Hi Guys, we would love to buy a Flow Hive for our community kindergarten however we do need a risk assessment completed and was just wondering if there is anyone out there who has done one already?!! Many thanks!
Ever colony has it’s own personality. It’s just like dogs. Most dogs don’t bite people. When they do they are dealt with (usually removed or destroyed) but it is rare. How likely you are to get mean bees depends partly on your location. In Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) areas the likelyhood goes up.
I’ve had bee hives in my backyard for 41 years and only one of my kids was stung. I still have them in my backyard with four of my grandkids living with me and none of them have been stung by bees. Paperwasps, yes. Bees no. I’ve had hives right be the door before, but I’ve also once had bees that I was glad were not by my back door…
There are things you can do to mitigate some of the issues, like having them behind a six foot tall fence so the guard bees don’t see people and the traffic is over people’s heads.
I put a top bar hive with a viewing window inside my kid’s elementary school science class. We sealed the entrance, drilled a 3/4 hole above the entrance and using metal plumbing connecters ran a clear 1.5" diameter tube from the hive through the wall and outside. We sealed the frames and top with tape, and drilled air holes above the entraince tube and at the back of the hive for ventilation. The area around the exit hole was marked off with warning flags to give the bee line plenty of room. The hive grew very strong and every year we were able to harvest honey for the class. No one was ever stung, and the other parents and administration appreciated the addition to the classroom.
How do you do inspections on a hive like that? It seems like you would have to take the whole thing outside to keep the bees from getting out inside the room and then having no way back inside the hive but that also seems like a huge hassle. A hive full of bees and honey can be extremely heavy. I’d love to set up an observation hive at my girls school at some point in the future so I am really interested in this.