To solve the problem of transporting the bee family , experienced beekeepers build boxes for bee packages , which create all the necessary conditions for insects. Similar designs resemble hives, however, they are made much simpler and easier, because they have minimal requirements, namely, providing space for good transportability of bees. How to make such boxes, find out further.
Why do I need a box?
A bee package is a complete bee family for sale, which has a uterus and a certain number of bees. The foundation of the future honey family depends on the formation of the package. It happens according to this principle:
- A healthy bee family is selected.
- Part of the honeycomb, feed and insects themselves are taken from the selected hive.
- All this is carefully moved to a special box in which the bees will need to be delivered to the buyer.
Thus, the box for bee packages is a box in which frames with honeycombs are placed for their subsequent transportation. The number of these frames can vary, but often is 4 (500x200x400 mm) or 6 (500x300x400 mm).
Some beekeepers use bonded beehives to transport insects, but they often fall apart like a house of cards on the road. In this regard, the preferred option is to use specialized boxes.
Such products can be of different dimensions and types, however, in any case, they need to be designed in such a way that they contain such fundamental components:
- frames with printed bee brood , between which there should be free space;
- strong mounts under the frames, which should be located above and below to prevent damage during transportation;
As a rule, beekeepers make boxes of 4 or 6 frames, based on the special GOST standard for a honeycomb package with bees. It defines the basic norms and boundaries of different bee packages. You can find them from the table:
|Parameter||4 frame package||6 frame package||Notes|
|Number of bees||1.2 kg||1,5 kg||-|
|The uterus is fetal||1 kg||1 kg||-|
|Honeycombs||4 pieces||6 items||-|
|Brood translated into honeycombs with a size of 435x300 mm||1.5 pieces||2 pieces||-|
|Drones||permissible if the supplied bee colonies match the zoned bee breed|
|Food for bees (in one comb up to 1.5 kg)||3 kg||4 kg||natural honey or 60% sugar syrup is suitable as a feed|
|Uterus food||15 g||15 g||Kandy is used as food|
In the manufacture of a box for bee packages, one can proceed from these standards, while adapting it to the necessary size frames, since all hives are different, respectively, and bee frames.
Types of Package Boxes
Depending on the availability of cells, there are two types of boxes for bee packages - cellular and cell-free. In modern beekeeping, cellular packages are more popular, under which special containers are made for transportation. The characteristics of these structures will be considered separately.
Packages of this type consist of 4 or 6 Dadan-Blatt frames 435x300 mm in size. As standard, three of them with brood, and one more with food. Meanwhile, the beekeeper can change such parameters, for example, using 2 frames with brood and 2 frames with food. However, you need to take into account that the less food in the bag, the shorter the bees can be transported. This package looks like a small narrow hive.
A similar package contains a complex of one fetal uterus, which is placed in a separate cell. Other worker bees are also settled in it, as well as feeders and drinking bowls. As food, you can use syrup or candi.
According to GOST, in a cell-free package should be at least 1.2 kg of working insects. In this case, deviations from the norm in 100-200 g are permissible.
These bags are suitable for all types of hives. In fact, it is a box in the shape of a rectangle. Its front and back walls are made mesh, and the side walls are made of wood. The floor and ceiling are also made of wood.
Similar designs allow you to:
- minimize cash costs for the prevention and control of bee diseases ;
- Easily and quickly update the cellular economy;
- reduce the cost of transporting the bee family;
- to simplify the maintenance and care of bee colonies received from packages after a month transplant;
- regularly check the condition of the uterus and the entire family, while not disturbing insects.
Drawer Design Drawings
In the subject literature, drawings of honeycomb boxes for bee bags are provided, moreover, indicating the exact dimensions of all the details. Classic schemes are as follows:
The constituent parts of the structure: 1 - whetstone 5x19x520 (8 pieces); 2 - bar 15x19x200 (9 pieces); 3 - upper comb (2 pieces); 4 - plate 4х200х330 (1 piece); 5 - bar 15x19x390 (8 pieces); 6 - lower comb (2 pieces); 7 - bar 15x19x160 (2 pieces); 8 - 4x20x100 plate (4 pieces); 9 - bar 15x19x240 (4 pieces); 10 - plate 4x20x160 (1 piece); 11 - a plate with a recess (1 piece); 12 - honeycomb frame; 13 - nail 2x45; 14 - a nail 1,6х40; 15 - mesh 120x200 (2 pieces); 16 - cell; 17 - a nail 1,8х32; 18 - a nail 1,2x20; 19 - plate 4x20x70 (1 piece); 20 - whetstone with a notch (1 piece).
