On large apiaries, a special lift is needed for transporting the bee compartments - apilift. It is a metal structure with a gripping part and wheels for moving. You can assemble it yourself, using ready-made drawings and step-by-step instructions.
Device and principle of operation
The main parts of the hive lift are:
- Frames . The first frame is stationary, therefore, it acts as a skeleton of the structure, and the second moves parallel to the first and provides the cargo with reliable support. Frames are made of metal shaped tubes with a square cross section. The load capacity and durability of the finished trolley depends on their thickness.
- The carriage . It takes on the weight of the hive, so the load on it is enormous. On the lateral lateral stops of the carriage, lateral clamps are fixed, holding the beehive in one position. The central limiter is needed to fix the torso - a winch element that provides lifting and lowering of the load.
- Forks . These are elements in the form of strong angles that are placed in the carriage and perform the function of lifting the hives. The cargo is placed on them.
- Bearings . The design contains 6 bearings, 4 of which are on the bracket, and 2 on wheels. Thanks to them, the trolley is easy to operate and moves smoothly.
- Lever Allows you to raise the hive to a significant height from the ground. The cart must be brought to the load, the width of the grip should be adjusted with the help of a screw and an arm, and then with the lever to tear the hive off the ground and transported to the desired location.
- Wheels with bracket . Such a component of the trolley is single and acts as a welded guide, but can be removed during disassembly and transportation. The bracket is attached to the frame by tightening two through-bolts in the lower and upper parts of the structure, and after that it is fixed with a wing and helps to reliably fix the hive. Bearing wheels are needed to move the entire apilift. They should be wide, and also have a strong single base, chambers for pumping and a corrugated tire for convenient slipping.
Apilift differs from a simple trolley precisely in the presence of clamps and a system of levers for push-ups.
The principle of operation of such a device is simple:
- The side clamps of the construction securely fix the hive.
- The handle lever lifts the load from ground level to a certain height.
- The lift on wheels rolls to the desired location.
- The load is lowered to the ground with the help of a lever handle.
A design with this principle of operation looks like this:
Lift Requirements and Typical Drawings
A mobile unit is used for transportation of heavy and overall beehives, therefore it should provide the cargo with safety throughout its movement. To make this possible, a home-made apilift must have the following characteristics:
- With a loading capacity up to 120-130 kg . On average, one compartment weighs 40-42 kg, so a cart can carry either a triple beehive or three separate parts.
- The capture width is approximately 35-55 cm . The dimensions of the hives can be different, so it is worthwhile to provide adjustable lateral clamps, with which you can grab and adjust its width depending on the dimensions of the cargo.
The correct separation of the clamps will allow you to fix a heavy load without applying special physical effort.
- Lifting height up to 130 cm . The installation should raise the hive to a height of 130 cm so that it does not drag along the ground during movement.
- 1 cm descent accuracy With proper manufacture, the accuracy of the cargo rearrangement will be 1 cm, which will greatly facilitate the work of the beekeeper, who will not have to lift and rearrange the cargo. At the same time, the apilift itself will not feel the mass of the hive, since the pressure on the handle is only 1 kg.
The mechanism for lifting the apilift can be manual or mechanical, but to facilitate the work, most beekeepers make a cart with their own hands with automatic transmission.
Having decided on the parameters of the future lifting device, it is necessary to prepare its drawing. Here is an example drawing of a standard cart with a carrying capacity of up to 130 kg:
Step-by-step assembly instructions
To assemble the lift you will need such materials and tools:
- profile pipes with a square section - 40x20, 30x20, 25x25 mm;
- bolts (M6, M8) and nuts;
- handle with non-slip coating (rubberized or any other);
- strong tension springs;
- steel cable with a diameter of 3-4 mm;
- a coil with the following parameters: height - 34 mm, outer diameter - 50 mm, inner diameter - 30 mm;
- handle to the coil for winding the rope;
- wheels with an external diameter of 380-400 mm– 2 pieces;
- rollers with bearings;
- welding machine;
Having prepared everything you need, you can begin to assemble the cart. This process can be divided into three stages, each of which requires a separate consideration.
Stage 1: frame assembly
The basis of the entire structure is the frame, which must be made as follows:
- Weld the frame from the side racks so that in the finished state its length is 1570 mm and its width is 370 mm.
- 4 pipes are welded perpendicularly to the finished frame. Attach the extreme beam to the sides and flat. The crossbars at the top and bottom should correspond to the dimensions of the frame pipes (40x20 mm). For the middle crossbars, smaller pipes (30x20 mm) must be used. Install the second beam at a distance of 500 mm from the upper cross member, and the third - at a distance of 380-400 mm from the bottom.
