The summer door for bees actually represents the entrance door to the hive and performs a number of important functions to create the proper microclimate inside the bee house, therefore it requires special attention from the beekeeper. What requirements are put forward to the taphole, what shape and arrangement can have, how is it made, we will consider further.
What it is?
In the scientific literature on beekeeping, it is indicated that the taphole is a hole in the hive, which is made on the front wall of the hull and performs the following functions:
- provides honeybees with unhindered access to the outside world and reverse access to the hive;
- reliably protects bees from predators, rodents and other pests;
- allows you to regulate ventilation and natural air exchange inside the nest;
- may participate in the creation of forced ventilation;
- briefly holds up shoulders that arrive with a bribe and fly out;
- allows you to quickly and comfortably clean the hives from debris and bee subpestilence.
A summer house is an important part of the hive, as it provides bees with a comfortable entrance and exit to the house, and also contributes to good ventilation at any time of the year.
Classification by shape and location
These are important characteristics of the “door” on which the microclimate inside the case will depend.
The hole may have a different shape, which depends on the design of the hive, the climate and the preferences of the beekeeper. Here are some popular views:
- Round . It is considered universal options and, according to many beekeepers, allows bees to comfortably fly out and fly into the house. It can be located in the upper, central or lower part of the housing.
- Rectangular It has a length of 60-70 mm and a height of about 10 mm. Provides good ventilation to the shoulders, located both above and below the body. Mostly found in southern latitudes.
- Square . This form is not very popular and is often used by beekeepers from the southern regions.
- Triangular . It is considered the most natural, since it is precisely such a gap that bees make in a tree. Thus, many beekeepers who want to create the most natural conditions for their insects cut a triangular notch in the evidence.
- The entire width of the wall . Such openings are characteristic of regions with a warm climate. They are not used in cold areas, since in hives with such an entrance in winter it is extremely difficult to maintain optimal temperature conditions. If the full-width passage is made in multihull Dadanov hives, they greatly facilitate the work of bees, and also allow them not to waste energy on ventilation in hot weather.
According to this parameter, there are often two types of tap holes:
- The lower ones . Located slightly above the "floor" of the bee house. The optimal distance from the bottom edge is 6-7 cm. Popularly, such openings are often called "trash", because through them the insects remove the scum and debris. However, the lower notches are the main ones, since they pass the main volumes of pollen and nectar. In accordance with the standard, the size of such a hole should be 200x10 mm, however, in multihull hives it is made along the entire width of the bottom.
- Top . They help protect the hive from bee thieves and promote good air exchange. They come in different sizes and shapes, but are often made round (with a diameter of up to 20-25 mm) or longitudinal (with a size of 12x10 mm). Such holes are drilled at a distance of 4-5 cm from the upper edge of the housing. In summer, their length is regulated using a choke, and in winter it is completely closed. For greater convenience, the upper notch is made of a rectangular shape, and its size is regulated using a movable wooden bar of the same shape.
A summer house needs to be made on the front of the hive so that the bees, especially the bees, do not wander in search of the “door”.
They are determined depending on the shape of the hive, but it is believed that the optimal diameter of the round notch is 20 mm, and the convenient dimensions of the rectangular are 65-70 mm in width and 10 mm in height. At the same time, the size of the letka can be changed depending on the strength of the family and the time of year. So, in the spring it can be narrowed to 50 mm, and in the summer it can be expanded to 150 mm. However, one must not allow excesses in either direction, since this is fraught with negative consequences:
- If the hole is very small, it will be difficult for the insect to make its way inside the house and fly out. Considering that during the day the bees overcome such an obstacle a couple of dozen times, their hairs on their legs will wear out faster and even wings can break off. In addition, with a small hole in the evidence there will be a lack of fresh air, which will affect the amount of honey. To correct such a mistake, the beekeeper will have to tackle the ventilation of the nest, which will require a lot of time and effort.
A narrow opening in the summer will complicate air exchange, which threatens to reduce the strength of the family and its death.
- If the hole is too large, drafts can occur in the house, which are deadly for the bee family. In hot weather, airing can be quite intense, but in winter the air flow must be reduced, otherwise it will be cold and damp in the hive.
In the book of the domestic pioneer beekeeper N.M. Vitvitsky it is indicated that the north side is the best direction, since the bees build honeycombs on the Earth’s magnetic field.
Meanwhile, when determining the optimal direction, the climate of the area should be taken into account: in cold regions, letki should be turned to the southeast, and in warm regions to the northeast.