To understand how the frames are attached and at what distance, to prevent damage to the shoulders during transportation, you should look at the drawing of the cross section of the box:
The following details are indicated on this diagram: 1 - bar 15x19x520 (8 pieces); 2 - plywood plate 4x240x520 (2 pieces); 3 - plate 4x430x520 (2 pieces); 4 and 5 - lower and upper combs; 6 - pressure bar.
To more accurately understand all the components of the box, it is worth examining the general view of them, which looks like this:
The diagram shows the following structural details: 1 and 2 - lower and upper combs; 3 - bar with a recess; 4 and 5 - plates with a recess; 6 - a cover; 7 - side wall of the feeder; 8 - petal scion.
Based on the above drawings, each home master can design a box for bee packages, adjusting only its height, depth and width.
You can assemble a box for bee bags according to different instructions, however, it is worth using plywood or fiberboard as the main material, since this is an easy and inexpensive raw material that does not require serious preliminary preparation. We will consider further options for how to assemble a box for transporting bees on its basis.
Box on 8 frames
To make the box spacious, but easy to carry, it is best to make it into 8 frames. Such a box should also be equipped with a straight cover and a special belt mount so that it can be more easily carried by the beekeeper. When assembling the following drawings will help:
To assemble the box you need to prepare the following materials and tools:
- sheets of plywood with a thickness of at least 4 mm (if the box is planned to be used in the future as a garden chair, it can be made from more durable sheets of chipboard);
- slats measuring 45x20 mm;
- self-tapping screws or thin boot nails;
- galvanized paper clip for external fixation of the lid;
- 2 ordinary hinges for internal lid fixation;
- a nylon belt and a stainless fastener for it (for example, self-tapping screws);
- thermal tape with a thickness of about 1 mm, which is used to warm windows for the winter.
The box is assembled in the following order:
- Prepare the structural components - front, rear and 2 side walls (sizes 300x330), cover and bottom.
- At a distance of 15 mm from the edge of the upper part of the front wall, nail the rail, the length of which is 300 mm, the width is 45 mm, the height is 20 mm. Thus, it will be possible to get folds, that is, an emphasis on the future design. Nail the same planks outside, but without indentation.
- Saw out the ventilation hole at the bottom of the front of the case and cover it with a fine mesh, which can be reached using a conventional construction stapler. Some beekeepers neglect such a hole, but this is not the right decision, because without proper ventilation inside the box, the honey will “suffocate”.
- To the rear wall (has the same dimensions as the front) to arrive rails, but only outside - at the top and bottom. Indentation from the edges is not necessary.
- Nail side panels 300 × 330 mm in size to the front and back walls, and then stuff 2 rails onto their outer surface - above and below. Thanks to this, the box can be easily held in hands.
- To seal the box, glue the panel for the lid on the inside with a thermal tape around the entire perimeter, and then attach it to the walls using loops.
- Nail the bottom with nails.
- Screw the closing part of the galvanized staple to the cover, and the fixed part to the sidewall. At the end, beat the belt for carrying the box.
The capacity of the box for 8 frames is more than 10 kg. It is tightly closed and can be stored near the hive without fear for the safety of the honey collected.
How to assemble a 6-frame beekeeper’s box “3 in 1” with a latch handle and tool pockets, is clearly shown in the following video:
Box on 10 frames
It is a lightweight construction that takes up little space and can be used to transport bees in a car. It looks like this:
Such a box holds 10 frames of Dadan (470x300 mm) and is a frame structure. For its manufacture, you need to use bars with a size of at least 25x25 mm. It is desirable that they be of the same dimensions, so that the assembled box turns out to be as neat as possible. The sides can be made of hardboard (thick pressed cardboard), the front and back walls are made of plywood with a thickness of at least 4 mm, the bottom and the cover are made of plywood with a thickness of 10 mm.
The calculation of the internal dimensions of the box is as follows:
- 37 (frame thickness) x 10 (number of frames) = 370 mm (width);
- 300 (frame height) + 20 (space between frames) = 230 mm (height);
- 470 mm (drawer length according to frame length).
