Hibernation of bees

Hibernation of bees

Properly organized bee hibernation is one of the most important tasks in beekeeping.

A good winter is considered to be a wintering, in which not only there is no escape of bee colonies or corn kernels; with spare uterus, but also there is no significant weakening of families.

Weakening of families as a result of poor wintering is one of the main reasons for the slow development of bees in the spring. In bad conditions in winter bees spend much more energy and food than in good ones. At the same time, they wear out badly and in the spring they will not be able to work hard enough, feed brood, obtain food, etc.

In order to create all the necessary conditions for a favorable wintering, the beekeeper must first of all know how the bees are preparing for the wintering themselves, and what changes in their nest occur in the autumn-winter period.

How the bees are prepared for the winter. With the termination of a bribe, bees cease to build honeycomb, and the uterus farther, the more it reduces the laying of eggs. In mid-September, and in the southern regions of Ukraine in early October, the laying of eggs by the uterus usually completely ceases. Old uterus earlier stop the laying of eggs, than the young ones, bred in the same year. Sometimes, due to bad weather, the uterus immediately stops the laying of eggs quite early, but it also happens that with the onset of warm weather, especially if there is a bribe, the brood rearing resumes for a while.

After the last generation of bees, the family is left without brood for 4-5 months.

As cells are freed from brood, bees transfer unsealed honey from distant honeycombs to places closer to the tap and print it. Gradually narrowing the area of ​​honeycombs, occupied by brood.

Sealed honey on the middle of the nest is not touched and its bees are moved in rare cases. Of the extreme honeycombs honey is selected

by bees. At least, the outer side of the extreme honeycombs is freed from honey.

With the termination of a bribe and a decrease in the number of brood rearing, the workload of bees is reduced and their livelihoods are reduced. Although bees on warm days fly to the proigru, swarm on belated autumn flowers and bring water, however, the apiary does not see the strong summer of bees and their amicable buzz is not audible. Bees are preparing for winter rest. They cover with bee glue all the cracks and excess holes, especially at the ceiling. In this case, firstly, drafts are eliminated, and secondly, bees are able to heat their nest without much stress and, thirdly, various pests can not easily penetrate into the hive.

The life of a wintering family and winter peace. As soon as the last young bees leave the cells and, therefore, the need for high temperature inside the nest disappears, the bees gradually reduce the temperature there, and their activity is reduced.

In autumn, when the outside temperature is below 10 њ C, the bees almost do not fly out at all. Autumn rest comes. As the temperature decreases, the bees become more and more crowded at the location of the last brood, i. e. near the tap. Thus the club of bees is gradually formed. When the temperature in the beehive drops below 18 њ, the club only begins to form, and at 13-14 њ it is finally formed.

The ambient temperature affects the density of the club. At an external air temperature of 8-12 њ C, bees gather in a loose club, and when the temperature falls below 8 њ, the bees are compressed all denser and denser to better preserve heat. On the surface of the club, the bees, pressed against each other, form a kind of shell, protecting the club from loss of heat. In this case, they fill not only the streets, but also climb into the empty cells of the honeycomb.

If there is an increase in the outside temperature (above 8 њ C), and there is no ventilation, the bees become very warm and the density of the club is weakening: it seems to expand, and the temperature in it decreases slightly, but it remains much higher than the surrounding one.

With the drop in temperature, the temperature of the club also falls. When the latter reaches about 14 њ, the bees tend to maintain it at this level.

Of course, it is easy for them to do this only: it happens if the temperature outside the club is close to + 7 њ C. The temperature of the club is set at 13.9-14 њ C. In such conditions, bees are the least likely to eat corn; ma, require less air, since the family is without a large one .; energy costs can maintain the necessary heat, and bees easily spend the winter.

When the bees become cold (which, for example, happens at temperatures below 0 њ for middle families, if the nests are not insulated), then the bees strain their muscles more and wiggle their wings. If you listen to the tap of such a family, you can clearly hear the noise.

A sharp decrease in external temperature causes bees to significantly increase the temperature inside the club, (sometimes up to 28-30 њ) …

If the outside temperature continues to fall, then the bees are forced to eat much more honey, to strain the muscles more and move more to maintain the temperature inside the club.

At a temperature of 10 њ C in the club, which only happens in very weak, hungry families, the bees can still move, but if the temperature falls below 6 њ C, the bees begin to stiff and may fall from the cold.

With a rise in temperature in the hibernate above 7 њ, it becomes difficult for bees to keep the club temperature at 14 њ C, it rises sharply. Then the bees, through ventilation, tend to lower the temperature of the club, but this is not possible for strong families. They begin to make noise and crawl over the honeycombs.

In addition, with such an increase in the outside temperature, the humidity of the ambient air is usually reduced, so that honey does not absorb the proper amount of moisture and the bees begin to feel thirsty. The club of bees is upset. Bees coming into motion, crawl over the honeycombs in search of water and even “squirt” out of the hive. The energy of the bees is increased, and with increasing energy, the temperature and feed intake increase. All this can lead to rapid bowel overload and diarrhea.

Bees in a state of rest do not need a high temperature. Indeed, at a favorable external temperature and the absence of brood, the temperature in the club of bees is about + 14 њ, rarely rising to 20-25 њ. At this temperature, the bees do not have to perform excessive muscular work to generate heat, and therefore their vital activity at this temperature is reduced to a minimum. However, the slightest concern, such as a shaking of the hive, a sharp drop in temperature, noise, etc., leads the bees into excitement, causing their vital activity to increase, and this immediately manifests itself in a rise in temperature. For example, if you disturb bees, then in a few minutes in their club the temperature can rise to 30 њ C. With calming bees the temperature will again drop to normal.

Thus, an increase or decrease in the outside temperature, for example, above 70 or below 0 њ, causes a disturbance to the winter dormancy of the bees.