- Especially for the bearing, make a vertical cut of 200 mm along the length of the frame racks from the outside. Install M6 bolts around its edges, otherwise the bearing will fly out of the groove during operation of the trolley.
- Drill one hole for the M bolts on both sides of the third beam from above. In the future, wheel brackets will be installed at these places.
- Step away from the upper beam 200-300 mm and weld rubber handles to the side pipes.
Stage 2: installing the coil, hoist and wheels
At this stage, the assembled frame begins with all the necessary elements that allow for the future transportation of goods. Their installation is carried out in the following order:
- Mount a bearing with a diameter of 40 mm on the upper cross member, having stood 130 mm from the right edge of the frame. Attach a latch (fasteners) on top of the bearing to prevent the cable from falling out of the unit that lifts the load.
- On the left side of the frame, also at a distance of 130 mm from the first crossbar, install the roller groove and insert a steel cable into it, the upper free end of which is nailed with bolts to the left side.
- On the second crossbar from the top, on the front side, install a coil, having withstood an indent of 120 mm from the right edge of the frame. In the bearing, install the axis for the coil, on which the cable will be wound when lifting weights.
- On the opposite side of the coil, also on the second beam, weld a lever 200 mm in size. It should have a handle that rotates freely around its axis.
- Near the coil and lever, nail a piece of steel rod, which will play the role of metal stoppers.
- Using a cable, attach the lever handle to the metal tongue and spring. The tongue will help prevent accidental descent of the loaded carriage. At rest, it will be pressed by the spring to the stopper. At this step, the lifting mechanism looks like this:
- From the profile pipe measuring 25x25 mm, make brackets on which to install the wheel axles. For external fixation, beat them with nuts.
- Fasten the brackets to the frame using rectangular steel plates of size 110x25 mm. Visually, the brackets should be two pipes with dimensions of 300 and 230 mm, welded perpendicularly and connected to the frame using through bolts M
The construction made according to this scheme easily tends to the ground at different angles. This is ensured by the wheels extending from the brackets.
Stage 3: mounting the carriage, plug and clamp
The final, but no less important part in the manufacture of apilift. Assumes the following actions:
- Assemble a carriage - a lifting installation, consisting of numerous parts, including clamps for securing the load. To do this, first make a frame with bearings, the dimensions of which are 720x380 mm. As a material, use a pipe 30x20 mm. In the lower part, make 2 crossbars from a pipe with a diameter of 30x30 mm. They will have lateral latches that capture the hive’s body.
The hinge tilts under the current rod, and the square that pulls the tube from the side clamp is twisted. The angle of inclination of the hinge is adjusted using a bolt with a spring, and the clamp adjustment depends on it. The greater the slope, the more intense the compression.
- From the pipes with a diameter of 25x25 mm and a length of 450 mm, make clamps, on the edges of which perpendicularly weld “paws” to hold the load - segments 90 or 130 mm long. To prevent the hive’s body from sliding, it is advisable to make the part of the “paws” turned inward, ribbed. Insert the prepared clamps into the pipes on the carriage, which have a larger diameter.
- In the center of the bottom rung of the carriage, weld the cable block. The vertical movement of the structure will be carried out by 4 bearings located on the sides of the axial frame.
- To lift the load from the bottom to the bottom of the carriage, on the sides, attach tubes with a diameter of 25x25 mm and a length of 90 mm. To do this, use the M bolts. To get the forks, attach tubes with a length of 450-500 mm to the installed segments. The carriage compression mechanism will be implemented due to the lever with traction.
The main nuances that should be considered when making an apilift are described in the video below:
When operating a homemade apiary cart, a number of rules should be considered:
- Before starting a full-fledged work with the lift, check it for technical serviceability. For this, the initial use of it without a load, paying particular attention to such details:
- fixing screws and nuts, especially in those areas where the cable rollers are fixed;
- the tightness of the support frame bolts fixed through the washers;
- the completeness of the fittings in the grooves.
- If hives with heavy honeycombs are transported, check the reliability of their fixation.
- If possible, free the hive from all unnecessary components. In particular, it is worth removing all the moving parts of the box, which can scare the bees.
- Check the strength of the frame mounts inside the box. If during the transportation process the cells break, this will cause aggression in insects. In addition, some of them may die.
- During the loading process of the hive, monitor the reliability of the handle lock, since it can pop out when the cart is tilted, which will lead to a drop in cargo.
- When transporting bees, work in protective clothing, as well as carry a spray bottle and a net. All these measures will help protect yourself from insect bites in the event of an accident.
When applying certain efforts, the apilift can be assembled with your own hands, which will significantly save on the purchase of a shopping apiary cart. At the same time, great attention should be paid to the installation of small parts, on which the technical characteristics of the manufactured mobile installation will depend.