The calculation of the external dimensions of the box is based on the dimensions of the used strips. They are held in the following table:
|Detail||Dimensions (length x height x width), mm||Amount|
|Horizontal bars for sidewalls||530x30x30||4|
|Hardboard for side walls||530x380||2|
|4 mm plywood for front and rear||430x380||2|
|10 mm plywood for bottom and cover||530x430||2|
|Nails or furniture staples||15-20||20-30|
|Drawer Assembly Screws||50-60||16|
|Screws for closing the drawer||thirty||7-10|
Having prepared everything you need, you can make a box according to this scheme:
- Assemble the frame of the wall on which to nail plywood or hardboard.
- On the front and rear walls from the inside, nail the bar that will hold the box. This can be done after assembly, although it will be less convenient.
- After assembling all four parts, connect the parts to each other using screws and a 90º holding angle.
- Align the bottom and beat in place.
- Put the hinges on the cover, and then screw them to the walls. It will open fully, causing discomfort during work. However, this can be avoided if, using two furniture staples, a rope arrives so that the lid opens only at 110-120º.
And in the end, put a small piece of hardboard on a small screw and close the notch.
An experienced master can easily cope with such assembly and operation of the finished box, however, even in this case, a number of nuances should be taken into account:
- In the lid it is worth making a ventilation hole measuring 10x10 cm, and then close it with a metal or plastic mesh. However, this approach is ineffective if, when transported, a canvas is placed on top of the bees so that they do not come out of the box. In this case, it is more advisable to drill a lot of holes of 3 mm on a front and back walls with a thin drill.
Even if there are ventilation openings when transporting bees in the car, it is worth opening the windows to provide the insects with fresh air.
- When transporting bees, it is worth closing the lid and tap hole . To do this, you need to have a screwdriver and a set of screws with you. Of course, you can also use normal locks, if you first buy them in a hardware store.
- During transport, the bees will hang out or fly into a heap. So, you will have to carry small wedges with which you can fix the frames with dividers. If there are none, you will have to use a metal tape, which will need to be punched over the frames and also fixed. An alternative is to use small wedges, but they will not be able to stay in place until the end of the trip.
The box made can also be used as a trap, swarm or container storage box.
Features of mounting frames
This step has the same meaning as the stage of formation of bee packets. The fastening technology is simple, but it must be strictly observed, otherwise the bees can suffer during transportation.
Frames need to be mounted in such a way that in the center there are frames with a uterus and brood, and closer to the walls - frames with cells, which will subsequently be filled with honey. Between them will be empty cells. The total weight of the bag can reach 16 kg.
How to transplant bees from a homemade box to the hive?
After transportation, it is worth covering the box with a lid and leaving it for several days so that the insects calm down and fly around. At the same time, they should be fed with sugar syrup, which will accelerate the period of their adaptation after transportation. Bees are also worth inspecting, removing those that are sick after the trip. Healthy insects can be relocated to the hive . In this case, you need to proceed from the type of bee package:
- Cell phone . Work is carried out in cool weather. Initially, the package is installed in front of the hive so that the flyers look one way. Next, the summer opens, after which the bees fly out and get used to a new place. At this time, the beekeeper needs to rearrange the frames from the box to the hive, observing the same order of their location. If not all the bees have flown out and remained in the bag, they need to be carefully swiped onto the frames in the hive. The uterus needs to be released only after all the bees calm down.
- Frameless . In this case, the honeycombs need to be prepared in advance, taking about 3-4 kg of Dadan-Blatt frames for 1.3 kg of bees. After transportation, the insects should be placed for 3-7 days in a cool place (for example, in the cellar), providing them with water and food. When the bees are moving, you need to open the lid of the box, find the uterus in a small box, open it and place it in the center between the rows, not letting go completely out of the cage. The entire open bag needs to be put in the hive, but if there is no space, the insects can be released inside. The next day, you can resettle the uterus. At this point, the bees are already adapting, so you can remove the entire package from the hive.
Video: drawer manufacturing tips
What to consider when assembling a beekeeper’s box is described in the following video:
If you want to make a box and a watering can for a cell-free package, you should take into account the recommendations from the video below:
Boxes for bee packages are simple designs that can be easily made with your own hands in the home workshop, using ready-made drawings, improvised materials and tools. In this case, you must act carefully and carefully so that the finished box is reliable and suitable for transporting bees.