The successful wintering of bees depends primarily on the normal temperature of the club of bees.

The normal relative air humidity in the hibernate is 75-85%, but if good ventilation is provided in the hives, then a higher humidity, for example 90%, is not harmful.

In unsuccessful wintering, bees inevitably cause intestinal overload, causing them anxiety, as a result of which feed intake increases, and thus, the intestine overflow increases even more. As a result, there is a sharp disruption of normal wintering, and bees, if the exhibition and circling soon do not arrive, will begin to suffer from diarrhea with all its disastrous consequences.

The main conditions for a good wintering of bees. The task of the beekeeper is to provide the necessary conditions for maintaining the normal temperature of the club of bees and to eliminate the causes that cause intestinal overflow.

This is achieved by the following:

1. the family must be strong enough and have many young healthy bees;

2. The family must have a fetus, better – young, not older than last year’s;

3. The family must be in a dry, well-ventilated winter hut at a temperature ranging from 3-4 to 6 њ for families of medium strength, and for strong from +2 to + 4 њ C;

4. Bees should be provided with sufficient amount of benign feed;

5. it is necessary that the hive has good ventilation; a strong family should be kept open to the full width; it is better, if the hive will have two tap holes – the lower and upper ones; a weak family opens less; in addition, the ceiling in the hive must be breathable;

6. bees should be given complete peace and reliable protection from pests.

The duration of winter rest. In the central regions of Ukraine, winter peace usually stretches from October to the end of February. But if wintering conditions are favorable, for example, the air temperature around the hives does not rise above 6 њ and does not fall below 3-4 њ C and other conditions are normal, then peace can last up to half or even until the end of March.

If, because of the cold, bees are forced to maintain a higher temperature in the club, then the rest may stop even at the end of January and February, and the uterus will begin to lay eggs little by little. As a consequence, in bees that hibernate in the yard, brood rearing begins much earlier than in bees wintering in the winter hut.

Movement of the bees in the club during the wintering. Compressed in a denser, almost spherical club, the bees sit on empty honeycombs near the honey reserves and partly on the printed honey. In most cases, the club is located near the tap. As the honey stocks are consumed, the club of bees moves gradually upwards. This is the first very slow total translational motion of the bees. If the honeycombs are low, but wide, then the bees, having risen upwards and consuming supplies in the way, move along these honeycombs to the back wall of the hive.

A different kind of movement is observed in the club of bees. At first glance, it may seem that the bees are sitting in the club motionless. In fact, the movement is happening here, but only very slow. The fact is that the bees sitting on the surface squeeze into the middle of the club, and those sitting inside are gradually pushed out. Pressing goes from bottom to top. At the top of the club is warmer, and therefore the bees are not so united here. This movement of bees is enhanced when the outside temperature falls.

The amount of food eaten by bees during the wintering period. The feed consumption during the winter period largely depends on wintering conditions.

Depending on whether the bees hibernate in the open air or indoors (and in what), the wintering conditions can be divided into two categories: a cold winter and a cool winter.

Wintering bees in the open air can be called cold. With a cold winter, the bees have to expend more energy in order to maintain the necessary temperature in the club.

Wintering bees in some closed room, where the temperature does not fall below 0 њ and does not rise above 6 њ C, can be called cool.

Bees wintering in cold conditions, due to the early appearance of the brood, eat much more stocks than bees wintering in a cool place. Family wintering in the cold, will spend at least 2-3 kg of honey more than the family, hibernating in a cool room. In the latter case, bees do not have to spend a lot of energy to maintain the necessary heat in their club.

According to our observations, during the 4-5 months of winter rest, the average family eats, depending on where it hibernates, about 5 to 8 kg of honey, and under quite good conditions – slightly less.

The least consumed by bees of honey (with a normal wintering in the hibernate) in December – an average of about 1 kg. In other months, consumption of honey is somewhat greater. The feed consumption increases markedly with the appearance of the brood.

The feed intake is affected by: the duration of wintering, the temperature, the time of termination and the beginning of egg laying by the uterus, the strength of the family and other conditions.

It is known that bees, like all living beings, need water. At the same time, observations show that if the walls of the beehive and the honeycomb are covered with moisture, become wet and moldy, then in such a damp place the bees very badly winter.

The reason for the appearance of dampness in the hives is as follows. If the walls of the hive are very thin, then they are very cool. In this case, warm air leaving the club of bees, touching the cold walls of the hive, emits a lot of moisture in the form of dew, which causes the walls to become wet. This is especially true if the ventilation of the hive is poor.

It is also known that if the bees get hot in the winter hut, they begin to suffer from thirst. In this case, the bees crawl along the hive and drink a lot of honey to quench their thirst, which makes them soon full of intestines and diarrhea that leads to the death of bees. In those hives, where the bees are well overwintered, it is usually dry.

But where does the bees take their water to quench their thirst?

The fact is that honey under certain conditions can absorb moisture, and in others not only do not absorb, but even lose a significant part of it. For example, in summer honey evaporates moisture and thickens. But if you put a frame of unsealed honey in a damp cellar, then in two or three days you can see that the honeycomb cells overflowed and honey flows from them, due to the fact that, having hygroscopicity, it absorbed a lot of moisture.

Experiments show that honey at an ambient temperature of 10 њ C absorbs 2-3 times more moisture than at a temperature of 30 њ C.

At a temperature of 10-12 њ C, honey can absorb moisture from the air well only if it is not sealed. In fact, this is the case; in the middle of the wintering club there is always a certain area of ​​honeycombs with printed honey. As the bees progressively reveal new cells of printed honey. This they prepare honey to absorb water vapor from the air.

It is further known that the air is warmer, the more it absorbs water vapor. Therefore, if the cold air was completely saturated with vapors, it is only necessary that the air temperature rises, as it turns out to be not quite saturated, almost dry. Under such conditions, honey not only will not absorb moisture from the air, but, conversely, it may even lose some of its moisture.

Thus, if the beehive was cool and the honey absorbed moisture, then it is only necessary to heat the air, as it becomes almost dry and unable to give some of its moisture to honey. In this case, the bees will begin to suffer from thirst.

Consequently, if the bees easily manage to maintain a temperature within 14-16 њ in their nest, they will not be thirsty, since honey at a given temperature will absorb enough moisture in itself. Such a wintering will pass normally, the bees will not suffer; while the air from the club of bees will go out more dry, and therefore, touching the cold walls, it does not allocate too much moisture, and with good ventilation, the walls of the hive will remain dry.

If in the winter alley the heat (above 6-7 њ C) or the bees are disturbed by something, then in the hive, and even more so in the club, it will become even warmer. In this case, the bees will not be able to lower the temperature to normal, that is, up to 14-16 њ of heat. In the club bees will be warmer, making the air almost dry, and honey can not absorb moisture. As a result, bees will begin to suffer from thirst. Such conditions, wintering will be abnormal. Develop diarrhea, which will lead to the death of many bees. Strong families will suffer especially.

In such cases, in our practical work, in order to save the bees from death, we first cooled the winter queen, and the bees soon calmed down. Some beekeepers, when there are signs of thirst, spray the bees with water or resort to the drinking of individual families.

From here we can draw conclusions:

1. With a cold winter (for example, in the yard), bees can not bad overwinter only in good, well-insulated hives. However, while the bees eat more honey during the winter;

2. In a cool winter, when the temperature in the winter hut does not fall below 0 њ and does not rise above 6 њ, the bees winter well and eat little food.

Harm from excess moisture. Excess moisture can result from either a malfunction of the hive, or abundant precipitation of moisture on the ceiling, walls and honeycomb cells. The latter phenomenon is most often observed when hibernating in the courtyard in thin-walled hives or in hives made of a material characterized by high thermal conductivity. Especially harmful is the water that forms on the ceiling. It will moisten the nest of bees, causing the latter to suffer. There will be a large scree of bees and even the whole family may die.

Often in such cases, bees move to any one side, where there may not be enough supplies to live until the spring.

Refreshment of air in the hive and winter alley (ventilation). For a safe wintering, good air ventilation is necessary in the winter hut and in the hive, that is, the replacement of the used air with fresh, clean.

Bees strenuously absorb oxygen and release respiratory products – carbon dioxide and water vapor, which should be removed without delay from the hive and winter hut.

For 1 kg of bees, oxygen is required in 1 hour: in summer about 20, and in winter about 4 liters. Dampness and mold on honeycombs, and often diarrhea in bees are the result of poor air exchange. The stronger the family, and the more raw the room, in which the bees winter, the more necessary for them the influx of fresh air.

Excessive moisture in the hive is often the main enemy of wintering bees. It should be regulated ventilation zymovnik and hives. The easiest way is to ensure the ventilation of the nest with the help of a high tap.

The magnitude of the tap in a hive during wintering has to be commensurate with the temperature of the winter hunter and the strength of the family. When hibernating in the yard, it is enough to open it to 2-3, a maximum of 5-6 cm, and if the bees winter in a good winter hut, then in hives and in one flock, the latter opens wide; with two flaps – in the strong families, both the tap hole (upper and lower) are opened, in the middle – both flaps open approximately halfway, and at the end of the wintering and more.

In beehives with two years old bees will be better to winter than in hives with one lower tap. In the first case, the exchange of air will be free, and therefore bees will not lack a supply of fresh air and will have a good winter.

Harm from anxiety. With every concern, the livelihoods of bees increase. They come into motion, raise the temperature and eat more food. As a result, the intestines are soon overfilled, and diarrhea develops.

Therefore, any knock, a concussion, sounds produced by scraping mice, penetration of strong light into the winter queen, etc., are harmful to bees.

Bezmatychnye families in the second half of wintering, when the appearance of the worms, begin to worry much. The consequences are the same.

To a constant, rhythmically repeated knock or noise, bees get used and less worried. There were cases when bees were well overwintered in basements near the railway line, etc. But, nevertheless, wintering is best in conditions of complete rest.

Harm from crystallized and unsealed honey. With crystallized honey, bees can not feed and die from hunger; in addition, such honey does not absorb in due measure the moisture from the air, which can lead to thirst, diarrhea and death of bees. Usually in such cases, almost all the honey in the hive is printed out.

Not all varieties of honey are equally good for the wintering of bees.

Honey from cruciferous plants and grapes very quickly crystallizes, with a white acacia and some other medonos – not so soon. Cold and sudden temperature fluctuations also contribute to the acceleration of the crystallization of honey. Honey, pumped out on a honey extractor and again given to bees, also crystallizes faster.

If bees do not seal honey for some reason, then such honey, especially on the outside of the club of bees, will strongly absorb water from the air, making it liquid, flowing on honeycombs, staining bees, and soon it will start to wander and will turn sour. All this causes the bees to break down the digestive organs and leads to diarrhea.

Honeydew honey contains an excessive amount of salts, and can also have poisonous substances, the bees weakly print it or do not print it at all. Therefore, on such a stern they hibernate badly, suffering greatly from diarrhea.

In bees that hibernate on good honey or on sugar during normal wintering, intestinal overload does not occur, and on honeydew honey they already have a full load of feces, which is almost half the weight of the bee, at the end of autumn.

Lateral honey frames, not covered by bees, are more prone to temperature influences, and therefore honey in them quickly crystallizes. On such a framework, moisture is deposited, dampness and mold appear, spoiling honey, pergus and honeycomb. Bad honey should not be allowed to enter the winter; It should be pumped out in a timely manner, and bees should be given the right amount of sugar syrup.

Harm from the cold. Bees, in the hollow of a tree or a warm hive, can endure great chills. In this case, they are already crowded and eat more intensively. As a result, the life of bees increases and the temperature in the club rises. The increased temperature in the club leads to an earlier laying of eggs by the uterus, and, consequently, to a large intake of food.

In severe and prolonged cold weather, diarrhea may develop in bees due to overflow of the intestine from increased nutrition.

Consequently, both the excess of heat, and the prolonged cold lead to the same, that is, to diarrhea. But all the same, bees are incomparably easier to bear the cold than the excess heat.

If the dwelling of bees is bad, then with strong prolonged frosts, the bees sitting on the club circle become numb and crumble, causing the club to grow smaller and smaller until it falls asleep.

The value of early egg laying by the uterus. In Ukraine egg laying by uterus normally begins in a good winter hut at the beginning of March. Under abnormal wintering conditions, egg laying by uterus can begin everywhere sooner.

Abnormal wintering conditions lead to disturbance of the bees’ rest and to the disturbance of the winter club. The bees are moving, causing the temperature to rise in the nest, and when the temperature reaches 34-35 њ and will stay at this level for several days, this circumstance will cause egg laying by the uterus and brood rearing bees why and in the future the bees will have to maintain this temperature.

Under favorable wintering conditions, when nothing disturbs the rest of bees, the brood rearing usually begins shortly before the warm spring days, during which the bees can fly out of the hive on the fly.

Thus, too early winter laying of eggs by the uterus is the result of conditions that disturb the winter peace of the bees. With the advent of the first brood the peace of bees ceases. They are forced to do the maintenance of high temperature and the performance of all work related to the rearing of the brood.

Wintering of bees at will

Wild bees live mainly in hollows of trees, and consequently, hibernate in the open air.

Bees bred by a man, depending on the circumstances, are either left to winter for free, or they are brought into enclosed premises, which are given different names in different places, for example, oshanis, winterers, temniki, cellars, etc. The most appropriate to call them winterers.

In small farms that do not have special winterers, bees are removed for winter or somewhere in a closed room, for example, in a barn, barn, ovine, uninhabited hut, underground, cellar, attic, cellar, dugout, etc., or they leave it to their own free will.

If the families are well prepared for wintering and the unfavorable conditions for their life are eliminated in winter, the bees can winter well enough both at will and indoors, but in the forest-steppe and Polissya of Ukraine in closed premises wintering is better.

In the southern regions of Ukraine, where winters are short and mild, where in February, and sometimes even at the end of January, there are warm days, in which bees needing flying around, can make a purification flight, wintering at will can be useful and desirable.

For wintering in the wild you need to have either double-shifted or straw-trimmed hives.

The voids between the walls in double-walled beehives must necessarily be filled with a porous insulation material.

In October, and where there are earlier winters, at the end of September, it is necessary to begin the final preparation of the hives for wintering. The following works are carried out.

First of all, the last time the donja is swept in the hives.

Hives can be left in their places. If they stood on high pegs, it is best to warm the dry leaves under the beehives, the hives to shine from the pegs and put on these leaves – thus the bottom is warmed.

The space behind the platen is filled with some porous insulation material, for example, shavings, dry leaves, hay, moss, bonfire, etc.

If the nest is left in the middle of the hive, then the voids on both sides of the nest are filled with the same material, but do not tighten it strongly, otherwise it will retain moisture, die and mold. The nest should be well insulated from above. For this, either straw mats or cushions of porous material are applied. The simplest and most comfortable pillow will be a bag, slightly filled with warming material. When warming 12-frame hives for convenience, it is better to put the store on top and, having spread a piece of saddle-bag or bag in it, fill the store with porous material. At the same time, warming material should be spread out better, so that there is not a gap left somewhere, through which the heat will leave.

The hives should be turned to the south by the gates, so that they are not accessible to cold winds and that in the spring the bees could fly earlier.

If the hive has one lower tray, then for better ventilation it should be open for the winter by 2-4 cm. But at the same time, the tapholes should be shaded with an obliquely placed board so that the wind does not blow out into the hive and the sun does not attract the bees. With two flaps for the winter, you can leave only one upper chute open; By the spring, when it gets warmer, the lower leaflet also opens.

To the bees had to spend less energy and food in winter in order to maintain the heat they need, it is necessary to warm the hives, especially the thin-walled ones, well. To this end, in places with cold and prolonged winters, hives are enclosed with straw, reed, and tar. Leave only a hole in front of the tap.

Where there are no such thaws in winter, in which snow would melt, many beekeepers even cover the hives with snow to make the bees warmer. With the onset of spring, the snow is gently raked. In Ukraine, winters are uneven, often there are thaws, and therefore here one can not resort to this method of protecting hives from the cold.

To ensure the bees transition in winter from one frame to the other, you need to make nests or warming hives on the frame under the canvas 5-6 rods with a thickness of 8-10 mm. If the beehives have wooden ceilings with passageways for bees, then, of course, there is no need to put sticks. To protect from mice, tin strips should be nailed to the flaps so that the height of the tap remains approximately 8 mm.

Spare uterine families do not leave to spend the winter in the yard. Sometimes apply group hibernation in shrouds. The hives are put in case-boxes four times, almost closely to each other. Two – fly to the south and one to the east and west. Between the walls of the casing and the hives, a space of 15-20 cm is left for the insulating material; from below-10-15 cm, and from above – about 30 cm. The roof of the casing must be waterproof and firmly attached, so that it does not break the wind. Against the tapholes (inside the casing), plates are placed, and in the casing, holes are made, which can be covered during strong frosts and winds.

Wintering of bees in a winter hut.

Preparation of nests for wintering. After the nests are made and the beehives are warmed, the bees are left alone. Approximately at the beginning of October, or somewhat earlier, sweep the donja in the hives; oilcloths and heavily glued canvases are replaced with a clean canvas through which air flows freely, superficial cushions are placed over the ceiling or liners, take measures so that the mice do not climb up and, if necessary, fasten the parts of the hive.

Preparation of the winter hut. The winterman should be well, repaired, dry, clean and without a musty smell. Therefore, during the whole summer, the winter hut should be kept open to be well ventilated and dry.

A few weeks before the bees are put for wintering, the winterman should be well disinfected, that is, it is necessary to fumigate it with sulfur. For this purpose, pour into the iron baking sheet of sulfur, at a rate of approximately 50-70 g per cubic meter of the winter hunter, watered with alcohol and ignited. If there is no alcohol, then you must first put the burning coals on the baking sheet, and then pour sulfur on them. Doors, windows and exhaust pipes are tightly closed. A day later, the winter hut is opened and well ventilated. After the ventilation, the ceiling and walls are whitewashed with freshly lime. If the hibernate is kept open, then in two or three weeks it will be ventilated so much that it will be possible to put hives in it. Hives are put on racks, which must be corrected and strengthened in advance so that they do not stagger. Mice in the hibernate, as well as in other rooms, should be destroyed by poison and mousetraps both in summer and in winter. If there is no special winter hut and the bees have to be removed to barns, sheds, underground, etc., these premises should be cleaned, dried and whitewashed with freshly lime.

In no case can you keep in the zymovnik farm supplies, such as: sauerkraut, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, etc.

The time of setting the bees in the winter hut.

The later in the autumn the bees make overflights, the better. Therefore, one should not rush to put them in the winter quarters.

In the forest-steppe part of Ukraine, the most appropriate time for this will be the second half of November. Of course, depending on the weather conditions, there are small deviations in one direction or another.

In northern regions of Ukraine, bees are taken to the winter quarters a little earlier, and in the southern regions – later. In warmed beehives, bees are not afraid of autumn frosts, so do not remove bees until a stable temperature is below 0 њ. After a good flight for cleaning bees, you must choose a dry and possibly cold day. Hives must be previously dried, and then put them in the winter hut, which must be open all night before the bees are installed, so that it can cool down better. It is highly desirable that when the bees are put into the winter quarters, the outside temperature of the air should not exceed 2 to 3 њ of heat.

Preparing the hives for cleaning in the winter hut.

When preparing for wintering, the strength of the family should be determined in advance and indicated on the hive, since strong families should be placed below, and families of lesser strength should be higher.

If bees will winter in such a winter hut, where the temperature does not fall below 0 њ, then in the morning, on the day of cleaning the bees, you need to remove the cushions from the hives.

If bees are put for wintering in a room where there are sharp temperature fluctuations, like an open wintering, for example, in a barn, a barn, an unheated hut, etc., then the insulation should not be removed completely.

The solution of the question of the extent to which warming the nests of families going to wintering depends on many factors, for example: on the nature of the winter period in a given locality, the strength of families, the type of premises where bees will be hibernating, hive designs, etc. Each beekeeper must closely monitor the wintering of bees in a particular room and take into account the experience of previous wintering in these conditions. This will allow him specifically, creatively to approach the issue of warming hives. Carrying and installation of hives in the winter hut is as follows. First you need to close the tapes. Then, taking the hive under the bottom, carefully put it on a stretcher so that the frames are along the stretcher, and without jolting move it to the winter hut.

The work on the transport and installation of frame hives should be carried out especially carefully. The fact is that in the spring when the exhibition of bees is not important, if the bees are disturbed by jolts; they will soon fly around and gather in the nest. In addition, at this time it is easier to notice and correct the violations. It is quite another matter in the fall. If you disturb the bees very much, they spread out across all the frames and go out even behind the pluggable board, where they usually die with starvation, since in the winter it will be difficult for them to return to the nest because of the board.

In the same way, if the frames move apart or break off from careless carrying, it will not always be noticed by the beekeeper, and therefore this defect may remain uncorrected.

If the winter quarters are built deep in the ground and many steps lead to it, then it’s not easy to go down with heavy beehives in time for bees to be hibernated or to climb them up the steps at an exhibition.

To facilitate these works, sometimes such an arrangement is arranged. Two long bars are placed on the edge and fastened in three or four places with slats. From the top the bars are made semi-oval. They are like wooden rails. These rails are placed on the steps in parallel and descend on them, and in the spring they pull up the hives on a special platform, which is pulled by the rope. The rope is wound around the gate for easier work. The platform is arranged so that it rests on the rails with two chiseled round shafts, which replace the wheels. They must be considerably longer than the distance between the rails. In order to avoid shocks of the hive, the rails must be carefully torn off, and on the platform it is necessary to put straw mats in several layers, on which the hives are placed.

In the winter hut the beehives are put to the aisle to the aisle so that in the winter each hive can be heard well, examined by the scaffold, etc. The distance of the hives from the walls should be not less than 0.20 m.

In most cases, the hives are put in two or three tiers, on specially arranged racks. With this placement of hives, you can remove any of them without disturbing others.

When installing the hives one on the other, without shelving, in winter it is extremely difficult to help the bees: to cool, to warm the nest or to drive out the mouse that has crept into the hive, etc.

If the mice are exterminated, or the hives have pre-painted ceilings, then the hives should be placed without lids. Observations show that in hives without lids, dry land and wintering pass better. 3-4 hours after the installation of the bees, you have to go into the winter hut in order to find out whether the bees have calmed down. If you hear a quiet steady hum, you can proceed to the opening of the taphole. Otherwise, it is better to postpone this work until the next day. Be afraid that the bees will suffocate, now it is not necessary. At the bees at this time, the vital activity is so low that they will spend one night with a closed tap, freely, especially since through the tightly closed leaflet, the crevices of the planks and the pillow penetrate fresh air. If in the winter hut, the bees are also hot and hot, then the door of the winter hut should be left open until the next day. The cold will soothe the bees.

The next day with a small lantern (better electric, not giving much light), it is necessary to pass between the rows of hives and open quietly, without any jolts and tremors, to the right width, not only the lower, but also the upper tapholes, if any. The winterer should be filled in one day, because the installation of the hives in the following days would be very disturbing to previously placed bees.

Care of bees in winter.

Depending on where and in what conditions the bees are hibernating, the methods of care are different.

Care for bees when wintering in the yard under the snow.

This wintering in areas with snowy winters is often used even by large farms. Such wintering with proper preparation of bees from autumn and strong families usually passes satisfactorily. In spring, bees fly around on the first suitable day, as a result of which the development of families goes faster.

The snow cover not only insulates, but also protects the hives from sudden temperature fluctuations. Even under severe frost, the temperature under the snow does not fall below -5 њ. In most cases, it keeps within – 1-3 њ, and with a thaw it stands at 0 њ.

Caring for wintering hives is basically the following. To put a little obliquely on the plank. After the first snowfalls, loose snow is raked to the hive. Subsequently, the snowfall continues, and in January-March the hives are completely covered with snow. The snow cover from the inside thaws a bit from the walls and roof. It turns out a snow case, which protects against frost.

At the beginning of the spring melting of snow, the latter is discarded from the hives and the flaps are cleaned from the sump. On the first warm day, suitable for flying over the bees, the plate is taken, and the snow before the fly is covered with straw. After the flight, the tapholes again pritenyayutsya until the onset of constant heat.

Care of bees during wintering on the field without backfilling with snow.

With this wintering method, it is also necessary that the vents are protected from the wind by obliquely placed planks attached to the hives, which will at the same time also pritenyat the tray.

It is necessary to clear the tapes from snow and ice in a timely manner.

To the wind does not tear off the covers, they must be attached to the hulls’ hulls.

If a so warm and quiet day falls before the spring (8-10 њ C in the shade), that bees can fly around, then on that day, especially those families who have already begun to “suffer from diarrhea should be urged to fly around. straw, so that the bees do not sit on the icy ground, why many of them can become stiff.

There are cases when mice get into the hives. This can be detected when cleaning the tapholes. Such a hive must be placed in a warm room, examined the nest and destroy the mouse.

Care of bees in the winter hut.

Care of bees in the winter hut is reduced to the regulation of ventilation and temperature, as well as monitoring the condition and behavior of bees; simultaneously fighting against mice.

First of all, the question arises: how often should a winterman visit? Of course, you can not specify the number of visits. It depends on many reasons: a) how warm the winter hut; b) whether the temperature changes rapidly in the course of sudden changes in weather; c) what is the outside temperature; d) how much bees are warmly covered; e) what is the ventilation in the winter hut, etc. Usually, in the first half of wintering, it is visited no more than 2-3 times a month.

In the second half of wintering, the livelihoods of bees increase and in some beehives brood appears, and therefore bees will be more sensitive to unfavorable conditions during this period. Therefore, at this time it is necessary to visit the winter hut at least once a week, and by the end of wintering – even more often.

Visits should not be disturbed by bees. Bees need complete peace and quiet. At the entrance and the exit should not be knocking doors, between the hives must be walked carefully, trying not to touch them. In order to know the temperature in the hibernate and the humidity of the air, it is necessary to have 2-3 thermometers and a psychrometer.

It is necessary to keep a log of visits to the winter hut. The form of the journal entries can be as follows.

Table 4

Temperature while visiting the winter hut

Relative air humidity in


Status mark

Month and day


In the winter hut

Wintering bees and

Thermometer L-1

Thermometer э 2

Conducted work

The lower the outdoor temperature, the more intensive ventilation will occur. That is why in severe frosts it is necessary to cover, and in the spring and autumn, on the contrary, to open the exhaust pipes. If the solar beams penetrate into the winter quarry, then the doors of the winter hut should be pritenyat. Entering the winter hut, the beekeeper must first of all pay attention to the noise of the bees. The almost complete silence in the winter hut, and consequently in the hives, is considered a good sign. With a more intense listening, without even putting your ear to the hive, you can hear the mild buzzing of bees. It depends on the movements of the bees that were mentioned earlier, and if you put your ear to the hive or listen through a rubber tube, a slight buzz will be heard even more. Therefore, there is no dead silence. Strong noise in one hive or in all, as well as the flights of individual bees indicate the stuffiness in the hive and the thirst experienced by the bees. In such cases it is necessary to take measures to cool the winter hut or hives. The fact is that it is not always possible to cool the winter hut. For example, when the courtyard is warm, then only those hives in which bees are noisy cool; To this end, remove from the top of the hive all the insulation, if it was available, and even open (fold) one corner of the linen cover or push the planks of the ceiling over the club, and with the closing frames push the pluggable board. This contributes to increased ventilation in the nest. The hive will become cooler, and the bees will calm down. If there is no way to cool the winter quarry and the nest, spray the bees with water from the beeper and so relieve them of thirst and its consequences. If in the winter-house the temperature does not fall below 2 њ of heat, then in those hives, where dampness and mold have appeared, it is necessary to strengthen ventilation; if necessary, open one corner of the canvas or carefully raise the ceiling plate. Sometimes the guides give advice: when listening to bees, click on the beehive to force the bees to respond. Experienced little beekeepers use this advice intensively and almost from the first days of wintering they begin to walk in the winter hut and knock on the hives, causing the bees to respond. In this way they disturb the bees, causing them great harm. Experienced little beekeepers use this advice intensively and almost from the first days of wintering they begin to walk in the winter hut and knock on the hives, causing the bees to respond. In this way they disturb the bees, causing them great harm. Experienced little beekeepers use this advice intensively and almost from the first days of wintering they begin to walk in the winter hut and knock on the hives, causing the bees to respond. In this way they disturb the bees, causing them great harm.

