BeeKeeping Tools

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Need of Tools

Equipment needs vary with the size of your operation, number of colonies, and the type of honey you plan to produce. The basic equipment you need are the components of the hive, protective gear, smoker and hive tool, and the equipment you need for handling the honey crop.
The hive is the man-made structure in which the honey bee colony lives. Over the years a wide variety of hives have been developed. Today most beekeepers in the india use the modern ten-frame hive. A typical hive consists of a hive stand, a bottom board with entrance cleat or reducer, a series of boxes or hive bodies with suspended frames containing foundation or comb, and inner and outer covers. The hive bodies that contain the brood nest may be separated from the honey supers (where the surplus honey is stored) with a queen excluder.

Hive stand

The hive stand, actually an optional piece of equipment, elevates the bottom board (floor) of the hive off the ground. In principle, this support reduces dampness in the hive, extends the life of the bottom board, and helps keep the front entrance free of grass and weeds. Hive stands may be concrete blocks, bricks, railroad ties, pallets, logs, or a commercially produced hive stand. A hive stand may support a single colony, two colonies, or a row of several colonies.

Bottom Board

The bottom board serves as the floor of the colony and as a takeoff and landing platform for foraging bees. Since the bottom board is open in the front, the colony should be tilted forward slightly to prevent rainwater from running into the hive. Bottom boards available from many bee supply dealers are reversible, providing either a 7- or 3-inch opening in front

Hive Bodies

The standard ten-frame hive body is available in four common depths or heights. The full-depth hive body, 10 inches high, is most often used for brood rearing. These large units provide adequate space with minimum interruption for large solid brood areas. They also are suitable for honey supers.
However, when filled with honey, they weigh over 60 pounds and are heavy to handle.
The medium-depth super, 7 inches high. While this is the most convenient size for honey supers. An intermediate size (8 inches) between the full- and medium-depth super is preferred by some beekeepers, especially those who make their own boxes. Section comb honey production is a specialized art requiring intense management and generally is not recommended for beginners.
These can be purchased from bee supply dealers and are constructed from wood or cardboard, the latter for temporary use only.
Different management schemes are used according to the depth of hive bodies utilized for the brood area of the hive. One scheme is to use a single full-depth hive body, which theoretically would give the queen all the room she needs for egg laying. However, additional space is needed for food storage and maximum brood nest expansion. Normally a single full-depth brood chamber is used when beekeepers want to crowd bees for comb honey production, when a package is installed, or when a nucleus colony or division is first established.

Frames and Combs

The suspended beeswax comb held within a frame is the basic structural component inside the hive. In a man-made hive, the wooden or plastic beeswax comb is started from a sheet of beeswax or plastic foundation. After the workers have added wax to draw out the foundation, the drawn cells are used for storage of honey and pollen or used for brood rearing.
The bee frames and combs size are vary according to their hive bodies. It takes very important part in the hive foundation. Bee Keepers can purchase this from bee product suppliers. You can also make order according to your requirement of frames and combs size.

Queen Excluder

The primary functions of the queen excluder are to confine the queen and her brood and to store pollen in the brood nest. It is an optional piece of equipment and is used by less than 50 percent of beekeepers. Many beekeepers refer to queen excluders as “honey excluders” because at times workers are reluctant to pass through the narrow openings of the excluder to store nectar in the supers above until all available space in the brood chambers is used up.
An excluder is constructed of a thin sheet of perforated metal or plastic with openings large enough for workers to pass through. Other designs consist of welded round-wire grills supported by wooden or metal frames. Frames of honey in the super directly above the brood chamber or comb sections act as a natural barrier to keep the queen confined to the brood nest. Properly timing the reversal of brood chambers in the spring with supering during a surplus nectar flow will serve the same purpose as a queen excluder. For this reason, queen excluders are sometimes used with the addition of the first supers (but again, installed only after some nectar has been stored in the supers) and then removed.
Queen excluders also are used to separate queens in a two-queen system, to raise queens in queenright colonies, and for emergency swarm prevention. An excluder also may help in finding the queen. If you place an excluder between two hive bodies, after 3 days you will be able to determine which hive body contains the queen by locating where eggs are present.

Inner Cover

The inner cover rests on top of the uppermost super and beneath the outer telescoping cover. It prevents the bees from gluing down the outer cover to the super with propolis and wax. It also provides an air space just under the outer cover for insulation. During summer, the inner cover protects the interior of the hive from the direct rays of the sun. During winter, it prevents moisture-laden air from directly contacting cold surfaces. The center hole in the inner cover may be fitted with a Porter bee escape to aid in removing bees from full supers of honey.

Outer Cover

An outer telescoping cover protects hive parts from the weather. It fits over the inner cover and the top edge of the uppermost hive body. The top is normally covered with a sheet of metal to prevent weathering and leaking. Removal of the outer cover, with the inner cover in place, disturbs few bees within the hive and allows the beekeeper to more easily smoke the bees prior to colony manipulation.
Beekeepers that routinely move hives use a simple cover, often referred to as a migratory lid. Covers of this type fit flush with the sides of the hive body and may or may not extend over the ends.
In addition to being lightweight and easy to remove, these covers allow colonies to be stacked. Tight stacking is important in securing a load of hives on a truck.

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