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Observation Beehive

 
Posts: 27
Location: Cascadia
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I am wrapping up the final details on an indoor Observation Beehive for a retail store in Seattle and thought I would share it here if anyone is interested.I love the educational aspect of this project!!! There were several specific requirements the unit needed and I hope to document how each detail contributes or detracts to/from the success of the hive. The unit itself is fairly large, I have seen large natural ones but this is the largest I know of so far. The hive portion is roughly 5' by 5', 3 Frames across, 3 frames tall, 2 frames deep with a top row for honey supers. I'll be editing the video for the series on m YouTube channel and will have some detail call outs on my blog.

I hope to use this as a prototype so if anyone knows anyone that is interested in building one, I would be more than happy to share successes, results, and even build another one for anyone in the Pacific Northwest. (It's extremely heavy, if shipping costs are of no concern I'll make one and ship it)



https://jasonmichaelkotarski.blogspot.com/


Cheers!
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gardener
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What sort of a retail store is it?
 
Vern Life
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James Landreth wrote:What sort of a retail store is it?



It is an Outdoor Apparel Company, I'll have links on my blog and in the video description as the project progresses
 
pollinator
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Wearing my beekeepers hat, rather than my designers hat...

How is this hive inspected/managed? The shelves/racks look well designed, but I'd be concerned about getting access to the back frames once the colony had been in place for a while and gummed up everything with propolis. Can the glass be cleaned/maintained?

It looks like it is in a window in full sun. How is it insulated/protected from overheating?

I'd love to setup a grand observation hive like that :D
 
Vern Life
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Michael Cox wrote:Wearing my beekeepers hat, rather than my designers hat...

How is this hive inspected/managed? The shelves/racks look well designed, but I'd be concerned about getting access to the back frames once the colony had been in place for a while and gummed up everything with propolis. Can the glass be cleaned/maintained?

It looks like it is in a window in full sun. How is it insulated/protected from overheating?

I'd love to setup a grand observation hive like that :D



Hi Michael!  Perfect questions! I took this on as a beekeeper & Design Builder. I had my own questions but the hive is being maintained by another BeeKeeper so we have 3 modes of attack on this build, my Beekeeping knowledge and build Feasibility, the Beekeepers wishes and design input and the Business's aesthetic requirements.

Inspection/ Management will be from the front with a single sash top hinged door/window. A major handle and metal reinforced prying points. The BeeKeeper will clean the Acrylic with Rubbing Alcohol, if they really muck it up and it becomes opaque I'll replace the whole window during a maintenance day. The cool part is what I'm working on today which is the bee management outdoor port.

It's actually in my shop at the moment but yes it will go on a west facing wall with windows, I was more concerned with sunlight interfering with the bees than the heat but just in case I added a layer of R 3.5 rigid foam between two seperate 1/2" wood panels for a thermal break (Combined should be roughly R-6, which is Commercial Energy Code for reference) It's in their retail space so it is heated and cooled. I did ask about venting but we can add one after if it becomes an issue.

I hope you'll follow the build! I'll be posting installation, maintenance, successes and failures in the future.
 
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