Hive ventilation: features how to make
For any living creature, access to fresh air is important. Bees are no exception. Even in winter, they need ventilation in the street.
What is ventilation in the hive for?
To ensure normal life, bees need to establish good ventilation. This point must be taken into account in the winter period and during the appearance of offspring, since the ventilation of bee houses ensures normal gas exchange, evaporation of condensate and maintenance of the required moisture level. The accumulation of moisture and its increased level is unacceptable, because this leads to spoilage of the feed, the appearance of mold and rotting processes.
Winged toilers often close up with a propolis a taphole located on top, because of which it ceases to fulfill its purpose. There is still a hole above the evidence, but it is not enough for normal air intake.
Care must be taken when providing ventilation., since getting in the winter period an excess of air currents can lead to hypothermia, which in turn will lead to the death of bees and food spoilage for them. Therefore, it is important to maintain a balance in air exchange - there should be no accumulation of gases, but drafts are also unacceptable.
Did you know? The oldest image of bees is 15 thousand years old. A drawing with these insects was found on the wall of a cave located in Spain.
What kind of ventilation can there be?
For the normal functioning of air exchange in the apiary, several types of ventilation are used:
- Holes at the bottom of the hive. The dimensions of this opening should be 60–80 cm². It should be borne in mind that not all bees can winter in outdoor conditions with an open bottom.
- Air vent in the cover. In this situation, certain gaps are left in the hive cover, but the rest of the space is carefully insulated for the winter. Due to this, gases and moisture evaporate. If there are no gaps in the evidence, then two small holes are made in the lid on two opposite sides, through which air exchange occurs. All gases rise up, and since the lid is completely clogged, condensation appears under it, and this negatively affects the life of the residents of the evidence.
- Ventilation frame. It is used in a multihull hive. The frame is placed in the folds of the wing. It uses a mesh that does not release bees, but is not an obstacle to air. To ventilate, they often open the doors from below and above. Insects independently control such apertures, closing up an extra taphole with propolis. For mild families, only the upper notch is left open.
- In 3-tier houses for bees, only letlets in the 2 lower tiers are kept open. This is sufficient for ventilation. But it is worth considering that the higher the letlet is located in the multi-tiered evidence, the less honey will be collected.
- On the sunbeds. In the hives on the sunbed you can roll up the canvas on the ceiling. From two sides make holes 4-5 mm or leave cracks. At the same time, expansion of letki in the sunbed should be done. For strong families they are made wider, but for weaker ones they are made narrower. Letters should be closed with special grilles so that wasps and mice could not get inside. If in the cold season the doors are covered with hoarfrost and the air access in the deck chairs is blocked, then oxygen enters through the ceiling opening. When the frosts pass, the summers thaw and the functioning of the air flow is fully restored.
Important! Better excess ventilation than deficiency. Bees can escape from low temperatures on their own, but they will not be able to compensate for the lack of oxygen.
Features of ventilation at different times of the year
When installing ventilation, seasonality should be considered.So, in winter, excess moisture leads to decay of the wooden parts of the evidence, and this, in turn, can significantly reduce its useful life. Well-equipped ventilation will prevent mold and dampness from appearing in the evidence, as well as ensure the normal flow of required air.
Video: Ventilation and warming of hives for the winter
Therefore, for normal air exchange in winter, the following recommendations should be followed:
- Air flows should evenly flow from all sides of the bee house in order to maintain a constant temperature regime and moisture level in it.
- It is necessary to take care of good insulation during wintering in the wild, so that there are no strong cold drafts inside the evidence. To prevent freezing, several holes or slots are enough, and the wall in front must be closed.
- Depending on the number of living bees, the letlets from below and above must be periodically closed and opened so that oxygen flows gradually, as well as an examination of the state of the bees.
- On top of the evidence they insulate or place a bag filled with hay, straw or sawdust. Such insulation is permeable to air, but maintains heat inside.
Did you know? To get 1 tablespoon of honey, 200 individuals of honey bees tirelessly collect nectar all day.
In spring, when warming begins, water begins to pour out from the hives. Moisture can cause swelling of wooden boards on top of the house. Therefore, water needs to be removed, since its excess will adversely affect the bees and can lead to their death. To prevent this, the following work must be done:
- On both sides, slots with a diameter of 5 mm are left on the sides.
- Expanding summers taking into account the family (weak or strong). This regulates the humidity in the bee house.
- In summers, special grills from rodents are installed. Insects that feel they are dying leave the hive.
- The roof is protected from precipitation with a special film. It also retains the heat and humidity that are needed during the brood. In this case, the resulting condensate is a source of drinking for insects.
Video: Thermal insulation and ventilation in the summer
In summer, due to heat and humidity, it is also necessary to take care of normal air exchange in bee clues. The main problem in the summer heat is the heating of the hives from the sun. From this, the honeycombs located on top begin to melt, which leads to the death of the bees. First of all, bee houses are transferred to a shady place. In order to improve airing, they raise the top cover, make the holes as wide as possible. If there is a store on the hive, then the second store is moved forward to form gaps on both sides.
To improve ventilation to prevent overheating, it is recommended to remove the bottom and put the mesh. Air flows will quickly enter the house and cool it.
Important! You can’t close the doors of the hives to delay the exit of the swarm, since when swarming, the bees are in an excited state and they need more oxygen than usual. Due to suffocation, the bees secrete honey in the goiter. The sweet mass, enveloping them, leads to obstruction of the respiratory tract, which causes the death of insects.
Where is the best place to do ventilation in the hive?
Each type of ventilation has its own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing where to make vents, the beekeeper takes into account the design features of the hive, the place of wintering, the strength of the bee colony, and the insulation used.
Many beekeepers prefer to make ventilation holes in the hive's roof. It is considered more simple and reliable. The area under the cover must be insulated. In this case, the insulation should not touch the walls of the hive. Between them and the cover there should be a gap for supplying an air stream from the street.
How to make ventilation with your own hands?
Ventilation in the hive can be done by yourself. To do this, you will need very few materials and the usual tools in the household.
Tools and materials for work
The following materials should be stocked:
- plywood - a piece of 10 × 10 cm;
- wooden beam with an end face of 10 × 10 mm - 0.5 m;
You will need such tools:
- electric drill with a feather drill.
For the manufacture of ventilation, there is such a scheme of actions:
- Cut several sections of 12 cm from the timber.
- Nail the bars to the plywood with nails around the perimeter.
- Make a hole in the center plywood with an electric drill with a feather drill.
- In the back of the hive, we also drill a hole in the wall and nail our structure.
- On top of the made vents, attach a piece of canvas. It will not interfere with the penetration of air, but at the same time will contribute to the conservation of heat.
Did you know? In one day, the bee makes 10 flights and flies at an average speed of 24 km / h. During this time, it can fly over an area of 12 hectares.
Hive ventilation is necessary at any time of the year, but each period has its own characteristics. Her choice depends on the design of the hive, the strength of the bee colony, and climatic conditions. It’s easy to do it yourself.