Sunday, October 24, 2010

Observation Hive

    I finally installed the new observation hive in the store about three weeks ago.  The bees seem to have adapted to their new location. I spent about five days gradually moving the nuc hive closer and closer to the exit I had made to the outside.  They were finally close enough on Saturday, October 2.  This was a day I taught a beginning beekeeeping class for the bee club.  Whenj the class was over I invited those who wished to come over and watch the installation. It actually went fairly smoothly which is nice when you've got a lot of spectators.

    I built a base for the observation hive which includes one deep box with a cleanout tray for removal of dead bees. It also has a second deep box which has ten frames the bees can use for future expansion.  The second deep connects to the observation hive through the lid by means of a 6 inch piece of pvc pipe.  The observation hive can be rotated so that either side can be viewed. Their is another connector goiong out the front of the second deep box which connects to the feeding station and their tube leading to the outside world. They seem to have figured out both the feeding station and the exit.  On nice warm sunny days there is a cloud of bees coming and going from the exit.  They're using the feeding station as well, but for the first three weeks they seem to have gathered mostly wild forage.  They're only using one quart of sugar syrup per week so far.  The queen has decided to stay upstairs so far. I'm thinking the six inch section of pvc pipe is a long stretch of nothing for her so she has had no incentive to go down. Its been a big hit with bee store customers who are predominately serious bee geeks any how.