Is it worth it to direct the beehives with a summer to the north, is described in the following video:
How to make a summer house with your own hands?
In the manufacture of letka the beekeeper should pay special attention to the calculation of its optimal parameters, since any error will adversely affect the performance and productivity of bees. We will consider various options for its manufacture below.
The diameter should not exceed 2 cm. It can be prepared without additional settings, following this instruction:
- Drill a hole with a large drill with an appropriate diameter.
- In manual mode, expand it to the desired size.
- To process the edges of the hole with sandpaper to make them smooth, otherwise the bees can get injured by catching on sharp protrusions.
- On the edges, according to the heck principle, fix a larger diameter gate valve.
How to make a round flying gap and attach the flight board is shown in the video below:
Size is determined by the strength of the bee colony and climatic conditions. According to the standard, the length of the sides of the square should not be less than 2.5 cm.
A square notch is made on the same principle as a round one. So, initially you need to drill a hole with a drill, and then manually sharpen its angles and grind the sides.
Slots of a similar shape are made simultaneously from above and below the body. Their optimal sizes depend on the location:
|Location||Length cm||Width cm|
To create such a tray, you need to cut the necessary shape with a sharp saw on a tree, and then carefully close its edges. The upper tray should be cut 4-5 cm from the ceiling, and the lower one at a distance of 6-7 cm from the bottom.
A triangle-shaped gap is often made with the following parameters:
- bottom side - 3-4 cm;
- hips - 1-2 cm.
It must also be cut with a saw, and then sanded on all sides so that there are no protrusions on them. The valve must be attached with screws, and its dimensions should slightly exceed the notch itself.
As a rule, it is done in multicase “Dadanov” structures in the lower part of each building, and over its entire width. Its height is about 2 cm.
To make such a gap, you need to prepare such materials and tools in advance:
- wood blanks for the "floor" (whetstones, plywood sheet);
- latch on guides or a barrage grid with perforation;
- fasteners (nails or dowels);
- small screws for screwing the mesh;
- a saw;
The instruction for preparing a taphole for the entire width of the hull is as follows:
- Assemble the frame of the lower part (bottom) of the hive from 6 wooden blocks. They need to be carefully knit together.
- Put a plywood sheet cut to size on the frame, and attach 3 more bars on top of it.
- On the resulting structure, install the first tier, and on top of it - subsequent floors.
- The distance between plywood and the bottom of the next tier is the whole length of the notch, which must be covered with a valve or net.
Plywood construction has a lifetime of not more than 3 seasons, because over time it becomes soaked and destroyed.
Gate valve and landing board
Previously, special valves for a taphole, which are also called barriers or limiters, have been repeatedly mentioned. They should be given special attention, because they perform important functions:
- allow narrowing or widening the passage, adjusting its limits to the potential of the bee colony;
- participate in maintaining an optimal microclimate in the hive;
- protect insects from "uninvited guests".
Outwardly, these are small plates, one of which has cutouts and moves freely. Store items are often wooden or plastic. As a rule, they are equipped with perforated gratings for air exchange, but not for the departure of bees. A similar device can be nailed to the wall of the hive through the central hole with a screw or self-tapping screw.
Of course, the valve can also be made with your own hands using such raw materials:
- dense metal grating (preferably stainless);
- thin tin plate.
A valve is made according to the principle of two parallel parts - a profile and a cover. The procedure is as follows:
- Fit the selected material to the shape of the tap hole, but in slightly larger sizes, and then drill numerous holes with a diameter of up to 8 mm along its perimeter for perforation.
- Bend one side 180 ° to form a guide panel.
- Place the part on the flight board and fix it to the hive wall with screws.
Inexperienced beekeepers neglect the landing board, but this approach is erroneous, because it guarantees a comfortable landing for the bees. If it is absent, then insects overloaded with burdens will fall, which will certainly affect the pace and productivity of the bee colony.
To facilitate the planting of insects, some beekeepers also put sloping planks to the ground.
You can find out what a flying gap and an airway should be like in the video below:
Adjustment of letok at different times of the year
The prepared “door” does not always have to be wide open, because the ventilation mode needs to be adjusted depending on the time of year.
Flylets should be handled with particular care during the wintering period, when the bees are locked in the nest and are not able to influence the air exchange flows. At this time, not even the cold, but the dampness and stuffiness that forms under the canvas represents a great danger. How to prepare bees for wintering, read here .
