older than me, he just keeps building for his bees.
As Peter says, hefting hives keeps you exercised, and I reckon building observation hives does too.


I thank you Ma’am for those fine words.


That’s fantastic. It’s certainly never too late to learn.
The chook house you see in the background I built earlier this year with little more than a circular saw, cordless drill and hand tools, more than thirty years after I last did any woodwork-in high school.
It awoke a pleasure for building out of wood in me and has given me much enjoyment this year, be warned though, Bunnings has become my second home and has filled my shed with new power tools :roll_eyes:
YouTube is a wonderful learning tool and can give you the confidence to try things that you’ve thought impossible.
Good luck and I look forward to seeing photos of your project in future.


Nice work :slight_smile: I thought you may have put a Flow Frame in there.
I saw an observation hive similar but with a Flow Frame here:


I DID think about it but the dimension differences required beat me.


It looks like you are running 2 side by side, and the one above uses 1 standard Langstroth frame to 1 Flow Frame.
Our dimensions are here:


Maybe next time :thinking: who knows.


I have a saying. “never start a new project unless it involves the purchase of a new tool” :sunglasses:


I like the way you think.
I’ve bought quite a few Ozito tools which are the “home brand” of Bunnings, they’re satisfactory but as I’m getting more involved in projects I’m looking for more precise measurements and cuts which costs $$$ so I’m slowly upgrading.
I’m fast running out of room in the shed though :roll_eyes:


Take a leaf out of @busso’s book then, and build a bigger shed! :smile:


Edit: build another bigger shed.:wink::grinning::grinning:


Quality tools/machine are costly but I have found they last longer , easier to use and are more accurate. Over their lifetime they are cost effective.

I always find that it is better to pop out and buy the tool/machine which may be expensive :smirk: then tell SWMBO.:rage::face_with_symbols_over_mouth: To tell first, usually ends with the purchase not being made.:unamused::cry::cry: