I browsed around a DIY store this afternoon to see if I could find the ideal plastic storage box to turn into a top bar observation hive, following Ron Hoskins’ example (see earlier post about his lecture). I should have taken a tape measure with me. I didn’t buy anything.
Ron’s hive has the box inverted with bars cut to fit screwed to the underside. As the sides don’t slope inwards the bees attach comb to the sides giving a clear view of the interior of the cells, which is good! On the other hand, Ron’s is really more of a skep than a TBH as nothing is moveable.
While I try not to be over-managerial with my beekeeping, I do like to have the option of interfering if I want to do so. Therefore I would rather like to have such a hive with the box the right way up and with 17″ top bars so that I could take some out to make up a nuc at swarming time, or take a harvest without driving the bees. But that way up I wouldn’t be able to see sideways into cells.
I’m torn. This needs further thinking about. Where would I keep it? The bees wouldn’t welcome daylight pouring in. I could set up a WBC or a CDB, or maybe I could sit it on a shelf in my allotment shed and let them fly through a hole in the side. But I have plans for other hives to sit in my shed.
Maybe I could have one of each! Yes, That’s the answer!