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rolande 

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In a purely technical sense I suppose that it is a sort of bee management... insects housed where you want them, honey harvested when available. There's a time I'd have been very dismissive but having had to cut quite a few corners over recent years just to keep going I now tend to see a lot of things differently to the way I used to.

There's a video on YouTube, at least there used to be (it's a few years since I last saw it) of 2pt drink cartons being used as mating nucs. May possibly be a Scandinavian beekeeper.

Edit: and a few years ago there was a thing in New Zealand? where cardboard tubes (plastic pipes probably) were being used to house pollination crews of Honey bees. Cant remember the full details off the top of my head but maybe @Antipodes will be able to offer more info.
 
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Erichalfbee 

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My first mentor used to keep a nuc sized observation hive in her bedroom. That did though have a cover to keep them dark. I don't know how important that is?
 

rolande 

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Having just finished watching the second half of the video... There's actually quite a lot of thought and management involved, certainly on a similar level to that demonstrated in those German skep beekeeping videos.
 

SWHives 

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I quite like the idea of having them in the house with an enterance outside the window sill/walls. How it would work in the winter I am not sure as it's a lot warmer indoors.
 

Arfermo 

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I quite like the idea of having them in the house with an enterance outside the window sill/walls. How it would work in the winter I am not sure as it's a lot warmer indoors.
It's a bugger finding the big plastic bottles and all the other paraphernalia if you aren't already fully equipped with it. To old to get excited by this stuff - but was interested and better that watching Boris muck ups.
 

pargyle 

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I quite like the idea of having them in the house with an enterance outside the window sill/walls. How it would work in the winter I am not sure as it's a lot warmer indoors.
The late lamented Dishmop, a deceased forum member, had an observation hive on the wall of his lounge - four national frames as I recall - it had a cover over it as the bees do seem to prefer the dark. He reckoned it was better than the TV for entertainment. Connected to the outside by a tunnel.

The only downside is that it does restrict the space and thus size of the colony you can accommodate. Again, from memory, he used to rotate frames of brood with his other hives he had in his garden in order that they did not reach the point where they needed to swarm. It was demountable and he used to do manipulations by taking it down and doing them outside.

Whilst I love the idea ... I think 'er indoors would consider bees in the lounge as reasonable grounds for divorce - it's bad enough when one bee gets into the kitchen !

This is of interest if you are serious:

 
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Our local museum when I was growing up [Wardown Museum Luton] had a very large, to me at the time, double sided observation hive, with a see through top tunnel leading outside. Used to spend hours there with my Mum & Dad. The sight of them has never left me, and is much to blame for what is now a growing passion in my later years. It disappeared many years ago though, guess its probably in storage somewhere as the museum is still going strong.
 

pargyle 

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Our local museum when I was growing up [Wardown Museum Luton] had a very large, to me at the time, double sided observation hive, with a see through top tunnel leading outside. Used to spend hours there with my Mum & Dad. The sight of them has never left me, and is much to blame for what is now a growing passion in my later years. It disappeared many years ago though, guess its probably in storage somewhere as the museum is still going strong.
Probably does not meet current health and safety requirements ... ask them - it may be for sale ?
 

Newbeeneil 

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Our local museum when I was growing up [Wardown Museum Luton] had a very large, to me at the time, double sided observation hive, with a see through top tunnel leading outside. Used to spend hours there with my Mum & Dad. The sight of them has never left me, and is much to blame for what is now a growing passion in my later years. It disappeared many years ago though, guess its probably in storage somewhere as the museum is still going strong.
My local Museum ( Haslemere Educational Museum) still has a observation hive. Its a full hive with glass sides and wooden covers that can be removed to observe, I looked after it for a couple of years and it was wonderful playing with a wonderful old piece of history and remembering how I had my nose against the glass as a kid.
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pargyle 

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no longer live there, but some family do, so I shall ask. It was much larger than the observation hives I've seen, I shall see if I can find a photo. On a mission now ;)
Our association attends a number of events a year and we normally have at least one observation hive on display - it's fascinating to watch the bees at work and beekeepers and non-beekeepers are just amazed at what is going on inside the hive. Children in particular love to try and see the queen and are usually lucky enough to see egg laying.

One of the observation hives we have access to is one that can be connected to allow them to fly - seeing the bees coming back with pollen and nectar adds even more to the experience.
 

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