How to care for bees


Care of the bees to someone may seem simple - it's insects. The beekeeper doesn't need to do anything at all, only to pump out honey at the end of the summer. Someone will say that it is easier to deal with animals than an incomprehensible colony with its own laws and biorhythms. But in beekeeping, as in any business, has its own pitfalls and its secrets.

How to care for bees

It may seem easy for beginners to take care of bees at home: it is necessary to warm the hive for the winter, remove the insulation in the spring, relax in the summer in the porch with a cup of coffee, pump honey in the fall and warm the hive for the winter. In fact, the beekeeper has enough affairs to take care of the apiary, even if he drinks tea on the veranda in the evening.

Both for the beekeeper and for the “green” novice, each cycle in the care of the apiary and the production of honey begins in early spring. For a beginner in the first year, it is better to purchase turnkey hives with ready-made families. Even if it will cost more. Next will have to do on their own.

Attention! Sometimes newcomers find it better to buy new families each year.

Experienced beekeepers say that this policy is unprofitable in the production of honey. Purchased families will be smaller and weaker than the "old", overgrown colonies. The amount of honey produced depends directly on the size of the colonies.

Care of the bees in the spring

Those who are just starting the first cycle and bought bee families are already fully prepared, and in the new hives care can be started closer to the summer when the queen flies to fly. If the second year of beekeeping has begun, care for the bees in the hives begins as soon as the outside temperature reaches + 8 ° C.

Spring care begins with transplanting bees into a clean hive. To do this, the inhabited house is removed from the supports and set aside. In its place put a clean. Replaceable hive does not have to be new, but it must be cleaned, scraped and sanitized.

After that, a printed honey-peper frame prepared in advance is placed in the hive. After issuing the minimum ration, open the old hive and check the condition of the framework in it. Bees are shaken off the impaired and put such frames in a portable box. Unworn and containing honey are transferred to a new hive. Filling the new hive start from the middle.

Important! The term "premature" means exactly what comes first.

In winter, bees have an upset stomach. At best, it is noncontagious; at worst, it is a viral disease Nosema. Because of the possible presence of a virus frame for spring care and need to be removed. Beekeepers who are confident in the health of their bees sometimes leave such a framework. Coming out of the stupor, the bees themselves will clean them. But it is better not to risk it.

Next to the honey frame they put a printed honey-peper and a frame with brood next. Similarly, they check all other frames in the old hive. Tired and moldy discarded. After all the usable frames have been moved to a new house, check the total amount of honey. If less than 8 kg, add honey unopened frame. After that, bees are transplanted into a clean hive. One should not worry about the care of the transplanted families.

Bee care in the summer

In the summer, the bees work independently, and there is no need to disturb them once again. At this time, they are able to feed themselves if there are enough flowering honey plants in the area. Summer maintenance and care of the bees are reduced to checking the hives 2 times a month to make sure that the family has failed and collects enough honey.

They try to choose a place for an apiary in such a way that the bees do not have to travel far for a bribe. The shorter the path to the honey plants, the more honey the bees will manage to collect in one day. But sometimes flowering is delayed or there is little nectar in the flowers. Double checks during the summer care will help determine whether everything is in order with the collection of honey. If it turns out that the bribes are smaller than in previous years, the hives are taken closer to the honey plants.

The supervision of the formation of the family is to check whether the drone brood is too large and the number of cells for working individuals is sufficient. More thorough care in most cases is not required.


The only case when an active beekeeper's intervention is required during summer care is swarming. Families need to be monitored so that the exit of the uterus with a new swarm does not go unnoticed. Swarming always happens on a clear day, as the good womb is sensitive to the weather. Signs of the beginning of swarming:

  • bees fly out of the hive and hover around;
  • after the appearance of the uterus, the swarm adjoins it.

A beekeeper should not miss this moment, because otherwise the swarm will fly away on their own to look for a new home.

What if the bees began to swarm:

  1. With the help of a scoop and roevni collect bees. It is advisable to immediately find and catch the uterus, then the bees will go to the battlefield without compulsion.
  2. Those who do not want to go to the swarm of the bees are driven in its direction with the help of smoke.
  3. The assembled swarm is carried to a dark room and left for an hour, after which they listen to whether the swarm has calmed down. The continued concern of the bees means that either there is no womb in the swarm, or there are several queens.
  4. If there are several queens, the swarm is shaken out, they look for females and leave only one queen to the new colony. The rest is placed in the cells.
  5. In the absence of a uterus, a swarm is given to someone else.

