It is impossible to imagine a modern apiary without several structures installed on its territory, which contain insects. In honey farms, different types of houses are used, suitable for a given climatic zone. Bee hives consist of several parts. They can be made by hand from safe materials, insulated if necessary.
Bee hive device
The basis of the structure in which the honey insects live is the rectangular body where the nest is located. Its walls can be single or double (with a layer of insulation), depending on the weather conditions in winter and spring. Large families often require more than one brood module.
In front of the body, entrances are made with smooth edges for the passage of bees. Usually there are 2 of them: at the bottom there is a narrow long slot, above it there is a small round hole, which is more often used as a ventilation one. The holes are supplied with valves.
The following detachable parts are attached to the main module of the hive, combining them:
- Bottom. It accumulates the corpses of bees, waste, which must be removed periodically. There should be a stand underneath so that the structure rises above the ground. Some beekeepers prefer to connect the bottom to the body, but this makes it difficult to clean.
- Arrival boards. They are fixed under the tap holes.
- Framework. Rectangular parts with honeycombs and honeycombs are hung in the hive body to build the nest, as well as in a store extension so that the bees fill them with honey and bee bread.
The frame of the body is fixed on the rebates parallel or perpendicular to the tap hole to adjust the ventilation. For a weakened family, the first method is more suitable – a warm drift.
- Diaphragm. A thin plate that fits inside the body and is used to separate the brood frames.
- Score. Usually differs from the nest module in height, wall thickness. Accordingly, its frames can be lower and lighter than body frames. With active honey collection, the bee hive is supplemented with several extensions.
- Separating lattice. When placed above the frames, it excludes the transition of the uterus to another part of the hive.
- Roof. Protects the bee house from above from the sun’s rays, precipitation, and pest penetration. Waterproof roof with slopes is installed on the body or shop. Often, an additional rectangular insert (sub-roof) is placed under it, which is necessary to improve ventilation of the hive, to place top dressing or a warming pillow in the cold season.
The internal and external dimensions of all parts of the structure depend on the selected type of house, the materials used. The modules must be tightly connected to each other. Excess cracks are closed so as not to overcool the nest of bees.
Types of hives
Apiaries use a variety of structures for keeping honey insects, developed and improved by beekeepers. In general, they can be divided into 2 groups:
The first type of hives (beds) have an elongated, rather heavy body. To expand the nest of bees, bees are installed in it at the same level. A non-collapsible structure is difficult to move. When servicing, the frames are inspected and replaced. If you need to keep several bee colonies in the hive, the nest is separated by diaphragms.
In the second type of structures, usually 10-14 frames are placed in the case, therefore, if necessary, additional modules with waxes are installed on top. Each superstructure can be removed and replaced, but in larger hulls work is done with separate frames. The modules are fenced off with bars to separate the bee colonies.
The capacious construction of the French beekeeper Charles Dadant belongs to the group of vertical hives. It is used in apiaries with different climates and is appreciated for its ease of manufacture and ease of maintenance.
The building of the Dadanovsky hive is higher than the superstructure of the store. For the wintering of bees, it is made with double insulated walls. Usually 1 or 2 socket modules are taken – the more frames they hold, the heavier they become. With the beginning of honey collection, the required number of stores for the collected nectar is installed on top.
The vertical design of the Dadan hive protects the nest well from cooling and overheating, and allows less disturbing of the bees during honey collection. There is enough space in a standard building for a large family.
Beekeepers are required to replace the filled frames with empty ones, to substitute new stores in time, otherwise insects will begin to swarm without free space. Compact Dadans (for 8-10 frames) can be used on mobile apiaries.
Socket and magazine modules are the same height. They are used to compose a multi-body vertical hive of 5-6 blocks (in 2 there are frames with brood and feed) during the period of active honey collection. The spacious nest contributes to the rapid development of the bee colony, reducing the tendency to swarm.
The filled hive hive Ruta is lighter than Dadan’s. Therefore, when working with it, they use the method of rearranging or replacing entire modules, and not separate frames. In the spring, for this you need to wait for warming, so as not to cool the nest when moving the case.
Due to its relatively low weight, the Rut structure is suitable for mobile apiaries. Such hives are used by large beekeeping farms, as less time is spent on maintenance.