After eating the food, the bees, together with the vapors, emit a large amount of carbon dioxide, which is deposited by hoarfrost on the walls of the hive and has the following characteristics:
- differs in the highest heat-insulating properties among all gases (3 times exceeds the thermal insulation of felt);
- heavier than air, therefore settles in the lower part of the nest;
- in an increased amount, it promotes a slowed-down metabolism in the body of bees, therefore it drives them into a state of drowsiness, in which they spend life resources more economically.
So, some beekeepers make hives with a hermetically sealed lower notch or insulate them too much. They expect that carbon dioxide will displace air from below and fill the hive, creating a feather bed for bees that will displace its excess through the open upper notch. However, this approach does not live up to the expectations of the beekeepers, since excessive warming leads to such negative consequences:
- air circulation and weathering of water vapor are disrupted, so mold and dampness appear on the walls;
- an excess of carbon dioxide is formed, as a result of which the bees become too restless and, in the end, die.
To prevent such consequences, you need to organize a good winter let, which will impede the rapid weathering of carbon dioxide, but at the same time prevent its excess, as well as excessive moisture inside the nest.
To do this, the lower notch should be opened to the length of the protective lattice from mice, and the upper - completely. In addition, the canvas can be bent by about 1 cm at the back wall to allow air to escape under the roof. However, in severe frosts, especially from the beginning of wintering to the first February weeks, the lower summer can be covered, but re-opened in the future to provide insects with fresh air during egg laying. In this case, make sure that the temperature inside the hive does not fall below 4 ° C.
The beekeepers with experience note that strong bees in the Omshanik or in the yard winter much better with open holes. Only in severe frosts should they be covered with a net or liquid canvas. If the bee family is weak or incomplete, and winters in the cold, letlets can be pushed to the third part or shut up tightly. In especially severe frosts, which are accompanied by winds, the holes should also be covered with reed or straw. Such a coating should be removed immediately with the onset of thaw.
And you can find out in more detail how to organize a wintering of bees in the wild here .
In the spring
Until the full development of the bee colony, there is free out-of-bound space in the nest, so it is better to narrow the letlet down to about 5 cm. As the family grows and the brood is added, it should be gradually increased to provide the insects with the right amount of fresh air.
In spring, it is possible to let the bees fly over in the snow. As a rule, this happens in March. If the slots are covered, initially it is worth completely opening not the bottom, but the top. The fact is that the bees rise up the nests and actively move under the canvas, since it is in this part that the food is and it becomes warm, while it is still cold below. After the flight, the bees will start to warm up and ventilate the nest, so the lower letok can also be opened wide.
In the case of weak bee colonies in spring, the lower slots should be closed, otherwise thief insects can plunder the entire nest.
At this time of the year, raspberries, acacia and other honey plants bloom, so bringing in nectar exceeds its consumption. In this regard, the bee family grows, therefore, experienced beekeepers over nests prepare both the second and third floors, that is, a multi-hive hive is created.
At the same time, all openings must be left open. Bees on the arrival board will actively wave their porch, pumping fresh air into the nest. However, even this will not be enough at the most active time of the bribe, so wedges should be placed between the buildings, and special gaps should be arranged for additional ventilation.
In summer, special attention should also be paid to the direction in which the summers are looking. If it is south, then they need to be moved north. The fact is that the southern side is the hottest, so the bees will pump warmed air in the hive, while they need more coolness.
It is necessary to turn the hive with a summer in the north side not in one but in several tricks, otherwise the bees will fly to their usual place with a heavy burden and stumble not on the door, but on a blank wall. In this case, they will begin to crawl along it in search of a gap. If you do not stumble upon it, then they can scatter to neighboring families.
If in the summer a “beard” of insects forms on the arrival board, it means that the hive is excessively hot inside, so all the doors need to be opened to their full potential, and holes must be prepared to enhance ventilation.
In this season, special attention also needs to be paid to the direction of the flyers. The west is considered the optimal side, since it is the late autumn sun that falls on it.
The fact is that in the period from September to October, the mood of the bees becomes pre-winter. Every day they fly less and less, but they need to have time to make the last reserves and close the pantries with a safety seal, otherwise in winter the honey will breathe, increasing the humidity in the nest.
A summer for bees is a part of the technological apparatus, with the help of which the beekeeper controls the life processes of the family, including their wintering, spring breeding and bribe-taking. So, the manufacture of such slots must be approached with all responsibility, as well as their adjustment at different times of the year.