Beautiful Beekeeping – Observation Hives

An observation hive is one with glass or clear plastic sides so the bees can be observed. These hives are both educational and beautiful.

Observation Hive

Observation Hive

Having one, in addition to your hives, gives you an idea what is happening outside in the other hives. You can see if pollen is coming in, if nectar is coming in, and if robbing is happening. You can watch them raise a queen. Watch how the hive acts while the queen is mating, watch them swarm. You can count days or hours on capping times. You will get to see waggle dances, and “get it off me” dances. You get to hear what the bees sound like when they are queenless, when they are being robbed, and when the queen is emerging.

Recently, beautiful observation hives were featured on the US television show Elementary about a modern day Sherlock Holmes. The Arthur Conan Doyle character of Sherlock Holmes was in fact a Victorian beekeeper, which makes the show all the more entertaining!


13 thoughts on “Beautiful Beekeeping – Observation Hives

  1. I remember that show. Thanks for reminding me of it. I had no idea those clear boxes were available. How exciting!

    • Unfortunately they’re quite expensive, especially the ones that look like fine furniture. 😦
      A lot of people build their own. I may try that one of these days!!

  2. wildsherkin says:

    What a lovely idea. I will send my friend a link to this. She has five hives in suburban Birmingham (UK) and would be fascinated with this. Thank you for sharing.

  3. gavmomof2 says:

    Wow that would be really interesting to watch!

  4. […] Beautiful Beekeeping – Observation Hives ( […]

  5. vairarenbeth says:

    Love Elementary, saw that segment and the one with the bee in the box as well. Maybe we’ll see more about bees in the next season!

  6. This is definitely on my summer DIY to-do list….or my winter TIWIWFC (This Is What I Want For Christmas) list. I’ve seen these from time to time at swap meets and cultural events, but I thought they were more for educational purposes than practical, but I guess it is very practical since we are always learning about what our hives are doing.

  7. Elmo says:

    Any idea who make the observation hives they used in the TV show Elementary?

  8. […] Beautiful Beekeeping – Observation Hives ( […]

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