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Living in a bee house
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject: Living in a bee house Reply with quote

Since I find bees very cuddling and always wanted to live in a beehouse, I jsut made my dreams come true. However, the bees have moved into my house - and not the other way around. Laughing

I have located two hives in the attic. Through an entrance hole in the wall the bees have access to the outside. The attic is directly above my bedroom - separated by only a relatively thin wooden floor. I can hear the bees peacefully humming at night. At three or four clock in the morning I hear some sort of a "conversation", because they are a little louder. It's like sleeping in a beehouse!

In addition, the entrances are directly above the bedroom window, so I hear and watch the first bees fly out in the morning and the last ones return home in the evening.

It's nice to be so close to the bees and live in a "bee-house". The bees like the lofty height apparently. I like to lean out of the window and watch the bees shoot out in a straight line from the entrance hole. Due to the free view I can follow which direction the bees take.


View from outside. The red arrows point to the entrances.





View from the inside. Left and right of the window the Warré hives. When I open the hives, the bees fly into the light out of the windows and return to the hive through the entrance.




Observation from a different point of view!




I have build holes into the wall and in front of it wooden boards with a slit as an entrance. I want to paint it and still looking for a nice theme. The bees doing very well. I connected the floors beetight to the entrance. For this I also used a wooden board inside fastened with dowels, and all around smeared with mortar. Through the lowest hive window I can see from the back through the entrance to the outside. The corridor is well protected by guard bees - it looks, as this can be well defended!





The industrious bees establish their apartment - I saw eggs in the outer comb.





Beautiful wax discs grow down there.




Greetings - buzzing in my sleep!

Bernhard


Last edited by zaunreiter on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bush_84
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 802
Location: Brainerd, MN USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool!! It also answers my question about what happens when you open the hive.
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GarlyDog
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Joined: 06 Mar 2008
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Location: USA, Joliet, Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent!
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jumbleoak
Scout Bee


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 295
Location: UK, England, Kent

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A happy house!
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bilbehr
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 531
Location: USA, South Georgia, Albany

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Wonderful! Reply with quote

That's great, Bernhard. I may evict my family and move in some bees.

Bill
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RodneyWT1180B
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 91
Location: USA, WA, Centralia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice idea! I'm thinking very good for the bees as well. Stable environment and no chance of large predators or vandalism.
Rodney
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, we do have severe cold winter winds here in the flat lands. At least the hives are protected from the wind (and inspectors Laughing).

I'm just pondering how to get a glass hive into our living room.... Hope that my wife gets fascinated enough from the bees that already are in our home. Step one.... Wink

We don't have a TV, you know. An observation hive would be a good alternative.

Bernhard
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colobeekeep
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 286
Location: USA, Colorado, Denver

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great!! I wish I could do that, but our attic gets way too hot in the summer. Thank you for sharing the set up and pictures!
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's 1:24 am in the morning - again the humming of the bees rises a bit louder (what I described as conversation before). It is only one hive. The humming still is satisfied, just more intense.

Bernhard
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RodneyWT1180B
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 91
Location: USA, WA, Centralia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaunreiter wrote:
Yes, we do have severe cold winter winds here in the flat lands. At least the hives are protected from the wind (and inspectors Laughing).

I'm just pondering how to get a glass hive into our living room.... Hope that my wife gets fascinated enough from the bees that already are in our home. Step one.... Wink

We don't have a TV, you know. An observation hive would be a good alternative.

Bernhard



The hard part would be convincing the wife I think, after that it's just carpentry.
I would think an acrylic aquarium might be a good starting point for a top bar style hive. Easier to work with than glass and less likely to break. Not terribly sure how you would open it without filling your living room with bees though.

Rodney
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Paz
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Joined: 13 Apr 2010
Posts: 311
Location: UK, Dorset, Wimborne

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent set up Bernhard - I like it.

Quote:
Not terribly sure how you would open it without filling your living room with bees though.


Could be a great way of getting rid of unwanted visitors though - "Have you seen my bees? ......" Very Happy

Paz
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodneyWT1180B wrote:
Not terribly sure how you would open it without filling your living room with bees though.


You won't open the hive every week, I suppose. So that maybe Ok. Anyway there only are few bees coming out, if you don't touch the brood nest. Since the living room is on ground level, I also think about a door from the outside to access the bee hive. We'll see!

I want a 1m x 1m x 1m glass cube as a hive, on a stand. So the combs hang free as they do here:



This way you watch the colony as a whole. I find this sight spectacular beautiful and a must have accessory for the living room. Laughing

Other people have aquariums in the living room, so why not? Wink

The only thing that worries me is the outside/inside temperature difference.

Well, it needs time anyway, so in a couple of years ideas will ripe.

Bernhard
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RodneyWT1180B
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 91
Location: USA, WA, Centralia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those exposed combs are just awesome. What is the background on those?
Rodney
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember right, those colonies can be found in a Spanish (?) beekeeping museum for education purposes. The colonies start in a box. Once the comb is attached to the lid, the lid goes up and fixed at the ceiling.

