Wintering of queen bees

Wintering of queen bees

The uterus in the bee-family occupies a prominent place. She is not only a mother here. Its pheromones are substances that not only attract drones during pairing flights, but also regulate behavior, inhibit the development of the ovaries, direct the activity of bees to feeding and rearing the brood, restore the honeycombs, supply the family with nectar and pollen, which stimulates the lactating and pollinating activity of the family.

The beekeeper is always interested in the presence and quality of the uterus in the family. He regularly analyzes its work and improves quality. One of the characteristic features of beekeeping is the excess of the queens during the swarming, which assists their mass withdrawal and fertilization. In the spring, when the uterus is very necessary, they are usually not enough. Those. It is easier to withdraw a significant number of queens at the time of digestion, but it is very difficult to keep them in the spring. The fact is that only one womb lives in the family.

In September, when nests are collected for wintering, all remains of bees in nucleuses are attached to the main families, and the queens are destroyed. The fact that in the spring they are needed to fix bezmatelnyh families and the formation of different layers, beekeepers know well, but wintering of queens is expensive (to preserve them in the nucleus in winter, 8-10 kg of honey should be used up). The smaller the family, the harder it is to save it during the wintering period. A very weak family is not able to winter, as it is difficult for it to withstand cooling. The smaller the family, the more heat each bee must produce to maintain the microclimate in which it can survive. There is a critical mass of bees, below which family can not winter. It is all the greater than the significant difference in the ambient and intraclubic temperature of the wintering bee family.

Wintering of queen bees


In this regard, we have to solve an unusual task: the wintering of weak nucleus families in the microclimate of strong families. We managed to do this by creating a sectional multi-family bezvoschinny beehive (see the figure).

Its main part is the feeder 1 (in the form of a trough), made from two strips of sheet material 8 cm wide, connected by long sides at an angle of 120 њ. The length of the feeder depends on the number of sections and their sizes located on it, and on the premises. The feeder is filled with a rare food from the tank (cans) 2 according to the principle of a vacuum drinker, installed strictly horizontally at a height of about 1.5 m from the floor surface of the hibernate and securely fixed. To feed a rare feed to the feeder, you can use a can or other hermetically sealed vessel with a special branch pipe and a tap.

In this case, each family winters in a separate section 3, which is hung on the feeder. The ceiling and bottom dimensions of the section are 15X17 cm, the height is 40-50 cm. It has a frame made of metal wires. Its wall is made of metal mesh, the dimensions of the cells are 3X3 mm. In it, a family weighing 2-2.5 kg is placed. For a small family (nucleus), the section is smaller. Its wall that adjoins the feeder, reduced to 4 cm. Therefore, the dimensions of the bottom and ceiling are 4X17 cm. The sections for families of intermediate weight have the appropriate dimensions of the ceiling and the bottom.

The height is the same as in the section for a large family. In the opposite walls, which are adjacent to the general, there are cutouts that repeat the figures of the cutout in the wall, creating a groove, which makes it possible to hang sections on the feeder. It is made at an angle of 120 њ to the bottom wall of the section and is located at a distance of 5 cm from the ceiling. This size is permanent. The groove is covered with a net that prevents the bees from leaving the section. Inside the section above the groove is a grating 5 with slots about 5 mm. It promotes the access of bees to the stern and is set when preparing a section for the settlement of the family.

The upper part of the cavity of a section 30 cm long is filled with a support grid 4 for the club of bees. It consists of pads for chicken eggs, in which, after cutting out bulges, holes of 20-25 mm in diameter are formed. Gaskets put vertically the hole to the hole, which creates a stable structure, fixed by one or two brusochkami. In the labyrinth of support, the bees move freely. Such paper pads are well tolerated by bees, and in order to avoid their destruction from high humidity, it is advisable to construct pylons from the plywood and place them so that, by connecting perpendicularly to the notches, they create a 20X20 mm cell.

The sections are hung on both sides of the trough, creating blocks, so that in each mass the bees reach 2-2.5 kg. Between the blocks leave a gap of 3 cm.

In sections, the bees settle down, joining the ceiling, covering the groove with the feeder. If the sizes of sections and weight of families have coincided, the club’s configuration with respect to the distance from the groove (feeder) is the same in all sections. Such an arrangement in the bee block creates a single club, where the exchange of air and heat predetermines the microclimate of a strong family, enables early planning the placement of different families for optimal wintering conditions.

Narrow sections should be used for the preservation of queens, in which the family is small. It is important that it can overwinter in the block with families of different strengths. The sectional way of keeping the queens in winter is convenient because the strength of her family does not matter. The number of families located on the same trough can be quite large. It depends on the length of the room, where the families will spend the winter in the sections. Settle bees in a section when they put families in a winter hut under conditions that have developed traditionally. The section is raised to the frame hive, the lid is removed from it and turned over. On the latter put the sections upside down.

The bottom is removed. A film sleeve is inserted into the released hole. The latter has a length of 1 m, the width is such that it makes it possible to insert a frame. The bees are shaken into a free hole located under a mechanical support, populating the block to form a club. After settling a sufficient number of bees, the section is hung on the feeding trough. After making sure that the feeder is in a horizontal position, put the neck of the can in its nest. Then populate other sections.

The wintering conditions of the bees in the sectional non-cellular multifamily hive are the same as in the usual winter hut. However, for guaranteed wintering of bees, it is necessary to control and regulate in the hive not only the temperature but also the humidity. If the low temperature is harmful to small, weak families, then high humidity is for everyone.

In the spring, on the day of flying around, the bees are moved from the sections to frame hives. In a beehive with honeycombs heated to 25-30 њ C (if there is a seal of honey, it is printed on an area that contains 0.5-1 kg of honey), the bees are shaken from the trays and walls of the section. If the farm, where the bees were wintering, took measures against infectious diseases and the honeycomb was disinfected, then after washing and drying they do not have any food at all. Therefore, syrup is poured into the honeycombs and the family is provided with a pergola, an update or a protein test (paste).

Wintering bees in sections has many advantages. To connect a family of minimal strength in order to preserve her uterus, it is enough to attach a section with it to others. Using the general energy potential of the families connected to the block, the overvoltage factor of the bees’ organism acting in a weak family is avoided to create heat. This is what makes it possible to overwinter a weak family, excluding premature wear. In addition, feeding many families from one tank is convenient for providing bees with food.

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Wintering of queen bees