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An observation hive inside a contained area...

 
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dogman
House Bee


Joined: 08 Feb 2011
Posts: 10
Location: USA North Carolina Raleigh

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: An observation hive inside a contained area... Reply with quote

OK, here is the situation that I need some advice about. I own a science toy store where we do classes, as I am also a bee keeper, I though about doing an observation hive, but with a bit of a twist. We have an unused 4'(h)x3'(w)x18"(d) glassed and boxed in area that used to house an iguana. We have many live animals in the shop for our programs. So, my idea was, to put a full sized Warre hive in the space and then connect the "open area" (still contained) to the outside through 1 1/2" pvc. Here are my questions/concerns...
1) Is it a bad idea to have 50,000 bees in a toy store? (I think it is great, but I might be biased Wink )
2) How long and convoluted of a pipe will the bees use? (I see on most Ob Hives, that they recommend three feet or less and a straight shot out the window or wall. Also I keep seeing a 'no vertical' pipe warning. I'm wondering if the outside access pipe being unconnected to the hive changes those 'rules'. I would need to go up about four feet and over about 8 feet to get to the exterior wall.
3) Will they find this exit to the outside world if it is not directly connected to their hive?

Also, I plan to make the hive with observation windows, so that kids can see inside the hive, and also see the bees 'outside' the hive, but still in a contained area. An Ob Hive in a glass fronted box...
Suggestions/Advice....
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J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, your ambition need applauded. Very Happy What a fantastic idea and way of introducing natural living science to your store.

My first concern is making the entire hive/viewing box idiot proof and bee proof. Last thing you need is some over inquisitive busy body "breaking" into the bee area and setting some free inside a store with members of the general public inside and the ensuing panic that is sure to take hold. That and the fear that if stung, the receiver has an allergic reaction and is without an epi-pen!
Kind of opens yourself up for all kind of liable lawsuits.

Is the glass safety glass? If it is not, it perhaps needs to be.

Not so sure on your extended entry pipe. It would have to be big enough for bees to pass each other in either direction, if it needs to be that long and that large- with uphill runs, they might just set up home in the pipe and leave the hive box?
Asking a bee to walk a pipe some 12 feet long to be able to come and go from the hive might be a bit like asking you to run a marathon to and from work each day?

Having never set up a similar observation box, I am only guessing in the above statements, but I would be looking at possible ways to keep that hive close to an exterior wall and shorten the "run" pipe.
Maybe set up elsewhere and a streaming webcam inside the store? Smile
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WileyHunter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 125
Location: Batesville, IN USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna play devils advocate here, not cause I want to, but it needs to be said so...

I'd be most concerned with your store's insurance policy (your personal insurances too if you are not properly separated from your business via legal means). How are they going to react if you put this in? While I know that it can truly be done, in a safe manner, we all know that they only look at the probability that something bad is going to happen. What can they do if you put one in? Maybe nothing, maybe raise your premiums and/or deductible, maybe drop you like a hot tater! What about local ordinances also, while it might be ok to keep bees locally, there may be a problem with housing them internally, especially inside your business. And don't get me wrong, I think it's ridiculous that we need to even have these kind of conversations! I generally lean to the lower impact business regs and government, but stuck with what we have sometimes one must ask...

As far as your question on the tubing. I've seen a couple of indoor observation set-ups over the years. All of them had short run (less than 4 foot) horizontal only tunnel/tube. Not saying vertical can't be done, but haven't seen it. Maybe if you made the tunnel out of more natural material, then maybe a vertical run could work? My instinct is, that the bees would probably rather expend their energies flying, not crawling and climbing.

All this aside, like J Smith, I do applaud your intention and efforts! Your store is one that kids will definitely remember for years to come. I have a toy store from my youth that was two hours away from our hometown. We would go every year during vacation. It had a great train display, with tons of animated and automated items. To this day I can clearly see it in my head. Sadly, that store burned down years ago, and the owners wife and daughter did relocate the store, but it will never again see its great glory days. But I will hold it as a memory for as long as I can Wink
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't stop thinking of the contrast between bees crawling along 3 feet of 1.5" pipe and the several miles that they'll willingly fly whilst in the open air.

I wonder - perhaps bees consider the beginning of their hive starts at that point at which they are obliged to crawl, rather than free to fly ? If so, then enlarging the 'pipe' to something like 12 or even 18" square might then solve your problem.

To save going to any expense, it might be worth conducting an experiment: rig up a simple large 'diameter' tube, (say) 8 ft long, made from garden canes and polythene sheeting or suchlike, and attach this to one of your existing hives, and see what happens. If they fly down this 'tube' ok, then you could rig up a facsimile of the exact tube you'd need to install in the shop by adding a 4ft riser. If the bees are still happy to fly along such a tunnel, you could then try reducing the cross-sectional dimensions a little, although I'd bet that 12" square would probably be around minimum ... but who knows ?

