The construction of Omshanik helps protect bee hives in the winter. The design benefits are heat storage, reduced feed consumption and increased insect safety. You will learn about what is required for the construction of a winter hut and what are the rules for preparing the premises when reading this article.
What is it used for?
Omshanik is a small room where beehives are brought in during the winter cold. Another name for the building is a winter hut. It is built mainly in cold regions where winters are especially harsh.
Thanks to omshanykah, bees can tolerate winter more easily and spend less honey. In addition, the design allows the beekeeper to monitor the condition of insects and at the same time not to disturb them much. During the winter, you need to visit Omshanik several times to check the room temperature, food supply and insect health.
In summer, the need for a winter hut decreases. But it can be used as a pantry for storing tools.
The main advantages of using the design are:
- Bee Health. Insects are warm and less sick. Reducing the need for honey saves bees from digestive problems. The bowel movement usually occurs only outside the nest, therefore, with increased nutrition, the rectum clogs and the condition of insects worsens.
- Lack of power problems. With insufficient heating and a low level of moisture, honey is sugared, and it becomes more difficult for bees to consume it.
- Security. The risk of the hive being knocked over due to an accidental push or strong gust of wind is reduced.
- Convenience. Beekeepers do not have to worry that the hive will be plundered by wild animals. The wooden construction of the nest is better preserved. It is easier to examine and treat diseased bees. Much less insects die during the wintering season in Omshanik.
In total, 3 types of structures are used.
The least convenient type of Omshanik. It is easy to build, because it does not require much time and high cost of materials. But such a room has to be additionally insulated, since the walls almost do not retain heat.
Outwardly, a land-type winter hut resembles a conventional building, which can be used as a barn. In it, you can easily place bee nests and take them out after the end of the cold weather. In addition, if you cut through the windows, it does not require artificial lighting.
This design is considered the most convenient. The building is almost completely underground, only the roof remains on the surface. In these winter houses, heat and an optimal level of humidity are perfectly preserved.
But to build a room is necessary only in those places where groundwater lies deeper than 4 m. In addition, the construction requires more materials and effort.
Another disadvantage is the inconvenience of transferring beehives to Omshanik and their removal during warming.
Constructed if underground water is shallow underground. This type of winter hut combines the advantages of 2 others. It is light, and moving hives requires less effort. But you need to constantly monitor the temperature and humidity level, otherwise the nests may become damp.
Basic building requirements
When erecting an Omshanik, the basic requirements must be taken into account.
A change in the humidity level negatively affects the state of the bees.
There are 2 options:
- Lowered. Insects experience stress, become restless, which leads to an increase in the consumption of honey reserves. Digestion is disturbed. Honey is sugared, because of which stocks are quickly depleted. Bees can die of hunger.
- Exceeded. Honey begins to turn sour, which also leads to starvation. The high humidity of the nests creates favorable soil for the reproduction of the fungus and increase the death of insects from diseases.
The optimum humidity level is 85%.
The optimum room temperature is from 0 to 2 degrees. In underground structures, thermoregulation occurs naturally. In the ground and semi-underground walls you need to insulate yourself. Artificial materials such as polystyrene or isolon can be used for this. But it is better to find more natural remedies so as not to harm the health of the bees.
If there are a lot of bees and they have enough food, they can overwinter at a temperature slightly below normal.
Ventilation is of particular importance for thermoregulation and humidity control. Inside the hives, the bees carry it out on their own, leaving openings for airflow. In a similar way, the beekeeper establishes a ventilation system in Omshanik using inlet and outlet pipes.
There are 2 ways to create ventilation using pipes:
- Single tube. 1 pipe is installed, which promotes air circulation. It provides an influx of cold air to the bottom of the room and the exit of hot through the top. If the pipe exits through the roof, it must be additionally insulated. In addition, a valve is installed on top, which allows you to control ventilation in Omshanik. Today, this type of air regulation is less commonly used.
- Two-pipe. In this embodiment, 2 pipes are placed. Through the 1st oxygen is distributed throughout the winter. Thanks to the second, there is an outflow of stuffy air. It is also possible to install valves on pipes. More experienced beekeepers attach fans near the pipe outlets to improve air circulation.
Instead of pipes, you can use dry sanded boards, which are installed in the corners of the room.
How to build?
When building an Omshanik, you need to determine the type of structure and only then transgress to the preparation.
Particular attention should be paid to the terrain on which the winter hut will be built.
It must meet the requirements of:
- Protected from water. To check the depth of the groundwater, dig a few holes in the spring. If water begins to collect in them, such a terrain is not suitable for construction. You also need to take care of the absence of flood risk.
- Location You need to put Omshanik near the apiary, so it will be easier to enter the hive. Ideally, it is worthwhile to put the structure in a ravine or on the slope of a small hill. So it will be protected from the winds.
