Here's a short video of the activity at the front of our hive and the inside (seen through the observation window) after about one month after installation. They seem to be doing pretty well. They're fairly active today, thankfully, it's been one of the only nice days we've had all spring. It's been pretty rainy and wet here. As you can see they're brining in pollen, which is a very good sign that the queen is laying. You can also see the top box is pretty much 100% full. You can see in the bottom box that they have not yet started building comb in that box. The only thing there is the small bit of comb that I moved down to try and encourage them to start building there. Not sure what else to do to try to get them to move down. If you've got any ideas, leave a comment.
This second video is a little bit longer. In it, I explain how I built two more bait hives. This time the with the correct internal volume! One is made out of two empty Warre boxes that I put a base and lid on and attached together. I forgot to mention in the video that I drilled some holes in the bottom box for the bees to use as an entrance. If I ever need to use that particular box in a hive, I'll just plug the holes with some quark. The second bait hive is made out of scrap wood I got for free from craigslist. I made it with just a skill saw, jig saw, and hand drill to show how easy it can be to build a bee hive. I did use the lath we ripped to size on my dad's table saw, however. So there's still that part that's a bit harder to do. Need to figure out an easy way to make those top bars without any special tools. In this video, I also show how I made some frames and half-frames to fit in a standard, unmodified Warre hive. I made these to use with my widow-less boxes so we can do inspections in them. I also made them to see how they worked in case anyone ever need to have removable frames for a beehive permit or what not. I still like the idea of Warre's system, using minimal intrusion and to simply let the bees be bees and do their thing, but it's nice to experiment and come up with way to let the bees do their thing and still be able to check on them once in a while. If one were to truly do minimally invasing beeking, it might be more like the Japanese system, which is pretty much the same as a Warre hive, but with no top bars at all, just some cross braces to give the honey comb some support and then let the bees make the comb any which way they please. I'm rambling now, though, here's the video.