The hive looks simple only from the outside. But inside it has a variety of structures, each of which performs a specific role. Roof, liner, bottom. But the most important components are the frame for the bees, which ensures the accumulation of honey, calm harvesting without harm to the bee colony.
The quality and quantity of honey and other beekeeping products obtained does not depend on the size and shape of the hives, but on how high-quality structures are in it. Back in the 19th century, there were no frames in the hives. In order to collect honey, beekeepers fumigated bees. This is a cruel method that often led to the death of almost the entire bee colony. Modern counterparts make it possible to avoid such a sad negativity. Collect a large amount of honey, normalize the development of the family, save bees.
Modern models are purchased at the store. It is not difficult to make it yourself. The amount depends on the size of the hive. But an important parameter is the size of the bee frame. A full-fledged process of work of the whole family is ensured during honey collection, during the wintering period, when the queen is worm and the young are breeding.
Varieties of bee frames
The size and shape of the bee frames, as well as their location, must be created in such a way that the hive is not cramped. Otherwise, it will not work to achieve a large bribe and good masonry. Bee frames are of different types. Only 4 types of standard designs are used, which were approved back in 1918 at the congress of beekeepers:
- Langstrota — Ruta;
- shop half-frame;
They are all standard sizes. On the basis of these parameters, sheets of foundation are produced at enterprises. This makes it possible to fit the wax sheets directly into the frames without having to trim them. In the hives, there are covering or extreme, nesting and lower strips.
Each detail has a specific function in the hive. The cover is located at the edges and serves to separate the nest from the empty space. It is filled only with bee bread and honey. Serves as a source of food and an additional insulation element during wintering. The queens usually do not worm in such.
Bees are able to independently provide themselves and their offspring with an optimal supply of winter food. But sometimes they need feeding, so the beekeeper must make sure that there are feeders in the hive. There are several types:
Purchase feeders in stores. Easy to make with your own hands. The main thing is to start feeding on time and do it already in the first autumn days.
The fertility of the family directly depends on the microclimate in the hive. If the humidity inside is higher than the norm, this reduces the amount of brood. This directly depends on how much water is in the hives and how much moisture is present in the feed. Therefore, it is beneficial to maintain humidity with an incubator. Bees can independently regulate the heat exchange process and maintain optimal humidity. If there are few workers in the nursery incubator, install a fan, like a computer cooler, so that it disperses the humidified air.
Outpost boards are used as an insulating element. They are usually made of plywood and are installed close to the walls so that the bee cannot crawl into a narrow space. The headpiece is inserted into the hive and is equally easy to remove from it, so as not to disturb the family. It is best when insulation is laid between the walls of the hive and the outpost strips.
Construction bee frames are used for brood drones. There are constant disputes among beekeepers about this. Most apiary owners believe that it is not necessary to force the worker bee to expend energy in such a process. Even if there is no bee frame in the hive, the bees will start converting ordinary combs into drone combs. Moreover, this process has specific advantages. When producing fresh honeycombs at the construction site, it is possible to obtain a large stock of foundation, which allows you to save even more.
Modern beekeepers note that the market has grown in demand for honey that has not been touched by a human hand. This is honey in combs. It is cut into fragments, but it is better acquired in separate sections. There can be several such sections in one frame. This is beneficial as it saves time and raises the cost of the final product. To do this, it is enough to make a sectional bee frame with your own hands. Then purchase individual sections and install them in frames. They are made to measure according to the type of product.
Wood or plastic
Beekeepers prefer the classics and use frames made of wood. More modern owners do not hesitate to use plastic or equip their hives with both types. Both have specific advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden bee frames are a tribute to traditions, the preservation of old technologies. Many beekeepers are sure that the best honey can only be on a wooden bee frame. This has a number of characteristic advantages:
- ecological cleanliness;
- low price;
- ease of self-assembly.
But there is a significant drawback – difficult care, short service life. Not so long ago, a profitable alternative in the form of plastic frames began to appear on the market. They are lightweight, practical, easy to clean, and serve for a long time. The foundation is easy to apply. There is no need to pull the wire every time. It is enough to apply a layer of foundation on the lower plane, the bees will do the rest themselves. As a disadvantage, it is worth highlighting the cost of plastic frames.
Famous manufacturers Dadan and Ruta have been supplying the market with light, durable, environmentally friendly plastic bee frames for several years, on which bees quickly rebuild their honeycombs.
