How to Build Observation Bee Hives

Written by krista martin
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How to Build Observation Bee Hives
Bee hive observations allow you to study the bees' activities. (beehive, apiary. image by Nataliya Peregudova from

An observation bee hive is a great project to put together if you want to study the behaviour of bees. Observation bee hives afford a close-up view of the bees' daily activities as well as an understanding of their habits. You can make your very own bee hive with a few materials from a hardware store. Once you've got your materials, you're well on your way to putting this useful project together.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Five sheets of glass
  • Plywood
  • Wax
  • Screws (4)
  • Rubber bands (two)
  • Epoxy glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw

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  1. 1

    Purchase five sheets of standard window glass and a sheet of plywood from a hardware store. You can use plastic, but it's more challenging to clean.

  2. 2

    Set aside two glass panes for the sides, which will be cut to measure the plywood size. Leave aside one for the top and two for the ends of the hive.

  3. 3

    Measure the hive's outside dimensions and cut the plywood to fit the top of the hive.

  4. 4

    Cut the two glass sheets to the same size as the plywood. Measure the thickness of the side glass sheets. Cut a 1/4-inch deep slot in the glass about 1/2-inch from the edges top and side edges. Produce four slots in total for all four corners. The slots will allow the other glass sheets to be connected.

  5. 5

    Drill four one-inch holes in the centre plywood. The holes should be evenly spaced throughout the width of the plywood sheet. This will allow the bees to leave the hive through the upper hive section.

  6. 6

    Measure the side of the glass parts and fit the end glass pieces to the side glass pieces. Lay the top piece of glass over the side glasses. Cut the top piece to fit into the slots of the side pieces.

  7. 7

    Apply epoxy glue onto all the slots and insert the four slides into the slots that were cut out for them. Apply more glue between the glass sides and plywood sheet, and wait for it to set completely.

  8. 8

    Apply heat to the bottom of the top cover with an electric iron set to medium heat. Apply wax foundation to the middle part of the glass when it becomes warm to the touch and gently press the wax so that it melts. Remove the top cover from heat.

  9. 9

    Locate the glass sides and apply epoxy glue to the upright edges. Square the top glass cover and make sure the wax foundation is facing the ground. Lower the top cover and connect it to the glass sides.

  10. 10

    Screw in four screws in the plywood. Take a rubber band and stretch it to each of the points where the screws are located to keep the top firmly in place until the epoxy glue sets.

  11. 11

    Place the plywood base on the top of the observation hive and wait for the glue to set.

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