A foreign female is planted in the evening. In the hive put dry and honeycomb with brood. Usually, the swarm remains to live in a new place, forming an ordinary colony. In the summer, the beekeeper usually does not have any other cares if the air temperature is in acceptable values.

Sometimes summer is not cold, but very hot. In this case, bribes are also reduced, as the flowers fade early. The bees themselves at such times may be too hot in the hive.

What if the bees are hot

A sign that the hive is overheated - bunches of bees near the entrance. Such a situation usually occurs when the air temperature on the street is higher than it should be in the hive, and the fan bees cannot cope with their functions.

The heat inside the house is dangerous, above all, for the brood. He may die from overheating. Apiaries are often located in the middle of open space in the sun. This situation is good in the morning, when the bees warm up and fly away for a bribe earlier than usual. Not bad fast heating of the hive and in early spring, when the uterus are selected to fly. The rest of the time it is more harmful than useful.

With a large enough family, the bees themselves can raise the temperature in their home to what they need. Care in this case they are not required. But in the hot summer the big family suffers, and here it is necessary to take protective measures:

  • move the hive into the shade;
  • if it is impossible to move, build a canopy over them;
  • outside the hives to lay insulation.

The canopy is often made of a construction protective net, which creates a small tenek and freely lets air through. When arranging thermal insulation, it must be remembered that no material in itself heats or cools anything. It only keeps the temperature already present.

This property of heat insulators can be used to combine the need for early warming in the spring and protection from heat in the summer. The hive painted with white paint is less heated, but this is bad in spring. The dark colored hive will heat up quickly in the spring, but will overheat in the summer.

To combine the opposite requirements, the hive can be painted in a dark color. But in the summer it is obligatory to insulate it outside with foam plastic, slate or other material that does not conduct heat well.

Important! The insulation must not cover the vents.

Deaf walls of the hive and the roof is closed with a clear conscience. Shading and heat insulation are all that can be done when caring for bees in an abnormally hot summer.

What to do with the bees after pumping honey

In August, the bees begin to prepare for wintering. Terms of honey pumping depend on the activity of the colony and the degree of maturity of the product. On the pumping take away the framework, which the bees began to clog with wax. From mid-August, they begin to conduct an audit of families. At the same time, you can do the last pumping of honey, although many beekeepers prefer to carry out this procedure in early August.

Care of the bees after pumping honey is to prepare families for the winter. August 15-20, conduct an autumn revision of the hives.

Bee care in the fall

Autumn care is the most troublesome. In late August, the hive is completely dismantled. Carefully inspect all the frames, including the brood, which could not be touched all summer. Record the amount of honey, bee bread, brood and bees. In the presence of fresh open brood uterus is not looking. If there is only a closed one, the uterus must be found.

Discovered the queen carefully inspected. In the absence of any defects, the family is considered normal, and the female is left for the next year.

It should be borne in mind that the uterus can abruptly stop egg-laying, if honey stocks suddenly decrease in the hive (pumping has been performed). This situation is not related to the physical condition of the female and it is not necessary to replace it.

If the uterus is not present or has physical disabilities, the colony is labeled and its fate determined later. In the autumn inspection, all substandard and old honeycombs are culled and they pre-assemble the hive for wintering: the remaining cells in the center make holes with a diameter of 8-10 mm so that in winter the bees have the opportunity to move freely along the nest.

After that, using the compiled records, they analyze the apiary, the state of the families, and decide how many colonies should be left for the winter. If necessary, weak and strong families are united. They also decide in which families and in what quantity the framework with honey, perga and brood should be distributed.

Important! The feed in the hive should be 4-5 kg ​​more than the family needs for wintering.

This is due to the fact that the bees do not fall into anabiosis, but continue their livelihoods in the winter. Although less than in the warm season, in the winter the bees feed in the same way, feed the brood, and the uterus lays new eggs. Because of the brood colony and in need of "extra" stocks of food.

How much honey to leave to the family depends on the preferences of the owner. Some take natural honey, and the bees are offered sugar syrup to quickly replenish stocks. There is an opinion that bees get sick from such honey. Definitely not recommended to take away the "sugar" honey to pump out the next summer. Even if it remains with the bees.

With proper preparation for the winter care of the bees until spring is not needed. With improper care and insulation, the colony will not survive the winter.

Transportation of bees

Transportation of bees over long distances is carried out 2 times a year or not at all. Depends on the location of the apiary. The apiary is transported not for the purpose of care, but to get more honey. If the apiary is located successfully, it does not need transportation.

