Observation hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Eddy Honey, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    My observation hive is a 5 frame nuc on the bottom and a single frame up for viewing.

    1: How long can bees stay cooped up in an observation hive? It would be a 6 day deal.
    2: I have a request to show the hive is in Columbus, OH in the dead of winter (Feb). Can I even have an observation hive populated in those temps? It will be held indoors and the bees will be in my hotel room during non show hours. I suppose I could make up a nuc now, feed it, and assume it will perish after the event.

    After typing all this I think I've talked myself out of it lol.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey Eddy. The only thing that puts a fly in the ointment with your plan (IMHO) is the February date.
    Yesterday I was out to a good friend I met a couple of years ago and he has this observation hive. It has been there for 4 years, year round.

    henry 020.jpg henry 021.jpg
     

  3. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Thanks Perry,
    What about the 6 days of confinement?
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If you think about it Eddy, the bees are not going to be coming out at that time of year no matter where they are, so you should be OK.
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    The room temp will determine their activity or lack of activity. When you transport the observation hive, give the bees a chance to congregate together in the lower frames as you (slowly) expose the hive to cold. In the warmth of the hotel room and the showroom they'll be active and feed on their stores. No problem with keeping them "locked" in.
    If there is an observation feeder to the hive, you can keep them happy with syrup and the people who have come to see can watch them eat and store it. Assuming that there is a screened area, they should be able to display concentrating the syrup by fanning. I don't know if the queen can be expected to show laying activity (not too likely) but the stress of the exhibit need not be cause to kill the family. The hard part will be transporting them in and out, from heat to cold, back and forth.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The 6 days will be no problem In the fair the observation hives go in on Tuesday and are removed Monday and the bees do fine. The bees will be in a heated location 55+ deg I hope other wise they will have a hard time keeping the brood frame warm with glass on each side. You will need to encourage the bees to start laying brood a couple of week before the event. Pollen patties and syrup, and place the nuc observation in a warm place. like in a heated shop or in you home with an entrance to the out side. The trick will be finding a warm day or place to open up the nuc to select the frame to be displayed and to move the queen to that frame. Or do it in a dark room with only a red light so the bees do not fly towards the light. Make sides to cover the glass at night or when the bees are not being observed. When the event is over put the frame with the queen in the bottom nuc and give them a frame of honey up top and place them back where they where prior to the show. They will do fine.
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    The observation hives that were entered into the fair last year were in awful shape by the end of the week, of course this was in the middle of Sept. and still pretty hot. Small hive beetles had take them over pretty heavily. I would say they were goners by the time they back home. Actually looked so bad I was suggesting they be removed, too many objected so I used it as a teaching experience to show visitors what critters we were facing in the bee yard.
     
  8. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Good save, G3. That's quick thinking.