Bernhard
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colobeekeep
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 286
Location: USA, Colorado, Denver

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to visit that museum!
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professor
Silver Bee


Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 764
Location: USA, W. Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty neat Bernhard!! Thanks for sharing. Smile
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Benjaminkeith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 195
Location: Peoria Illinois, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do thoes have glass around them? Do you have a wider shot?
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Morlock5K
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Oct 2010
Posts: 79
Location: UK, West Yorkshire, Wakefield

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I joke to my partner about getting bees in the house, though think she would fall out with me on a epic scale if I actually did:(
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steved6530
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 307
Location: Exeter, Devon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Berhard,

Great idea if you can persude your wife. Who needs TV with those cubesin the front room?

zaunreiter wrote:



The only thing that worries me is the outside/inside temperature difference.

Well, it needs time anyway, so in a couple of years ideas will ripe.

Bernhard


Have you thought about making the cubes from double glazed sealed units with the air space between filled with argon. This will dramatically reduce heat transfer either way. They will of course be very heavy.

Steve
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more impressions:


Two short videos:
http://www.immenfreunde.de/vids/beehousevid1.mp4

http://www.immenfreunde.de/vids/beehousevid2.mp4

Bernhard
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david3649
Foraging Bee


Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Posts: 100
Location: UK. Wales.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard,thank you for sharing this with us.

It must be a wonderful experience to lie awake at night listening to the contented buzz from the hive in the attic.

When I have enough experience I would hope to do something similar. It would be an ideal way to keep the hive out of site while at the same time keeping the bees flight path way above the heads of my neighbours.

Perhaps this could be a way forward for others in suburban areas
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recon
Scout Bee


Joined: 01 Dec 2009
Posts: 257
Location: England, herts, potter bar

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats great stuff!!

i'd love to do the same, but i know in my attic in summer, you could cook stuff up there so hot!!!

solar sauna!!

DD
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A short update on the bee house from last weekend. The bees used the sunny day to get outside after a series of cold rainy days.

Video:
http://www.immenfreunde.de/pics/OktBees.flv

Picture:


The picture is in the morning (no flight), while the video was shot in the afternoon. The picture shows how densely packed with bees the hive is. That is the way it should be and is a result of downsizing the hive to two boxes.

The picture below shows, how bees are capable of closing down the combswith their bodies, thus saving/retaining the nest scent and heat.:


Temperatures go down to 5 degree Celsius at nighttime (outside temperatures), while in the attic it is 12 degree Celsius. Because the bees are in contact with the outside through the entrance, they probably feel a lot colder as the attic temperature might implicate. At least the bees are very calm when clustering, and they cluster, which let me think, they feel the cold outside more than the inside temperatures.

Bernhard
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Bush_84
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 802
Location: Brainerd, MN USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool! Thanks for the update. Did you gather any honey from them? Notice any difference?
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I harvest just as much honey as I need for my own consumption, so I left the stores of the two untouched this year.

There are little differences to other colonies outside the house. The entrance is deeper, like a tunnel. The bees need to crawl about 30 cm through the brick wall into the hive. It seems that wasps have no chance at all to get into or through the tunnel, because that passage is filled with bees. I didn't need to reduce the entrance yet.

Flight activity and clustering also is similiar to other hives. So I observed no real differences yet.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To now there is a constant bee flight almost every day. Just a series of three-four days with no activity. Scary!

10. January 2012
http://immenfreunde.de/pics/10Jan2012.mp4

Even in rain the bees peek out between rain showers.
21. January 2012
http://immenfreunde.de/pics/21Jan2012.mp4

The hive box is packed with bees.


The floor doesn't show any alarming. Three combs of brood already.



Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today it has been 8°C outside and in the attic it was 15°C.



The bees went out and collected water.


Bees in lichen:




Inside the hive the boxes are still full of bees:


I checked the stores. Through the windows the combs appeared empty, so I opened up the hive. Stores were all good.


Phenological Pre-Spring just has started with coltsfoot and snowdrop blooming.






Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today it has been 12°C and the bees were out. Flying like crazy.

Within the hive the cluster is loose and the bees walk all over the hive, even to distant combs and open honey cells, relocating the honey closer to where the broodnest is.



I saw bees dancing, short distance dances, vibrating and such.


On the floor there are many pollen, some in very bright colors. 0-1 mites fall per week. You also see the debris from the cell caps.



Ready to take off into the blue sky!


Back with some pollen. Sometimes just a little....



...sometimes some more!


Coming and going!


Bring in the pollen.


The bees visibly enjoy the flighing and collecting. Me, too. (Observing them doing so.)


Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Forsythia is blossoming, which is the first sign vor "Prime Spring" how we call it. (Erstfrühling.) Gooseberry is getting first leaves as well.

In the hive all are very busy. The bees dance a lot. Of course some of the old bees die in those days - you find them in the front of the hive.


Pollen alert!


Some bees fanning at the entrance - moving the winter stale air out?


Pollen...


Pollen...


Jump!


Water collecting.


A bee collecting pollen from a Daffodil (Sort: Tete a tete. Has very small flowers, but blossoming very early.)


And....


..in we go!


Psychodelic picture...(Crocus.)


This bee bites and collects the dry grass for whatever reasons. Someone should tell that newbee that she isn't a cow... Laughing


Freaky as well - this bee collects hair from a Primula auricula's leaves.






Here she wipes her faces and put the hair into the pockets.


See that hair in the pockets:




Solitary bee.


Different angle:


Who's that hanging in here?!


Los bombus!


Search picture....


Zoom in: A sort of mini-wasp. Didn't see what kind of.


Bee in crocus.


On finger tip.


Pollen basket.



Bernhard
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BoBnh
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Joined: 20 Apr 2011
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Location: USA/New Hampshire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful pictures!
Thanks!

Bob
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