Friday, June 24, 2016

A Portable Observation Hive

Last week, I received such a wonderfully extravagant gift that I have to share it. My friend Bill built me a portable observation hive that I can take to the various talks I give to school kids. 

My plan is to pop a bar in just before a talk (one with the queen, of course), and then put her back when I'm done.

He asked whether I wanted it to hold one bar or two. Two bars would provide the ability to show different kinds of comb. But one bar would be more stable in transit.

Instead of a door, it has latches at the top that allow a portion of the top to be removed. The pane of plexiglass on that side of the hive can be pulled out in order to put a bar in.

The plexiglass extends into the roof so that it is completely bee-tight when closed.
The groove in the piece that opens fits right over the plexiglass.
A closer look
Long "feet" make the base extremely stable.

There are plenty of ventilation holes, too. If the weather is chilly, I can pop some corks in a few holes from the outside.

Ventilation is closed with screen on the inside.

Bill is a fantastic woodworker, and the hive is as beautiful as it is functional. I was thinking that it would even be a showstopping way to serve comb honey at a brunch or for dessert. Just pop a bar of honeycomb in with maybe a shallow dish underneath to catch drips & let everyone slice off their own honey.

I'm encouraging Bill to take orders, and he promises me he's amenable to the idea. I'd definitely recommend his work to anyone.

Anyway, I had to share. I love it so much -- can't wait to use it for the first time!


  1. It's nice to have friends with woodworking skill-dazzles! Very nice work, Bill! Can't wait to see a post of it in action!

  2. so Julie is Bill taking orders. I am the President of the bee club out here and we would love to have one of these for when we go to speaking engagements

    1. Hi, Stephanie. I contacted Bill, and he said he'd be happy to take orders. If you like, please, drop me a line at, and I'll send you his contact info. Cheers!

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Thank you for your comment! I can't wait to hear what you think!