Needless to say, it is not necessary to resort to rapping on beehives without extreme need. Calling bees to response is possible only under exceptional circumstances to find out if the family has found a lack of food on the eve of starvation. In this case, you should immediately help the bees. To listen to bees with an easy tapping it is permissible to resort only in the spring, and even then in those hives where families for some reason have small stocks of honey. But in this case it is better not to wait for the time when the bees will start to starve, and in advance, for example, in early February, give them food.

If the buzzing of bees is not audible in the beehive, then it is necessary to attach the ear to the hive, or, even better, to stick one end of the rubber tube into the hammer and listen through it. If the buzzing bees are not audible at all, then only then you can knock on the hive lightly. At every slight push, a well-hibernating bee, having a forage and a uterus, responds amicably, I quickly fall silent.

An unfriendly, very weak, lingering, like a hiss or a distant rustle of dry leaves, a response indicates that the bees are starving or are severely affected by dampness or diarrhea. Such families need to be moved to a warm room in order to feed and tidy them up. It should be borne in mind that if the club of bees is near the tap, then sometimes from the weak families it gets a more loud response than from a strong family that is away from the tap. Since the end of February, it is necessary to ventilate the winter hut more intensively because in some families broods appear at this time, so the need for clean air increases. With a musty, unpleasant smell in the winter hut, it should be refreshed more.

For the extermination of mice it is necessary to scatter in the winter hut, poisoned lures bought at the pharmacy, and put mousetraps. Of the mousetraps, the so-called “mlynkas” deserve attention, which are very simple in design and at the same time best serve their purpose.

If the bees have nosematosis (infectious diarrhea), then they can not be treated at this time, but in order to avoid the spread of the disease it is necessary to cool the winter hut so that sick bees can not fly out and crawl out of the hives. Do not trample down the bees that have emerged from the hive and fallen to the ground. It is better to carefully sweep them aside from the aisle, and after putting the hives out of the winter quarters, burn them.

If it turns out that a family is starving, then it needs to be fed by one of the methods indicated in the chapter on feeding bees.

It is difficult to help bees with diarrhea. Of course, first you need to eliminate or at least weaken the causes that cause diarrhea, and at the first opportunity to take advantage of a warm day and take them out to fly for a flight or arrange an artificial flight in a warm room.

At the onset of thaws, snow should be thrown away from the winter hut, so that the water does not penetrate inside from melting snow.

To dehumidify air in the winter hut, substances that absorb water, for example, quicklime and calcium chloride, are sometimes used. However, the effectiveness of these techniques is almost insignificant.

Dampness in the winter hut is most often due to the low winterization of the winter hut with insufficient ventilation.

The warm air coming from the hives touches the cold walls and ceiling and gives dampness: the water vapor settles in the form of dew or frost. The best way to drain such a winter hut is by warming it and increasing ventilation.

From what has been said, it can be seen that, with the correct formulation and management of beekeeping, winter care for bees does not take much time. If the families are well provided with quite good-quality honey, the nests are properly made up, and the winter quarters are dry, keeps an even temperature and is well ventilated, then, of course, the bees in such cases will have all the conditions for a good wintering. Therefore, the beekeeper will not need any special worries.

Inspection of bees in winter in the room (in the winter hut).

Inspection of bees in a winter hog is usually considered undesirable; a difficult matter, but sometimes it is necessary.

In case of extreme necessity, it is also possible to look in detail at nests with bees in a winter alder in the light of an electric flashlight and to find out the state of wintering families, since the bees are still not very mobile at this time and do not soar as quickly as in the summer.

Inspection of the bees in the hibernate is as follows.

Raise the canvas. The bees will move and start boring out along the streets. If they sprinkle them from the atomizer (or, at most, just from the mouth) with sugar syrup, they will immediately take in the suction of the sprayed syrup and will not rise into the air. At this time, you can take out the frames with the bees and, sprinkling them with syrup, nest, determine fodder stocks, find out what the family needs. Smoke in the winter hut can not be used, it can damage other families. Families who are starving or having candied honey are immediately given one or two frames with syrup, prepared in advance.

Control over the hibernation of each bee family.

Control by the beekeeper over the course of wintering of each bee family is very important. If the beekeeper at any time will know the state of each wintering family, then he can always provide her with timely assistance, presenting what she needs. Under such conditions, there will be not only a withdrawal of bee colonies during wintering, but also a noticeable weakening of them.

It must be remembered that in the same winter farm, the conditions for the wintering of bees are not quite the same. The families in the hives placed on the upper shelves are warmer than those located below; near the doors of the winter quarters is colder than in the middle of it. Near the ventilation pipes and at the corners of the winter hut, the temperature and humidity are different than in other places of the winter hut.

In addition, bee colonies are not equal in strength, and therefore their requirements for wintering are different. Even families of the same strength sometimes require not quite the same conditions for wintering, which depends on their nature (heredity). The appearance of brood in families in the second half of wintering also causes a change in their requirements. Therefore, it often happens that at the same time for some families of the winterman it is necessary to reduce the humidity in the hive by increasing ventilation in it, while in others, on the contrary, measures should be taken to increase the humidity in the hive if; for example, in the nests for some reason crystallized honey; in some hives, it is necessary to add the top warming, and in others it is better to remove it, etc. But these important works can be carried out only if, when the beekeeper fully imagines the state of each bee family at any time during wintering, and knows what not only all families in general need, but also each of them separately. Currently, in many apiaries, the state of bee colonies during wintering is far from controlled. This is one of the reasons for the bee colonies and spare queens that are found on separate apiaries to leave during the wintering season.

The widespread way to control the hibernation of a bee family by listening is not perfect: it does not accurately determine why a particular family makes noises: from excessive humidity or from excessive dryness of air in the nest, from thirst or from lack of air, etc. .