- Entrance placement. It is best done on the south side so that when the door is opened, less cold wind gets into the room. In the winter houses, where more than 100 insect families will live, 2 entrances are made - from the north and south sides.
- Calculation of the area. When drawing up the construction scheme, it should be borne in mind that the width of the passage between the racks should be about 1 m. The rack for placing hives in 1 row is at least 70 cm, in 2 rows - 160 cm. A distance of about 20 cm should be left between the hives. Also, do not place the beehive adjacent to the wall. With this in mind, the total area of the building is calculated. It is better to make Omshanik a little more than required, because the number of bee colonies may increase in the future.
- Costing. It is necessary to determine in advance what materials will be required for construction, to calculate their necessary quantity. Mark out the future wintering grounds.
It should be remembered that during the construction of Omshanik materials will be required not only for the construction of the premises, but also for the manufacture of shelving, doors and ventilation pipes.
Therefore, you need to prepare the following:
- Wood. Need bars or logs. Prepare polished boards, log cabin, croaker. It is better to choose strong wood that retains heat well.
- A rock. It will take bricks and ordinary stones. To strengthen the walls, prepare sand, gravel, lime.
- Metal. Metal corners, channel and pipes.
- Insulation. Due to roofing material waterproofing is created. You will need a film, slabs of reeds and adobe.
Special attention should be paid to materials for creating individual elements of Omshanik:
- Floor. It can be created from concrete, clay, wood.
- Walls. In the underground structure they are made of brick, in others - of wood.
- Overlap. Reinforced concrete is used. Be sure to take care of waterproofing.
- Roof. It can be made from boards. For insulation, the ceiling is laid with moss, straw or sawdust, polystyrene.
Below are step-by-step instructions for building different types of Omshaniks.
Details about the construction of the underground type of Omshanik:
- Dig a pit. To do this, it’s easier to hire an excavator. You can use a shovel, but it takes much more time. The depth of the pit is 3-5.5 m. After digging, align the area well. To do this, use a special level ruler. Using a shovel, create a groove through which condensation will flow out, and also dig a place for installing the stairs at an angle. Its width is at least 1 m.
- Making the floor. Pour the bottom of the pit with concrete or line it with planks as spacers. Place on the edges of the formwork boards. They should be placed at the same level. Fill a layer of concrete with a thickness of about 20 cm. Level it. Wait for it to dry. Formwork can be removed 2 weeks after pouring concrete.
- Walling. It is better to use a double layer of brick. Before laying, moisten each brick in water. Dry brick may crack. The gap that forms between the lower bricks and the floor is filled with clay. Use metal tubes to strengthen the structure. From the bottom, make a strapping of metal, lay the channel on top. For strength, weld the metal frame elements together. It is also required to make the frame on top.
- The creation of the roof. Lay boards on top of the frame. They need to be well strengthened with a solution of concrete and wrap with a film. Lay a double layer of reinforcing mesh. Top up with concrete. To freeze, wait 1 week.
After that, you can cover it with a layer of roofing material and cover it with earth. Above the ceiling, you can equip the attic to remove ventilation pipes and store tools. The roof itself can be made of boards, use slate. Insulate with reeds.
- Arrangement. Lay the steps with concrete slabs or fill with mortar. Before entering Omshanik, you can equip a vestibule, thanks to which it will be possible to retain heat.
Whitewash the walls indoors. Ventilate with plastic or metal pipes. Be sure to take care of the lighting in the wintry. It is better that it be double. For the care of bees, the diffused red color is ideal.
Make sure there are no gaps in the omshany. If they show up, cover them with a layer of polyurethane foam.
You can clearly see how the design of the finished underground winter hut looks like while watching the video presented:
The method of constructing a semi-underground has similarities with the construction of an underground omshanik.
The actions are as follows:
- Site preparation. To do this, clear the place where you plan to put the winter hut, remove weeds and small debris. It is desirable that the site is flat.
- Foundation building. Dig a pit 1 meter deep.
- The manufacture of the frame. It is made of bars or bricks. When creating walls, you need to foresee a place for windows and doors. Wooden boards are nailed over the frame.
Be sure to lay the walls with insulation material. If foam is used, it is fixed with foam. You can make the plywood lining, but then the materials will cost more.
- The construction of the roof. It is made predominantly monotonous. For this, wood, roofing material and insulation material are used. If you make the roof gable, then in the attic you can store beekeeping equipment.
- Interior decoration. Inside, wooden shelves are installed, they can be made of 1 or 2 tiers. Vent pipes are attached. They should be led out to the ceiling or inside the attic.
The sequence of work during the construction of the aboveground type:
- Spread wooden posts around the perimeter. They need to be immersed in soil to a depth of about 80 cm. The total height of the posts is 1 m.
- From above, you need to make a frame of timber and nail logs, about 60 cm long.