For wintering a small swarm of insects, 1 module is enough for 10 frames measuring 43,5 * 23 cm. You can leave a family of bees in 2 buildings, separating the excess space with diaphragms. In the spring, you should expand the slot in time by replacing an additional module or removing the restraints.
This multi-housing bee hive features a special ventilation system. It has no holes in the walls, with the exception of 1 lower tap hole. Fresh air, getting inside the structure, rises to the ceiling, is saturated along the way with moisture and carbon dioxide. Then he goes down and goes out. The ceiling under the roof serves to accommodate top dressing, does not allow air to pass through, and retains condensate.
In an alpine hive, bees winter calmly, with the onset of spring, they quickly increase their numbers with an increase in the number of bodies, and in summer they produce more honey.
The hive modules are easy to manufacture, lightweight and convenient. They maintain conditions favorable for the development of bee colonies, close to natural ones. Such structures do not need external insulation in winter due to the absence of upper entrances and ventilation openings.
The compact sections of the house are connected horizontally and vertically. Their number depends on the strength of the bee colonies, the presence of queens. The section of the hive includes a body, a superstructure, a basement, a partition for dividing modules. Inspection of each cassette is easy and quick, without touching the neighboring ones. The thin dividing wall is equipped with a grate, glass, or it can be solid – depending on the purpose of its use.
For ventilation, small holes are cut in the walls and bottom of the cassette hive for bees. Details are impregnated with wax, do not stain. The design requires moisture control, enhanced protection against pest penetration.
For the winter, 3-4 sections, in which the nests of bees are located, are 1 block. This helps to retain heat. The combination of modules allows you to keep several families of different sizes nearby, to use all kinds of work methods.
The spacious, elongated body accommodates up to 32 honeycomb frames. For the winter, the volume of the bee nest is reduced by installing diaphragms. It is allowed to keep 1 families in 2 hive, separated by a partition – each compartment has its own entrance. Thick walls are easily insulated with special pillows. The bottom is usually connected to the hull to reinforce the structure.
Due to the horizontal arrangement of the frames, they are easy to inspect and rearrange. In the sunbeds, families of bees develop quickly in spring, they swarm less – they have enough space for laying eggs, placing food and prey.
A long, bulky hive is less well ventilated, and therefore requires increased attention in the hot season. In addition, it requires more space to accommodate it than other structures.
In some types of loungers, the frames are installed vertically. The body turns out to be narrower and higher. It is more convenient for the family of bees to increase the number in it, gradually climbing up the combs.
The hive where honey insects are kept must be weather-resistant and durable. It is imperative to pay attention to their safety in the manufacture of apiary structures. For this business, natural high-quality materials or artificial ones that do not emit harmful substances into the air are taken.
In the construction of a bee house, the following can be used:
- plywood sheets;
- polyurethane foam blocks (less often – polystyrene foam).
The most popular material is soft wood. Dried boards from hardwood and softwood (linden, birch, pine) are suitable for making all types of beehives. Wood passes air well, and from moisture it is treated with special compounds, painted outside.
Plywood bee hive is less expensive and durable. A structure made of such a material needs water-repellent impregnation, insulation for the winter.
High quality plastic is durable, harmless. It makes light houses for bees that do not deteriorate from exposure to cold and moisture. However, care should be taken to ensure that the hive is well ventilated and protected from direct sunlight in summer.
Often, when making a hive, suitable materials are combined, for example, plywood walls are made with insulating foam inserts.
In which hives is it better to keep bees for novice beekeepers
With a lack of experience in caring for honey insects, it is recommended to choose designs that are easy to maintain. A 16-frame bee hive is suitable for a beginner beekeeper. The work of rearranging the foundation and cleaning the bottom from debris is not difficult, the swarm rarely has to be disturbed by inspections. In spring, free space is easily provided for bees to expand the nest, and in winter it is reduced to keep warm.
An inexperienced beekeeper who wants to keep bees in vertical structures is advised to install the Dadant hive on 10-12 frames. It has good ventilation. Work is also carried out frame by frame, without moving the bodies.
Among the many designs of beehives made of different materials, you can choose the most suitable one for any apiary. First of all, you should take care of the comfort of the bees. Healthy strong insects will produce large amounts of honey and other healthy foods.