Science Department
Tualatin Valley Academy
Hillsboro, Oregon

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Leaf Insects

Our new 8-frame observation hive now has clear entrance/exit tubes for better viewing.  I have also added several feeding ports.  Hopefully the bees will have enough resources to overwinter now.

Our old 2-frame observation hive did not have enough room for a large population or for the bees to store honey.  With this limited space the bees were never able to make it through the winter.

Wild bee hive living in a Wood Duck nest box at Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, Oregon. 

Close-up of hive entrance to the Wood-duck nest box.  My son, Lucas discovered this wild hive in March 2008 while we were watching birds in the area.

On a warm sunny day in April 2008 I revisited the wild hive and discovered that this swarm had just left the Wood Duck nest box hive.

I was able to capture this swarm for our new classroom observation hive pictured at the top of this page.

Late in March 2009 Lucas & I return to Fernhill Wetlands to check on the wild hive living in the Wood Duck box.  Sadly we discover that the hive had fallen.  We determined that the hive must have fallen sometime late in the fall under the heavy weight of all the honey that had been stored.  The hive was still very heavy with honey.  The honey smelled fermented and all signs of life were absent.

Basic Beekeeping

Bee - Commerce

Bee Hunt!


Bumblebee Pages

Classroom Beekeeping by Phil Kahler
Connect Vol.23 No.4, March/April 2010

From the South Lawn, a Sweet Smell of Honey

Honey Bee Disappearance and What You Can Do

Pollinator Curriculum: Nature's Partners

Pollinator Live

Pollinator Partnership

Ruhl Bee Supply

The Secret Life of White House Bees

Silence of the Bees (Nature)

Solitary Bees

Tales from the Hive (NOVA)

Beekeeping is a great family activity.

Click here to see more photos of our observation hive set up.

Click here to see photos of our beekeeping at home.

Two sides and the bottom of this box are made of cedar. I'm beginning to think that bees do not like cedar because a second swarm also clustered on the bottom of this same box, refusing to move in after hanging out several days.  With the box made of all pine we have not had this problem.  The bees just move in and take up house keeping.

Honey Bee Swarm Capture Box

A new beekeeping project for us.  Two boxes were placed in the woods on our school campus and one at Fernhill Wetlands where the old Wood Duck Box Hive had been.  Both swarm boxes on campus attracted the attention of foraging workers within days of being set out (April 2010).  By June 21, 2010 we caught our 4th swarm using these capture boxes.  Each box contained five frames with at least one of the frames having drawn out wax comb.  Lemon grass oil was also placed in the box to attract bees.

To collect this swarm I sprayed the bees with sugar water and then brushed them into my swarm collection box.  The collection box has a screened bottom and top to provide plenty of ventilation during transport.

Swarm about 30-40 feet up in a tree at a student's home near the school. This swarm stayed up in the tree for about ten days through cold rainy weather (40 - 60F temp. range) before leaving.


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