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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the craziest idea ever... the idea is to replace the whole front door, with an observation hive. There would be a few (ok several) problems to overcome, such as repositioning the entrance so that people walking up to the door wouldn't be hit in the face with bees.

The up side is that no reinforcement is needed... after all, nobody would be dumb enough to kick in your door.
 

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For some inexplicable reason... I like it!

Please install an automatic camera to record the expressions on the faces of the local Jehovah's Witnesses!
 

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I could reasonable pay $ for any film obtained... although one of those 'funniest family film shows' would reasonable pay a much larger $ amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For some reason, I just feel like it has to be done.

The thickness of a door is just perfect for frames. Venthilation might be a bit of an issue, but it's a solvable issue.

I wonder if I would be the only person in the world to have a beehive for a front door?
 

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If it's anything like my front door there would be a pool of wax, honey, and dead bees at the first glimpse of direct sunshine. Ironically I'm looking at a 5 frame observation hive that I'm about to install in my office. It would be very cool as a door. If you do it PLEASE get photos.
 

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DCoates said:
Ironically I'm looking at a 5 frame observation hive that I'm about to install in my office. It would be very cool as a door.
That's one way to screen your clients!
 

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Hobie said:
For some inexplicable reason... I like it!

Please install an automatic camera to record the expressions on the faces of the local Jehovah's Witnesses!
True story: Last Saturday I was heading out the front door and up the drive comes an SUV and a man in a coat and tie gets out. I'm thinking, "How fast can I get rid of this JW?" He looks vaguely familiar, and he asks if we've met before. I take a long shot and say "Are you a beekeeper?" He says, "No, but I went to a state beekeeper's meeting last year and I'd like to become one." So, that's where we had seen each other before. We spent the next 30 minutes talking about bees. I showed him my hives and got him excited about joining our local bee club. He ended up spending about 10 seconds inviting me to the Kingdom Hall for a special service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hobie said:
Up here, they would freeze in the winter.
Yup, that's one problem...

DCoates said:
If it's anything like my front door there would be a pool of wax, honey, and dead bees at the first glimpse of direct sunshine.
And that's the other problem.

I'm thinking that triple-paned low-e window glass would go a long way here, add some of that Gila film to the outside and it might just make the solar gain/freezing issue one that would be managable through venhilation... for that I'm thinking that the hive needs to suck air in from the house (cool in the summer, warm in the winter) using a screened bottom coupled with a vent in the bottom of the door (around the kickplate area). Also the top would be screened to allow the heat to rise out of the hive, then above that there would be a reversible vent in the top of the door that would allow you do select whether the hive vents the heat back into the house (winter), or outside (summer). I *THINK* that would be enough (I'm sure it would be in the winter, but not so sure about summer).

My other main concern is how to get the entrance far enough away from the ouside of the door to not cause problems. For this I think the only way to do it is going to be to use a flexible hose that can bend when the door is opened (and if done right, without kinking) that would allow the entrance to be placed through a wall several feet away. At least that's what I was thinking at first, but now I think it would be better to go through the roof, which would put the flight path well above people and would be much easier to run the hose, of course it would have to use a J-style roof vent to keep water from getting in. To keep the air in the hose fresh since it's kinda a long run for the bees, I am thinking a soaker hose would work well since it breathes. My only concern left is that even going straight through the roof, the entrance hose would be very long (roughly 4 or 5 feet) and might cause the colony to abscond if they don't like having to land, then walk for 4 or 5 feet to get into the colony.

I'm also not sure if I should buy a new very plain front door to start with and just cut our the area for the hive, or if I should build the whole thing from scratch, but I'm thinking it might be easier to just buy a door and cut into it, especially if the door is hollow to begin with (such as an interior door would be). Although an interior door doesn't offer much in the way of security, like was mentioned before... would YOU kick in a beehive door? I can't imagine many people would.

I'm going to estimate that the total cost is going to be somewhere around $500... but that could easily go up.
 

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I'm wondering if a hollow door, with a big hole cut out of the sides, would have the structual integrity to hold the weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good point Hobie... I think the door could hold the weight if the door was whole... but since it'll have the sides cut out, I'll have to just reinforce it with a stud of sorts on either side of the frames (if I cut the studs right I can even use them to hang the frames on). I think that will hold, because I can put a lot of weight on my inside doors (which are hollow) without them giving at all.
 

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The anchored glass will firm up the door such that your main concern will be making a hinge system that can hold the weight of the door yet be easy to take off when you need to work the hive. The 5 frame observation hive was trick enough. The complexity of it as an actual front door is more than I care to try to tackle. But, I'll help where I can.
 
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