Summit Gardens Honey Farm has maintained an observation hive at the Telus World of Science (Calgary Science Centre) for the past couple of years. Keeping bees alive and healthy and keeping the public safe and informed is a complicated task. Don Miksha, beekeeper/manager of Summit Gardens has worked out these details and the staff at the Science Centre has been superb at assisting!
Telus Science Center Observation Hive The need for young children to easily locate the queen bee and necessity to provide an observation hive which would give long term sustainability were the overriding considerations when designing the hive currently in use at the Telus Science Center in Calgary, Alberta. The five frame two ‘story’ design now on display achieved those objectives. Designed with only one frame glassed wherein the queen lives and containing additional frames this observation hive is more than a temporary replica of a hive. The two ‘story’ hive isolates the queen by using a section of queen excluder below the one frame glass walled upper story while four additional frames housed in a modified Langstroth hive configuration provides expanded room for bees, honey and pollen below the queen excluder. Features that enhance the observation hive include: 1. A series of three 3 cm holes with screen across each provide ventilation on the top of the second story while a 9 cm wide by 25 cm bottom screened hole in the bottom of the lower story provides additional air movement. 2. A clear plastic pipe system attached to the hive entrance provides additional opportunity for viewing bee activity. 3. At the point where the tube is attached to the hive entrance a double sliding door was installed. This feature provides for easy removal of the hive for inspection in an outdoor environment. 4. A telescoping lid provides the base in which the excluder section is affixed and the second story is attached. This provides easy access to the four frames in the lower story. 5. Panels for covering the viewable part of the hive are used when Telus Science Center is closed for visitation. - Don
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