Dimensions of frames for bee hives
There are four types of standard frames with corresponding dimensions. The parameters are taken into account by manufacturers during factory production. It is important to use the same data when creating do-it-yourself wooden frames.
Four types of frames are defined by their four standard sizes:
- Ruta supplies bee frames 435x230mm;
- frames given – 435×300;
- store – 435×135;
- Ukrainian -300×435.
All these frames fit perfectly into honey extractors without presenting problems.
The beekeeper regulates the number of frames in each hive independently. Usually there are from 8 to 12 pieces.
To create it yourself, you need a drawing. The example shows the calculation of the size of a bee frame for a standard Dadan hive, the inner side of which is 450 mm. Therefore, the length of the top is 470 mm and the bottom is 435. How it looks like, see the drawing. Top rail thickness -20 mm.
All bee frames are composed of lower, upper and side slats.
The manufacturing procedure may seem simple, holes require compliance with standards that are defined by GOST. Therefore, their thickness is 25 mm. The dimensions are shown in more detail in the shown drawing. There are holes in the side strips, in which all this is later attached.
The length of the bottom rail corresponds to the clearance. And the width is about 25mm. Before proceeding with manufacturing, it is necessary to carefully study the drawings and internal parameters of the hives. If they do not match, change the dimensions slightly. It is advisable that they do not stagger in the hives, but enter and remove without effort.
Assembling a frame for bees with your own hands in stages
The choice of material for making a bee frame must be done carefully. The best option is trees of the following species:
Many beekeepers use coniferous trees. There are no contraindications for this. Spruce, cedar or fir are recommended. Do not use birch, pine, larch. Hives made of these types of trees do not tolerate temperature changes. Cracks will appear quickly. Make sure that there are no traces of mold or mildew on the wood.
Prepare a screwdriver, nails and perform actions using step by step instructions.
- Drill holes in the side strips where the wire will be attached later. They are made at the same distance in the lower and upper parts.
- Connect the lower and upper planks using screws.
- Pass the wire into the hole, fix its edges, pull it for easy fixing of the foundation.
The principle of building a structure
The main criteria for the manufacture of products have already been presented. These are the size, material and build quality. But that’s not all. It is important to maintain the distance. Beekeepers call it streets… So the distance between the streets is at least 8 millimeters. The optimum distance is 13 mm.
If the space is small, it will adversely affect the drones. Their number is sharply decreasing. The family’s thriftiness increases, which is also not a favorable factor. In the end, this will reflect on the fertility of the maca and the amount of bribe.
Which wire arrangement is better
No less important question, like the previous ones. It is important to choose the correct material and tensioning method. If you pull with your hands, there is a risk of being left without skin on your fingers. It is better to choose stainless steel as a material. Ferrous metal is not contraindicated, but it will not last so long. It is better to pull in a direction parallel to the floor.
Choice of wire for frames
If it is decided with the material, you should choose a similar material in online stores or go to the construction site. It is sold in large bays. The weight of each such coil is 250-500 grams. This amount is enough for several frames. It is desirable that such material be present in the workshop at the apiary, it will not be superfluous.
Wire pulling instructions
There are no specific recommendations on how to pull the wire. Each master has his own methods. But the extra experience did not bother anyone yet.
- Fix the finished frame with holes on a flat surface.
- Drive a nail in the area of the upper hole so that it protrudes a few millimeters above the surface.
- Drive in a nail diagonally opposite the bottom hole.
- First, fix a kind of tape measure on the table, as shown in the figure. Turn it so that the side bar bends slightly.
- Then start threading the material from above, heading down. Attach the wire to the top stud and drown it with a hammer. Do the same at the bottom, securing and hammering in a nail. When winding up, maintain the optimum tension.
- Once the sides are free, the wire tension is perfect.
Pulling doesn’t take long. With a little experience, it will only take a few minutes.
To prevent the wire from damaging the wood, it is advisable to put metal washers.
This is a little secret that not everyone uses.
Fasten the bar on the inside to make it easier to install.
Stand for frames with honey
A stand is required to service the frames. It’s easy to make it yourself. It is better to do this in advance, even during the manufacture of the frames. They are used to hold frames when nesting or for printing. If it’s difficult to make, just buy a ready-made one.
A few useful tips will help you prepare your apiary for the new season and harvest a good harvest of honey at the end.