Carrying bee boxes. The basis – is a frame of wooden bars, covered with light plywood. The box has a lid and a bow to capture when carrying it. Customize the lid to the box tightly to prevent theft of bees. On the narrow walls of the box on the inside at the top edge the slats are nailed, which hold frames. More often bee nesting boxes contain six frames. The length of the box 450 mm (17.7”) , width 225 (8.9”), height 350 mm (13.8”).
Box consists of four standard frames. A box is made of 10-mm (0.4”) plates, the side walls can be made from solid plywood. One of the walls on the outside has a pocket to put chisel, queen cells, caps and other necessary equipment. You can keep wax and propolis from frames, rotten wood. On the edge of a side pocket you can hang smoker. When using a portable box of this design there is no need to have additional working box.
Cover of the box is embedded in the recesses of of the upper edges of the walls. Frames are hung on the combs, nailed to the inner sides of the end walls, with slots for the upper hanger bars. Box sizes are connected only to the design of frameworks.
Special boxes: A – working stool, B – box for transferring frames.
During the inspections of bee nests, beekeepers generally place portable boxes near to temporarily place there examined frames or have on hand spare frames with artificial honeycombs.
Working stool. You can use it to transport the small equipment, tools and materials, used directly in the work with the bees in the apiary. The box consists of three branches, two of which are located on each side and one in the middle part. In one department you can store chisel, knife, queen cells, caps, brushes, layers, hammer, pliers, saw, nails, opposite compartment is designed for folding a waxy material, collected during the inspection of bees. In the interior compartment you can store rotten wood for smoker. You can hang the smoker on a hook on the edge of one of the branches of the box when carrying it. At the top of the box you can make gaps to take it. Box of this design is easy to use. During working with the bees, you can sit on it if necessary. Ypou can make it of the boards with thickness 20-25 mm (0.8-1”). Its dimensions are determined by the height of pegs of hives and system of hives.
Wintering bees in plywood boxes
There is a popular method of wintering bees in special boxes that are inserted into the hives. The advantages of this method are as follows. Transplant of bees in boxes of smaller volume than hives, allows to store more families. The use of boxes keeps hives clean during the winter, in the spring family is easily transplanted to a clean and renovated hive.
Boxes are made of three-layer plywood or cardboard so that they are easily inserted and removed from the hives. The side walls of the box have a length of 447 mm (17.6”), height – 380 mm (15”), and the front and rear walls – height 310 mm (12.2”) and a width of 345 mm (13.6”). Box includes seven frames.Bottom of the box is made of plywood or cardboard with thickness of 4-5 mm (0.2”), and the size of 380 × 440 mm (15*17.3”).Part of the box is fastened with brackets of sizes 12x25x375 mm (0.5*1*14.8”), which are nailed to the inside of the side walls.
Inside of the box to the side walls is attached with special brackets the layer of straw, the thickness of which depends on the temperature.
In the front wall, down in the middle, you cut the entrance of sizes 95 × 10 mm (3.7*0.4”). Notches can be made in the side wall of the box.
Warming in the upper box is a straw mat with length 470 mm (18.5”) and a thickness 10 to 30 mm (0.4-1.2”) (depending on the wintering conditions and force of families). Ventilation is made through the top straw mat.
Bees in the boxes are transplanted after the formation of nests and putting the food in late September or early October. Frame with bees are placed in a box and put in the same order as they were in the hive, then the frame is covered with a cloth, and put on top a straw mat. Remaining in the hive bees are removed and propolis is cleaned from sides and bottom. Box is placed in the hive so that they coincide notch.Hive entrance is open on 2 – 3 cm (1”), and a box inside the hive is insulated from the sides and top with cushions. Hive is covered with a lid and you leave the bees. Transporting a hive to a warehouse, you remove the cover, remove insulation, leaving only a lap and a straw mat. Box is removed from the hive and put it on the corner, and then close the entrance in the box.
When all the families in the boxes will be placed in warehouse, notches are open. Indoor temperature should be about 2-4 C (35 F), and humidity – 80-85%. During wintering bees in boxes need 6,8-7,4 kg of feed. The bees can overwinter in both indoor and in the wild, and in the latter case, the boxes are not removed from the hive. When wintering bees in boxes you improve their living conditions in the autumn: the nest in this case is a compact and the heat loss is reduced.