Some beekeepers make periodic shoveling of the scurf with a special stick or wire with a curved end (kochrezhkoy). At the same time, the first signals about the deterioration of wintering of individual families are obtained when a significant number of dead bees are removed from their milk. But this operation, firstly, worries the bees, and secondly, it can promote the transfer of diseases, especially nosematosis, from the diseased family to a healthy one, and thirdly, does not give instructions to the beekeeper about the conditions of the bee family. Bees of spoilage are often covered with wet rubbish, wax lids, are stained with leaking honey, and even are crushed during raking, and it is difficult to determine the cause of their death from them. In order that during any wintering period the beekeeper could easily find out how a particular bee colony is wintering, other people should be used in addition to listening,

Hibernation of bees

Fig. Listening to bees in a winter hut through a rubber tube.

Hibernation of bees

Fig. Controlling the course of the wintering of bees by examining the “control sheet”, placed under the nest of the family through the hive’s hive.

Among these methods, one should first of all refer to the use of “control sheets” made of thick paper, placed under the nest of a family through, the hive beetle.

Preparations for the use of “control sheets” are made in the autumn, several weeks before the bees are put into the winter hut, as follows. Of thick paper or thin cardboard, cut sheets about 50 cm long and so wide that they could easily be inserted into the hive through its lower tray. These are the so-called checklists. On each such sheet put a family number, to the size of the tap of which he fitted. If the chute is narrow, then the “control sheets” are made two; one of them after the insertion is moved away from the tap, but so that, if necessary, both these sheets can be easily removed.

“Checklists” are placed in the hives on their dons (under the nests of bee colonies) in the first days of wintering. The first time they are taken out of the hives in 2-4 weeks after setting the families in the winter hut, Further “checklists” can be inspected as needed. If certain abnormalities are seen in some wintering families, the inspection is carried out periodically in such families, until the normal wintering conditions in each such family are fully established.

This is done so. First, families are bugged, trying not to disturb them, and record the peculiarities of the noise of each family (for example, “normal noise,” “increased noise,” “strong noise,” etc.). Then carefully take out through the leaf “checklist”, put it on a pre-prepared sheet of plywood and cover with a sheet of paper, for example, newspaper. Further, from above put the same control sheet, taken from the hive of another family, after it. listening, again covered with paper, etc. After that, all the “control sheets” are brought into the room and in daylight they make a detailed inspection.

From the examination of the “control sheet” you can get many data on the state of the bee family as, for example:

1. Where and how a club of bees is densely placed in the hive. This is evident from the way the wax grains are placed from the honey cells printed by the bees.

2. Does the hive have excessive humidity? If it is, then the corresponding parts of the leaf, especially those that were in the corner of the hive, will be covered with mold.

3. Did not honey leak from excessive moisture?

4. Is there a bee-shine, its number and nature: what bees it is, old or young, is not there bees with an enlarged abdomen; what part of the pod is freshly frozen bees (they come to life in a warm room), etc.

5. Whether there are stains of diarrhea.

6.He did not crystallize honey. In the case of the beginning of its crystallization on the “control sheet” between the wax lids will be noticeable shiny wet crystals of crystallized honey.

7. Did the mouse get into the hive?

With a certain skill, after several inspections on such a sheet, you can “read” other important data, for example, how the club of bees moves, how intensively the family spends fodder reserves, whether there is in the beehive for the time being honey unopened by bees, and, it, as well as a number of other features of the wintering of this bee family.

On the basis of the data of such an examination of the “control sheet” of the family, the beekeeper concludes that it is in good health and, if necessary, measures measures to improve the wintering of bees. For example, it is determined that the hive is too damp, honey has flowed. Therefore, it is necessary to increase ventilation in the hive, and if, this is a common phenomenon, then in the winter hut. Or, suppose, it is revealed that honey began to crystallize. So, it is necessary to increase the humidity in the winter hut, if this phenomenon is common, and it is necessary to give water to the families in which the honey crystallized.

Having taken appropriate measures to help families in need, and having written this down, they again insert “checklists” under the nests of families. In families, to which some or other correction measures were applied, a few more inspect “checklists” several times later. At the same time, they check the results of the measures taken and, if necessary, take further measures. With careful removal or insertion under the nests of beehives of control sheets, bees do not worry, because they do not react to a slight uniform rustle of paper.

“Checklists” of well-wintering families are inspected 1-2 times a month.

If the bees hibernate in the hives with the lids removed, very carefully remove one of the ceiling boards over the club and through the top of the nest look at how bees sit in the streets and whether they are on the upper bars of the frames.

In order not to cause undue anxiety to the bees, it is necessary to check, even in the autumn, when the bees were in the yard, whether the ceiling plates above the nest of bees can be easily removed if necessary. If some of them are strongly clamped by the walls of the hive and are taken out tight, then they must be shortened by several millimeters, that is, adjusted so that they can be removed easily.

It is established that if wintering is normal, then the bees in the streets sit very tightly, huddled together, their heads directed into the club; There are no frozen bees outside the club, no bees are climbing over the frames.

But if in the wintering of bees there are abnormalities: on some limits the feed is not enough, the family suffers from thirst, lack of air, etc., – then the bees in the club sit more friable, restless; part of the frozen bees is visible on the honeycombs outside the club, and several bees creep over the club, along the upper bars of the frames. In this case, an audit and an extraordinary inspection of the “control sheet” of such a family are carried out, the reasons are established and measures are taken to improve the conditions for this family, after which it continues to winter normally.

Such triple control of bee colonies – listening, inspection of “checklists” and examination of the club of hibernating bees through the top of the nest makes it possible to timely detect violations of the normal course of wintering of bee colonies, and most importantly – to take timely measures to correct the course of the wintering of bees.

Hibernation of bees

Fig. Controlling the course of wintering bee colonies by examining the club through the top of the nest (the ceiling is partially removed).

1 звезда2 звезды3 звезды4 звезды5 звезд (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Hibernation of bees