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Indoor observation hive?

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Indoor observation hive?

Hey you clever beans {"beens"?}, I've a question for you.

I'm enamored of the idea of the idea of having an indoor wall-mounted observation hive such as one of these.


I've been reading a lot over the last 2 years, and took a class with a local apiary in preparation. I'm super excited, but also I want to be a responsible keeper of my new 10,000+ friends.

I've looked through old reddit posts on them, and most of the objections to this way of keeping bees seemed a little off-base— maybe even a little reactionary. I'd like to do a reality check in on the substance of the potential problems with these hives

I want to know whether and for what reason these are truly bad ideas for the sake of the bees. For now we're putting aside their cost {which is expensive} and their profitability, as that's not my goal here.

Here are the most common objections I saw.

  • Many objections focused on the fact that they wouldn't produce enough honey to be "worth it", but as I said I'm not after honey. I think bees are deeply beautiful, and I just want to watch them flourish, even if they wind up swarming away after a few seasons.
  • Many objected to the fact that a keeper couldn't do maintenance on these hives, and I couldn't tell whether those people were aware that the hive's are not permanently wall-mounted, but lift off, and open at the back to allow access to the bees
  • Some objected to the size, which I think is super reasonable, which is why I would go with a 2 or 3 hex setup. But is that "enough"?
  • Many people objected to the light issue, which is super reasonable— but I would plan to keep the red filters on as a default, and have a little light baffle designed for the vents
  • Some objected to humidity control, but I couldn't tell whether they realize that each hex has quite large vents on 4 of the 5 sides {though the top will be covered during feeding, and one will be taken up by the exit tube}— but is that enough? As a neophyte, I just don't know. Some older versions of the hive had very small vents, but the most recent iteration, it's a solid third of each side.
  • Some people were worried about the hustle and bustle of a house, but these would be in a largely quiet room with no foot traffic.
  • Some people raised questions of the length of the crawlway to get to the window, while others countered that bees commonly crawl quite a distance out of attic nests
  • Cost. Yeah, they're expensive. I know it's silly. But I've been saving as a gift to myself for finishing my dissertation, and I'm it's a use of money I'm excited about.

There were a lot of soft objections about the quality of character of people who would be interested in this, but I don't think I'm a monster =PI'm gonna do my best to do right by them, and closely attend to their health and wellbeing. That's actually the whole point for me, I want to watch and help them flourish.

I did see some really on-point questions raised about the indoor temp not allowing the bees to enter metabolic torpor in the night and winter. I don't know if this can be compensated for with feeding, or weather it's maybe not a fatal issue given as bees do commonly have homes in walls and attics.

Let me know your thoughts. Considering my goals, is this a reasonable experiment? Or is this just absolutely doomed to failure and would be cruel of me to attempt?

Thank you!

submitted by /u/_jericho
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