In the spring, the hives are trying to transport closer to the flowering gardens. In summer, it is better to place an apiary next to a flowering meadow. If the beehives are located on the territory of a large agribusiness firm with a diverse activity, then it is only necessary to remove the colonies in the spring closer to the farmland, and pick them up for wintering in the fall.

When transporting hives, you must follow certain rules in order to safely transport the apiary:

  • Preparing the hives for transportation, the framework is fixed. If the frames are small, they are shifted to one side and inserted a diaphragm, which is fixed with nails.
  • The frames on top are covered with ceiling slats to prevent gaps.
  • To ensure air circulation in one of the ceiling frames make a hole.
  • Put hives flybacks back and securely fasten.
  • It is better to carry out transportation when the bees have already finished the daytime years, but have not yet flown in the morning. In fact, such transportation is carried out at night.

The last condition is not always feasible and it will be enough to go slowly so that the outgoing bees can find their home.

Important! Transportation is carried out slowly, avoiding shaking.

Transplanting bees to a new hive

Transplanting is required for spring and sometimes autumn care for the apiary. Partial bee transplantation takes place along with good frames. Insects are not shaken off from them, but carefully moved to a new place. The rest of the swarm will need to be moved manually. To transplant all the bees from one hive to another without damage, the uterus is transferred first. Bees usually calmly go after her.

Since non-flying individuals may end up in the hive, the old and the new house are placed opposite each other. Seats should touch, so that those who do not fly, could crawl to a new place of residence. Or anyone who can not move himself after the uterus, transferred manually.

Important! The framework in the new hive should be the same as in the old one.

Proper bee transplantation:

What fumigate bees

When caring for the bees can not do without a device that helps to avoid bites. It is called "flue" and has a fairly simple design:

  • cylindrical body of two layers of metal;
  • cover with spout;
  • furs for air supply inside.

With a simple care in the smoker lay the material that will smolder, but will not give the flame. In the treatment of ember pour the appropriate drugs.

Fumigation "pacifies" the bees are not due to smoke, as such. Feeling burnt, insects instinctively begin to eat honey. In the case of a forest fire, they will have to move to a new place and it is better to do so with at least some food reserves. Therefore, the workers are fed up to the full abdomen. But such a belly bends badly and sting becomes uncomfortable. It is on the inability to sting and the mechanism of "pacification" is based.

Important! Smoker does not give a 100% guarantee of the absence of bites.

There can always be not enough "fed up" or a bee that has just returned from the meadows.

Than to fumigate

In the chimney lay material that can smolder for a long time without a flame. Store charcoal can not be used, it gives too high a temperature and very little smoke. The best materials for the smoker are:

  • wood rotters;
  • dried tinder;
  • oak bark.

Wood rot can be collected from the stumps in the forest and dry this dust. Polypore often settles even in the gardens, it must be destroyed. In this case, you can combine two goals at once. Collect tinder in the spring.

Attention! At hand should always be stocks for the smoker.

What categorically can not be used:

  • pieces of chipboard and fiberboard;
  • fresh wood;
  • fresh sawdust.

Chipboards are saturated with poisonous substances that will kill the bees. Wood and sawdust are burning, not smoldering. The flames will piss off the worker bees.

Proper fumigation

Smoke can not be abused. In order for the bees to calm down and begin to stock up on honey, it is enough to release 2-3 clubs of smoke. This is a signal to insects that there is a fire somewhere, but they can be ignored. Or do not get around and need to stock up on food. If you smoke too much the bees in the hive, it will be a signal that the fire is near. It is necessary to rise and fly to a new place. Too much smoke will only infuriate the bees.

Important! When caring for bees, the smoker should be kept at such a distance so as not to burn the bees.

Safety rules when working in the apiary

The instructions for the care of bees provides not only the use of the dimmer, but also the wearing of special clothing that protects against bites:

  • closed shoes;
  • long pants;
  • long-sleeve shirt;
  • cuffs on the sleeves should be with elastic bands;
  • gloves;
  • hat with a mosquito net.

When caring for bees, you can get 50 or more bites per day. If 1-2 can even be beneficial, then a large amount of bee venom will cause a strong allergic reaction or even death.


Care of the bees from the side seems to be a quiet leisurely exercise, but this is due to the fact that insects do not like sudden movements. In fact, care requires the beekeeper care, accuracy and considerable investment of labor.