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Observation Hive build


I had a medical colleague who was in the US Navy. He frequently said that in the military “it is always better to ask forgiveness, rather than ask permission”. :smile:


I love that motto. Surely better to have a happy hubby with his new bit of kit and explain he went to the sore for a few screws and say the $300 piece of kit he always wanted but snapped it up as it was on special. Don’t forget the bunch of flowers, that way you might just get away with a black eye. Buy quality, it is worth it. @Brad13
Cheers :white_flower::hibiscus:


After a week of opening and closing the doors and pivoting the whole setup I’ve picked up a couple of issues with regards to keeping bee space.
I cut the depth of the frame rest rebates too deep which allowed too much lateral movement of the frames, thereby increasing space on one end while decreasing it on the other. Some 3mm acrylic sheet on each shelf sorted this out.

I also found the frames shifting side to side very easily. Original plan was to chop up ice cream sticks and glue them as stops but every time I tried they either split when I tried cutting them with scissors or shot off , never to be seen again when I hit them with a mallet and chisel.
In the end I used a small router bit in the Dremel and rebated the rebate.
It’s only a mm or 2 deep but holds them in quite well (although when the girls start propilising it could make life interesting)
I’m glad I found these issues before I got bees in there and I thought you could keep these in the back of your mind for your build as it would be a lot better to have this done before glueing and screwing (or avoid them completely by planning better than I did :roll_eyes:).


A bit sooner that expected, I’ve got bees into my observation hive courtesy of a condensing of my 5frame hive.
One of the first things I’m interested in seeing is whether they uncap and dispose of the drone brood.
The other is watching a queen develop and hatch. I’ve put the eggs facing outwards towards the glass so hopefully I can watch the entire process.


You should sure get a lot of enjoyment, as well as enlightenment.
What a great project.


Not “hatch”. Emerge!


Wow, really cool :fireworks:

Now all you need is one of those video cameras that records over time, and then gives a timelapse in a few minutes.


I am sure if the bees were recorded in Super Slow Motion we would all learn something and enjoy seeing it. A lot of DSLR camera have that facility so how about it @Brad13 :thinking:, you could do it in-between you wood working projects:wink:


A queen has emerged. :grinning:


Regards Bunnings power tools Brad. Avoid buying Ryobi tools from them. I bought a heap of them only to discover after four years they no longer stock parts for them and your tool is useless. Just a heads up mate.


100% correct, I broke a drive belt on a Ryobi orbital sander 3 years old, such a commonly needed part and Ryobi say the part is no longer available. Maybe Ozito is a good option and thrown it away when something fails. Ryobi, one would think, would continue parts for more than a few years. Seems they expect you to cough up more money for their new model sander and fall for the same trap down the line. Not on so far as I am concerned.


Good to see that others are also aware of Bunnings shortcomings.
I have a stack of Ryobi electric hand tools and table saw all past the 4 years stage, so I know when things go wrong, they’ll go in the bin. A year ago, the nylon tension blocks on my Ryobi band saw fell apart. Seriously, just broke up into bits. Spare parts ??? You gotta be kidding us, sorry, no can do, eventually managed to manufacture new ones from blocks of acetate that I had left over from other jobs. These days, I’ll go to a machine store and buy the proper stuff, might be a bit more expensive, but at least I’ll be able to get parts for it in the long run.

Oh, off track, was watering my Paw Paw trees the other day, which are close to my hives, especially the new captured swarm one. Got head butted and didn’t respond quick enough, Bee got caught between my glasses and face, Yeah, got her out lickety spit, but she still left behind enough to make my face/eye surrounds swell.

I applied the Sting Goes electronic device I recently bought, but it was hard to locate exactly where she had stung me, without my glasses on I couldn’t find the exact spot, so I just applied the device where I thought the sting was.First thoughts of the device ??? It gets HOT, really HOT, similar to lighting a match, blowing it out and immediately placing on skin. I think I got close enough, as there was/has been no pain or itching, but the left side of my eye surrounds, did swell up for a day. The device offers TWO settings for the heat application, one for kids and one for adults, in future I think I’ll go for the kids setting. L.O.L. But the device, IMHO, is good.




How are these indoor observation hives manipulated to reduce numbers? I picture a room full of annoyed bees on a war path!


I’ll be doing mine where it sits, in the shed with the double doors and window open.For a major manipulation my plan is to have a nuc at my feet, shake any if needed and at the end place the nuc outside at the entrance. For a quick little adjustment i’ve found going in early morning while they’re still in cluster gives you thirty seconds or so.
The beauty of the ob hive is you can pre plan everything that needs doing rather than having to make on the spot decisions during an inspection.
If required mine can be dismounted from the frame within 2min by undoing six bolts and taken outside.


Yes this was what I was thinking that it could be removed to outside for inspections. I’ve seen many inside houses which don’t appear moveable and wonder each time I see them.
I have thought about putting one in the shed but common sense usually gets the better of me. :wink:
One thing I did think about with your entrance was that being along the tin wall it could get hot and that some of the soft pvcs can let off noxious fumes when heated.
Oh, and do you have a cover for it when you are not observing?


I never let common sense get in the way of one of my ideas :rofl:
I hadnt thought of fuming, i have drilled a series of 3mm holes the length of the tube and its labeled “food grade” so hopefully i’m safe. Maybe a sheet of 12mm ply might be on the cards as a backboard.
i’ve bought curtain material for it but not used it yet, i suppose im risking absconding, but if they get to be an open hive that’d be muchmore user friendly.


I like your thinking Brad, that is the way to create something that seems impossible – and then it works.