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Beekeeping idea - is this mad or genius?
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cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 4:30 pm    Post subject: Beekeeping idea - is this mad or genius?  Reply with quote    

Looking at our small garden, thinking once again how much I'd like to have bees.

Then looked up at the space under the spare room window, and started thinking abpout putting shelves up there or a window box to put things in to harden off, to be followed by trailing plants...

And then it hit me. Either a genius plan or an insane one.

How about a 'window box' bee hive? Combs fitting in from a removable roof, you'd need a net curtain in the spare room of course, the beekeeping kit could hang on a peg in there...

Why not? Any opinions anyone? Ideas on whether its do-able or a good idea? Obviously the window in the spare room would have to stay shut most of the time, but I shouldn't think that the bees would like it in there anyway...

sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a story in one of my beekeeping books about someone who kept their hive in the attic and left a few bricks out under an eave for the bees, so no reason why a windowbox beehive wouldnt work. If you went for one of this sort of hive, it might even look like a windowbox too
http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm

2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sounds like it could work.

I quite like the idea of having bees but I don't like honey I are you allowed to have them in a normal town back garden?

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34009
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In the Natural History museum in Oxford, they have almost exactly this set up, essentially, so visitors can see the honey comb, and study the bees. So, why not?

Of course, it's a thread started by you, so the answer must be mad, not genius. However, I digress.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've seen a couple of indoor, glass (perspex?) sided demonstration hives with a trunking entrance/exit connecting to the world outside.
But, I don't think that type of arrangement would work for a permanent installation *in* a bedroom (I'm thinking temperature and ventilation to begin with).

As regards the window box hive, it could work, but it'd probably not be terribly easy to work with.
The height (1st floor) shouldn't be(e) a problem - in Africa the standard native hive is based on a split and hollowed out log, wedged in a tree. But you do need to be brave and acrobatic to collect the honey from those things!
Normally before opening the hive, you'd puff some smoke into the entrance. Entrance should be south-facing? Is that going to be reachable?
Remember that the "tall-ness" of a UK hive varies depending on whether it has one, two or no 'supers' fitted, or a winter feeder. So a bit of a nuisance with an outward-opening window clearing the hive. And a sash window is going to be very cramped to work through. I'm thinking that it would be easiest with one of those single panel, inward-opening windows... and you still might want to have a base that is height adjustable, to suit the hive configuration. Though its going to have to be solidly anchored (unlikely to be a problem if the path design is anything to go by!)
Normal advice is to put the hive in a sheltered spot. I'd imagine that a strong crosswind makes landing/re-entry a bit tricky when you are loaded with pollen... and not everyone's upstairs windows are "sheltered". But my guess is that the bees would either get used to it, or move out.

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34918
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd half thought of putting one on the flattish bit of roof out side Ben's bedroom. But decided it was a daft idea

The hives that I saw last week had a slide out floor that you need to check for vahona mites (I think that's right, I might be getting mixed up with posh chocolate), so the base has to be accessible. In theory I think It's a great idea.

This is an interesting website if you don't know much about bees and what it all entails.

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34918
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

2steps wrote:
sounds like it could work.

I quite like the idea of having bees but I don't like honey I are you allowed to have them in a normal town back garden?


Yes, you are.

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 07 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
... This is an interesting website if you don't know much about bees and what it all entails.


Absolutely - provided you keep the sound turned off on your computer...

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What a great idea - course, I've no idea how practical it would be. I've recently discovered we live much nearer to Oxford than I thought, so I shall arrange to pop over and look at that hive, and quiz them if we go anytime soon.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34009
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's on the stairwell, on the right hand side, I think if you go in the front door.

sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41960
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you're going to Oxford then go to the Pitt-Rivers museum too while you're there.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34009
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Indeed. And take a small child. Shrunken heads are so 7 year old boy.

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34918
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If anyone is ever in our neck of the woods, the Quince Honey Farm at South Molton has fantastic huge,concertina type hives that open out behind a glass screen so you can see exactly what all the bees are doing.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Beekeeping idea - is this mad or genius? Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Looking at our small garden, thinking once again how much I'd like to have bees.

Then looked up at the space under the spare room window, and started thinking abpout putting shelves up there or a window box to put things in to harden off, to be followed by trailing plants...

And then it hit me. Either a genius plan or an insane one.

How about a 'window box' bee hive? Combs fitting in from a removable roof, you'd need a net curtain in the spare room of course, the beekeeping kit could hang on a peg in there...

Why not? Any opinions anyone? Ideas on whether its do-able or a good idea? Obviously the window in the spare room would have to stay shut most of the time, but I shouldn't think that the bees would like it in there anyway...


I'd give it a go----but how small is your small garden?---lot's of people keep bees in small suburban gardens--so long as you screen round the hive/s to get the bees up and are really hot on swarm control it's o.k.---just some cheap hurdle type panels round the hive a few feet away that you can get in and see to them would be fine---seen it done with posts and a bit of canvas round.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 07 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

p.s. bees usually do well in suburbia as there is season round forage----the important thing is to make sure your near neighbours get a jar of honey every year

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