Building and Maintaining Part 2: Removing an Observation Hive; Tubing issues; Using the cleaning Port

4. INSTALLING THE HIVE IN ITS NEW LOCATION

Note: The following operations are better done with 2 people. The exit tube should already be in place. The tube can be placed in advance in a hole through a wall of somewhat larger outside diameter, or through a similar hole in a board placed under a window sash (Foam rubber, or some kind of blocking can be used to make sure the bees, on their orientation flights, for example, do not come through the opening of the separated sashes). That way the bees can come in and out of the tube without ever coming in the room. Other windows in the room should always have adequate screening. To avoid any bees getting out during the transition, using a small piece of clear plastic 3/32″ thick, (say 3×3″) remove the stopper until it is just 1/8″ of an inch away from the surface of the base directly in front of the hole. Slip the plastic over the hole between the stopper and the hive. Remove the stopper. While you are holding the plastic firmly over the hole, move the hive to where the Teflon Tube is located. Watching through the clear plastic, line up the tube with the entrance hole, remove the plastic and introduce the tube being careful not to have it stick out beyond the inside surface of the hive. (Marking the tube beforehand with a magic marker just the right depth (5/8” , 9/16”) to push it in can help you safely do this. It should not go beyond an 1/16th inch away from the interior surface.) (Per Kelley’s instructions.)Also be careful not to inadvertently pull the tube out from the other end where it is inserted in the hole.

Tube  going  thru a concrete wall

Tube going thru a concrete wall

 

STOPPER Stopper in place

STOPPER Stopper in place

 

Stopper removed ,

Stopper removed ,

 

Tube with large plastic in front of hole

Tube with large plastic in front of hole

Tube inserted

Tube inserted

5. THE OPERATION IN REVERSE: REMOVING THE HIVE FROM IT’S LOCATION

Again, 2 people  should  work together on this. Because bees are diurnal animals, they should always be moved after sunset, when they presumably have all returned. Unfortunately sometimes especially in warm weather, some bees will return the next day or be caught in the tube. These bees will have to be sacrificed since they cannot live outside the hive. This fact requires an extra step when moving the hive. After the hive has been unscrewed and made free of its platform and support, the operation described above, takes place in reverse . The tube is pulled out to within an 1/8” of the front surface of the hive. A piece of plastic this time 3 ½”x 5” x 3/32” is placed between the tube and the front of the hive. Now there is the additional problem to deal with, that did not exist before: there may be some bees left inside the tube, and there may be stragglers returning the next day. An additional piece of plastic 3 ½”x 3 ½” x 3/32” is placed between the tube and the first piece of plastic. At this point it is useful to tape the first piece of plastic to the hive, to leave hands free for the other operations. Insert  the 2nd piece of plastic in front of the first piece of plastic taped to the hive, with the  tube  still in front  of the  hole  of the hive.. Bend  the tube upward with the  second piece  of plastic  still applied  to the opening to prevent potential bees from getting out, putting the stopper on top of the plastic in front of the tube. Remove  the  plastic  and insert a 1″O.D. stopper  .Once the stopper is in place , the tube can be pushed out of the exterior hole by 3 or 4 Inches, making the opening out of range to the returning foragers, and then taped securely to the table or platform. In a few days the remaining bees will be dead.

Insert second piece  of plastic

Insert second piece of plastic

 

Tube  removed, and  second piece  of  plastic  applied  to the opening

Tube removed, and second piece of plastic applied to the opening

Stopper placed  directly in front of tube

Stopper placed directly in front of tube

Stopper inserted

Stopper inserted

When you first buy the teflon tubing, because it may have been tightly wrapped in a coil, it may have become deformed and flattened out. To return it to it’s original shape, It must be placed in very hot water, boiling, or close to it. It will then return to it’s original form.
If the piece you are using is long, for example 2 feet, then it helps to get or make a container that will accommodate that shape.

6. USING THE PORT TO CLEAN OUT THE BOTTOM BOARD.

The 1 ¼” port opening on the other side of the entrance tube has many uses. Once the stopper is pulled out and the small 3×3” piece of plastic has been placed over the port hole, cover it with another small piece of plastic or wood that has a 1″ O.D. hole in it. Put a 1″ O.D. tube attached to a vacuum cleaner.up against it. Take out the first piece of plastic and then introduce the tube.The purpose: to clean out dead bees that may have accumulated during the winter or thru disease. Other uses, for example, are to clean out, with a wire, wax moth larva that are sometimes found in the fall; or short rags can be introduced to mop up sugar syrup or water.

Port Opening with small plexi piece covering hole

Port Opening with small plexi piece covering hole

 

Small piece of plywood with 1"O.D. hole, vacuum tube !"O.D.inserted

Small piece of plywood with 1″O.D. hole, vacuum tube !”O.D.inserted

7. THE TEFLON TUBE

Often, when acquired, the Teflon tube is flattened and twisted. To restore it to it’s full, normal shape, dip the tube in boiling water and it will be put right. It is also important to cut the tube perpendicular to it’s length, so that it is possible to apply a cover to it, to keep the bees in.. It first needs to be marked before the cut. To do this Tear off a piece of paper from the long side of an 8 ½”x 11” sheet of paper, making sure that you have one side with a straight edge. Wrap it  around  the tube with the  straight  side on the marked part  where  you want to cut. Make  sure that the 2 sides  of  the  straight  edge coincide when joined. Mark the  tube, and cut  with a  sharp knife, or box cutter.

 

  The tube Wrapped for marking

The tube Wrapped for marking

 

Marking the tube

Marking the tube

 

It is advantageous to make the Teflon tube as long as possible (up to 2 feet is OK). It allows you to see the bees going out and those laden with nectar, water, and pollen coming in. It can also, if the tube is long , be taped to the table or platform for more rigidity. But it should not be left uncovered in any public exhibit because the tube can easily be pulled out of the opening. A transparent, rigid, plastic cover should go over it.

A tube cover

A tube cover

 

A tube cover enclosing the  tube

A tube cover enclosing the tube

 

 

The Top Cover

The Top Cover

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Disclaimer
The information provided in this Instruction Manual is provided solely for the user’s benefit, so users should read the Instruction Manual fully and carefully before building an observation hive and follow the instructions provided in their entirety, as failure to follow the instructions provided could result in injury to you or damage to your property. Children should always have adult supervision when interacting with an observation hive. This Instruction Manual is provided “AS IS,” without representations or warranties of any kind. Every effort has been made to make sure that that the information provided in this Instruction Manual is accurate and up to date, and Classroom Hives Inc. is not liable for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the user’s use or misuse of this Instruction Manual or the information provided therein.”

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