What’s better than surfing the web or watching Netflix? Having your very own observation bee hive of course! Whether you are a newbee or a long time veteran beekeeper an observation bee hive is the coolest addition to any home. Provided of course you put it in a room where your wife does not shoot you for putting it in the WRONG place. I would consult with her first and make sure it is in a place where it can please everyone. We put ours in our basement rec room / Beekeeping 101 classroom.
I first saw an observation beehive when I was about 10 years old in a family-owned general store. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. When I was told there was one bee that was bigger than all the others called the “queen bee”, that gave me even more motivation to keep watching until I could spot her. Hey, what can I say…….this was the time BEFORE video games and the internet. But even now having just installed our observation hive in the rec room, the rest of our family members and friends can’t resist spending several minutes just checking it out from time to time. Even some of our guests that have no real interest in bees find out that they really are in fact very interesting creatures, and can’t help themselves from watching the same as I did as a kid.
1. They are just plain cool, everyone else has fish – not you!
2. You can watch the bees without disturbing them
3. As a beekeeper, you can see if they are bringing in forage
4. You can observe comb construction
5. You can sharpen your queen spotting skills
6. By observing what is happening in the observation hive, you can get a good gauge on what your yard bees are doing as well
1. You’ll have to cut a hole in your wall or construct a window port entrance ( I chose the window port entrance for mine )
2. You will have to take it outside to do any maintenance
3. Most observation hives are too small to house a full-size colony so you’ll have to build your own if you want enough room to do it right (see my video, below )
4. They are a bit expensive unless you build your own
If you opt to build your own make sure you have a way to feed them if necessary and have a door to get easy access for maintenance. Use correct bee space 3/8” in between frames and install vents so you don’t get moisture build up.
Since keeping bees is an education in itself, you will find it to be a huge advantage in your learning curve. So if you’ve ever given thought to putting one in your home I hope these tips will help you make a good decision so that you too can enjoy beekeeping!
Make sure to watch the video below to learn more.