Intro: How to Build an Observation Bee Hive
This post will show you how to build an observation bee hive using two old windows and some wood from your local hardware store!
Step 1: Finding the Windows
You'll need to long windows that are close to the length of a standard beehive frame, which 480 mm in length.
Measure the height and width of the window, you'll use these measurements for the outside from of the hive.
Step 2: Marking the Outside Frame
Next, measure and mark the height of the outer frame using 70×45 mm timber.
Cut to the length the needed length for the two sides.
Step 3: Measuring the Frames
For this observation hive we are using frame sized frames.
Measure and mark out the groves need to out the frames.
Make sure the space between the frame is no more then 6–9 mm, this is called "Bee Space"
Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth figured out that a gap size of between 6–9 mm would stop bees would neither build comb nor cement closed with propolis any larger and they would.
Step 4: Routering the Frame Holds
Router out the frame holders at a depth of 10mm or a size that will allow your frames to fit.
Step 5: Measuring the Ends
Next, layout the two side pieces on the work bench.
Using frames, space out the sides as need and measure and mark the length of wood needed for the top and bottom frame.
For the extra support of the window and hinge, add an extra frame width on one of the top and bottom frames.
This is also a good time to check the if the windows will fit the frame.
Step 6: Top and Bottom
Next mark the drill point on the tops and bottoms.
Drill pilot holes for the screw before screw the frame together.
Step 7: Test and Measure
Test fit the window to the frame.
Measure and mark an extra side frame.
Cut and test fit the extra side frame.
Step 8: Frame and Piano Hinge
Screw the extra frame into the frame on the top and bottom.
Measure and mark the piano hinge on the side of the frame.
Step 9: Routering the Hinge
Router out the hinge area by 2 mm to allow the window to sit right up against the frame.
Screw the piano hinge into the frame.
Step 10: Screwing the Window
Prop up the window to the same level as the frame and drill pilot holes into the side of the window.
Next, screw the window to the piano hinge.
Step 11: Test the Frame Space
This is a good point to check that the bee hive frames fit into the hive.
Step 12: Mark and Drill the Entrance
Mark and Drill the Entrance holes for the hive.
Next drill two air holes on the top and bottom frames.
Step 13: Attaching the Back Window
Screw mesh to the inside of the top and bottom frame for air flow. This will stop the bees using it as an entrance.
Place the second window on the back of the frame.
Screw in place.
Step 14: Support Beams
As we are place this on the side wall of a shed, attach two support beams to the shed.
Step 15: Mark and Measure the Legs
Mark and measure the two legs need to support the hive.
We attached ours to an old beehive supper for added height.
Step 16: Mark an Opening
Mark and cut an opening that will hold the pipes for the entrance.
Place the hive up right on the stand and screw into the legs.
Step 17: Measure and Cut the Entrance Pipes
Measure and cut the entrance pipes, make sure to leave enough length on the outside for the door mount.
Step 18: The Outdoor Entrance
Using a piece of that is about 20mm thick, nail on a strip of wood for the landing board.
Drill two holes side by side for the entrance.
Push the pipes through the hole and mount to the outside of the shed.
Step 19: Transferring the Bees
All that's left to do is transfer the bees into the hive!