If that works, then you could make a proper tunnel leading from (say) a window fitted with bars to keep the 2-legged foxes out, and made from thin plywood, plexiglass, whatever. It may be necessary to illuminate such a tunnel (suggest from below) during daylight hours - but any need for this is one of many things yet to be established.

Like the others, I applaud your excellent idea - it would be really good if something like this could be created.

Colin
BBC
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R Payne
Foraging Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 123
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogman,

PM sent. May be of some help, may not.

ron
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dogman
House Bee


Joined: 08 Feb 2011
Posts: 10
Location: USA North Carolina Raleigh

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. I'm still looking into this (not sure I want to even ask my insurance agent about this, he questioned the fact that we have a turtle in the shop...), I could do it with out a vertical pipe, but that would still have a 7'-8' foot horizontal escape pipe. Still looking for more info on that pipe being out side of the hive, though.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I can add to this conversation is that I tried three times to make an observation hive work where I had to have an entrance pipe of about 600mm (2 ft) and it failed every time. I can't be absolutely sure that the entrance was the only problem, but I strongly suspect it was the deciding factor.
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogman - suggestion - I once trawled through "Beekeeping Patents of the Past and Present" - which can be found at: http://www.honeymoonbeesupply.com/web_beekeeping/ for ideas related to captive swarming.

I well remember that some of those patents employed tubes of various kinds, dimensions and orientations, in order to steer the issuing swarm from the donor box into the receiver box.

Now, although the dynamics of swarming involve both urgency and an essentially one-way movement of bees - many of these tubes were in place for some time, and thus had to cope with day-to-day traffic as well as the swarming event itself. Indeed, provision had to be made for drones to escape or be 're-cycled' back into the donor hive, so as not to clog-up the exits !

Unfortunately I can't lay my hands on those selected captive swarming patents right now - but there's a chance that you may find something useful in that Patent Archive - at least an idea or two to get you started.

Colin
BBC
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops - seems like my memory isn't what it once was. I found my list of patents re: arresting swarms, and they use much shorter tubes than my memory registered. This patent is the only one which is halfway relevant:




The tube looks to be about 2 or 3 feet long (no dimensions are given), but as it can be in place (open ended) for some time, it must facilitate two-way traffic. The author makes the point that the interior of the tube is illuminated by partially using mesh in the tube's construction.

Sorry about the duff leads.

Colin
BBC
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An entirely pointless piece of Victoriana, as bees are quite capable of moving into a normal entrance.

Here's a time-lapse I shot last summer:

http://youtu.be/0Cxz1_G6c8I
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you may have misunderstood the invention Phil, this is to capture the swarm as it emerges from the hive. The top can be left open to familiarise the bees with it's presence, then closed (with mesh) when a swarm is imminent. A bit like the old skeppists use to do with their cotton bags.

Colin
BBC
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Adriaan
Guard Bee


Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 95
Location: central Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happened with you idea? Why not put topbars and a swarm in there.
Here's a nice indoor observation hive

http://www.imkerpedia.nl/wiki/index.php/Dick_Vunderink_kast

the horizontal outlet keeps ultraviolet light out which makes it easy for the bees to find the entrance/exit

Adriaan
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mischief
House Bee


Joined: 06 Nov 2013
Posts: 19
Location: South Waikato,New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago, I saw an observation hive in the middle of a Comvita store somewhere around Tauranga.
It had a clear pipe that ran overhead and out to the wall.
It might still be there, if any one is going from Rotorua to Tauranga, it was on the Tauranga side of the hills.
I almost fell like going for a drive to see if it is still there.
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mischief
House Bee


Joined: 06 Nov 2013
Posts: 19
Location: South Waikato,New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the exit pipe, try one that is clear plastic or glass.
There was one in the middle of a Comvita store somewhere between Tauranga and Rotorua.

From memory, the pipe was overhead and clear all the way to the wall
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the idea of a pipe entrance is fine during the spring/summer/autumn even, when the temperature is warm enough and bees can come and go comfortably. The problem with such arrangements is that in winter, the bees need to exit the hive for cleansing flights and will have no way of knowing if the weather is suitable for such until they exit the pipe into the outside world. If that is some distance from the cluster, there is a good chance that they will chill and die in the pipe either on their way out or back or they will waste valuable resources walking the pipe to find the weather is not conducive to flying.
I am actually wondering if my periscope effect follower board with end entrance hive causes a similar problem although to a lesser extent. I definitely see much less activity at that hive compared to hives with a direct entrance.
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