The Built in Observation Hive


What is an Observation Hive?

An observation hive is usually a bee hive with a transparent glass window that comprises most of the flat surface of the hive structure. They are designed to encourage observation of the social interactions and activity that takes place inside of a honey bee colony.

Why BEE TV is the best version of an Observation Hive?

Most observation hives do not work, simply, because they are not designed to keep bees in them year round. This means that the designs do not provide adequate bee space, ventilation, support for building quality comb or a sufficient brood chamber for the queen to lay.  Therefore, why not just put BEE TV into an already successful hive design.  That is what we did.

We put a window the length of the Beepod Vented Top Bar Hive on both sides of the cradle. This allows for an individual to execute an external inspection from both sides of the hive, if needed, without disturbing the bees.

Bees like to keep their colony in the dark, so we have outfitted the Beepod Observation Windows each with shutters that magnetically attach to the side of the cradle, fitting snuggly in place so that no one even knows the windows are there unless you tell them.

What you can learn from BEE TV Observation Windows?

The Beepods BEE TV is most importantly used for education and observation purposes.  The following are a short list of how our beekeeping education shows new beekeepers how to best use the observation windows in the Beepod Top Bar Hive

  1. Inspection of your honey bee colony without opening the inner chamber
  2. To show your neighbors your honey bees without putting them and your bees in an anxious situation
  3. To teach your students about honey bees, their social interactions and colony life cycle
  4. Check in on your bees during the winter without opening the Beepod
  5. Much more




Do the bees mind if you are looking inside their hive?

No.  Bees do not mind if you take a short look in the windows. Like any living creature, though, if you do not respect them, they will not respect you. So be conscious of how long you have been watching and let them BEE every once in awhile.


Do the bees attach comb to the windows?

Sometimes. Burr Comb is usually attached to the observation windows if the comb is getting heavy with honey or other food. We teach you how to safely separate the comb from the windows using the Beepods Top Bar Hive Tool in our online beekeeping courses in the lab.

Don’t the windows affect the bees?

No. Based on our observations between the versions of Beepods with BEE TV and without, there was no difference in how the honey bees acted or the colony health.


Can’t the windows break in Beepod Vented Top Bar Hive?

No. The windows are made out of a plexiglass/safety glass composite. They are very durable and do not break.  


How do I clean the windows if they become dirty with wax, honey and other bee messes?

The best way to clean the glass is to use an organic food grade mineral oil to break down the wax and honey that may be stuck to the surface.  Gently use a soft sponge and the mineral oil solution to wipe down the windows and then buffer with a soft cloth to avoid scratching the windows.  If they do become scratched, we can send you a replacement.  You can read more about replacement parts here.




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