An observation hive is one with glass or clear plastic sides so the bees can be observed. These hives are both educational and beautiful.
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!
- Beautiful Beekeeping – If It Isn’t Broken… (romancingthebee.com)
- Beautiful Beekeeping – Beautiful Beehives Of The Day – Simple But Elegant (romancingthebee.com)