Observation hives provide a unique opportunity for non-beekeepers to witness the inner workings of a beehive and gain a better understanding of how these important pollinators operate as a "Super Organism". In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to set up a bee observation hive, covering the necessary equipment needed and steps involved.
Before setting up your bee observation hive, it is important to gather the necessary equipment together.
The following items are essential:-
- Bee observation hive body with glass (or acrylic) observation panels
- Bee feeder
- Hive tool
- Protective gear (veil, gloves, suit)
Installing the Observation Panels
Once you have chosen the location for your bee observation hive, the next step is to install the observation panels. This can be done by carefully removing the top bar of the observation hive body and inserting the glass panels in their place. Make sure the panels are securely held in place and do not interfere with the bees' ability to move freely within the hive.
Adding a Feeder
It is important to provide your bees with a source of food, especially during the early stages of setting up the hive. A bee feeder can be filled with sugar syrup and placed in an internal feede allowing the bees to access it easily. Don't forget this if you have to move the observation hive!
Adding Bees to the Hive
The final step in setting up your bee observation hive is to add the bees from a donor colony. Make sure the Queen is well marked and place this frame between the glass panels. The remaining frames of bees are put in the base under a queen excluder and sufficient bees will come up through this to attend to the Queen and the eggs and brood.