- Cover the floor with wooden planks.
- Above ground level, not only brick, but also wood can be used to build a winter hut.
- It is better to make windows under the ceiling so as not to conduct artificial lighting.
- The roof can be made gable or shed.
To bees successfully survived the cold, you need to take care of their comfortable wintering.
Omshanik must be cooked long before the hives are placed there.
What do we have to do:
- Drying the room. For this purpose, it is necessary in the warm season to open the doors and slide the dampers on the ventilation pipes. To prevent rodents from getting into the winter house, grilles are installed.
- Cooling. The winter hut needs to be cooled in order to avoid strong temperature jumps in the future.
- Disinfection. Ceiling and walls are treated with slaked lime. This is necessary so that insect pests do not get into the wintry.
- Soundproofing. In order not to disturb the bees once again, a layer of sand should be lined on the floor. He will make the steps of the beekeeper as quiet as possible. For the same purpose, it is necessary to lubricate the bolts and loops so that they do not emit a squeak.
- Protection. The room needs to be fumigated for the prevention of fungi and infection with parasites. During the procedure, it is required to take care of protective equipment - a special suit, mask, gloves. In the corners of the Omshanik, it is better to spread the poison from rodents, which can damage wooden structures.
- Verification of structures. Before placing hives on racks, you need to make sure that they are strong enough to support the weight of the nest. Old and damp shelves are best replaced with new ones.
When to enter the hive?
As for the transfer of beehives to the winter house, you should remember the features:
- Time of entry. The hive is moved to Omshanik when a constant cold temperature is set on the street. It becomes impossible for the bees to fly out of the nest, the family is preparing for wintering. This is usually done in early December. It is better to move the hive in the morning when the weather is clear and dry.
- Insect protection. Before moving the nest, you need to check that all the notches are tightly closed. It is required to carry the hive as carefully and evenly as possible so as not to disturb the bees.
- Accommodation Nests with stronger and stronger bee colonies should be placed closer to the exit, where the temperature is usually lower. Weak and painful insects are placed on the upper shelves of the shelves, in the depths of the Omshanik. You also need to take care that each hive can be freely approached.
- Discovery of letok. You do not need to do this right away, because even the most careful movement could cause anxiety in the insects, which will lead to aggression on their part. It’s better to wait 2-3 hours.
- Ventilation. 2-3 days after transferring the nests to the winter house, it is necessary to carefully ventilate the room. This is necessary to dry the hives that are saturated with moisture while they are in cold air.
- Measurement of indicators. It is necessary to constantly monitor the humidity and heat levels in the hive. This is done using special devices. If the humidity level is increased, in the corners you can put ordinary kitchen salt in bags. She will take on excess moisture.
Removal of hives is carried out when warm spring weather occurs and the bees can fly around. The ideal time is the flowering of the first honey plants. There is no snow during this period and the risk of frosts is reduced.
After the hive is put on the ground, a bundle of straw is laid in front of it. This will help protect the flying insects from the cold.
It happens that the temperature in the winter hut rises even before the establishment of warm weather on the street. At such times, bees become more active. They feel the need to fly around and replenish honey. To calm insects, beekeepers artificially cool the room.
If the design of the winter hut is created correctly, then special care is not required.
Features of insect care in winter:
- Frequency of visits. At the beginning of winter, bees should be visited no more than 2 times a month. If the winter is cold, then you need to inspect insects living in a ground structure more often to control the level of heat. When the street begins to warm, it is necessary to visit the winter house 1-2 times a week, as the bees become more anxious. Before removal from Omshanik, insects should be visited every day.
- Behavior. You need to go in and out of the winter hut as quietly as possible. Open the hives carefully, without making sudden movements. The door must be closed as tightly as possible so as not to let in cold and noise from the outside.
- Beehive Watching. Even without opening the nest, you can find out if the insects are all right. If they buzz quietly and evenly, wintering takes place without difficulty. Excessive noise from the hive is a bad sign. Most often this is due to a decrease in temperature, but if the rate is normal, you need to check the bees. It is possible that the queen bee died or the stocks of honey were depleted.
- Warming. Beehives with small bee colonies need additional insulation. To do this, the space between the nests, as well as the surface that is on the side of the wall, are laid with a warm mesh.
- Feed. In the initial period, bees are quite unpretentious. It takes about 700 g of honey per 1 family. But with the onset of heat, consumption doubles. This is due to the formation of brood and the expansion of the bee family. Typically, feed is placed at the top of the nest, next to the wall. Below, the bees gather in a ball, thanks to which they warm each other.
The choice of type of construction for Omshanik depends on living conditions. It is better to build a warm and practical underground building, but if there is no such possibility, an overground or semi-underground option is suitable. The main thing is to pre-prepare a wintering plan and take care of the availability of the necessary materials.