Yevgeny Chertkov. How to make a log for bees. My experience
Yevgeny Chertkov. How to make a log for bees. My experience
I have always had the desire to start bees and try the taste of honey from my own bee yards.
When I moved to the Settlement, my dream came true: I acquired three beehives along with yellow-striped residents. I decided that such a number of hives would be enough for me to get the first experience to begin with.
After some time, I understood that the methods of traditional beekeeping imply constant intervention in the life of the bee family. As a result, the bees are almost constantly under stress, they get sick, become angry and aggressive.
Needless to say about the quality of honey in the traditional approach to beekeeping. In my opinion, current "honey" that is on the shelves has no connection with real Honey.
There is an information that the bee colony needs about 7 years to start making real honey. And all this time, the bees should be given the opportunity to spend the winter on the honey, which they collected at the most favorable time.
Thus, in the spring, bees have the opportunity to “see” in which honeycombs honey is candied, and in which they are not, and they may conclude from which plants they should not take nectar.
Next season, the bees will have flown around the flowers with “low-quality” nectar. And so, the bees gradually gain experience and produce more and more high-quality honey by year.
Honey from such a bee colony will be a real treasure. This is exactly the kind of honey used in ancient recipes for treating various diseases.
Nobody want to wait so much time. Most often, people take the maximum honey from the bees, pumping it several times a season.
When summer is coming to an end, the bees feel it and begin to feverishly gather nectar from all the plants in a row, just to gain the necessary reserve for wintering. The wintering on such poor-quality honey, make the bees weaken and constantly get sick.
Also unscrupulous "beekeepers", take away the maximum honey from the bees, and feed them with sugar syrup. And when honeycombs in the honey extractor are pumped, honey comes in contact with the metal, which also adversely affects its quality.
The reason of the solving all these drawbacks of traditional beekeeping, made me to try an unconventional approach. I made a deck and populate it with bee swarm.
One day, when I was driving near the school, I saw municipal workers cutting huge poplars. The diameter of the trunks at the base of these trees was more than a meter.
The tree trunk was sawed into 2 meters long pieces, into big churbaki. I realized that these blocks were an excellent material for making a bee log.
The workers graciously allowed me to take one of those pieces. Its length was 1m 80 cm and diameter about 80 cm.
This heavy piece of raw wood with great difficulty were plunged into the back of my car with the helps of my friends, the four of us. At that time, I used Iz “Ode” - “heel” as a “workhorse”. And I brought this wood to my site, unloaded it, left it to dry for a year. And next year in the spring I began to manufacture the log.
在我的朋友们，我们四个人的帮助下，这块沉重的原木很难被撞到我的车后部。那时，我用Iz“Ode” - “heel”作为“主力”。我把这块木头带到了我的工地，卸下它，让它干了一年。明年春天我开始制造原木。
MANUFACTURING A LOG FOR BEES
My main tools were a chainsaw, an ax and an adze. First of all I cleaned the bark from the block. Then the chainsaw sawed it along the entire length into two equal halves.
To cut through all 80 cm at a time the length of the chainsaw tire was too small, thus the saws were made from two opposite sides.
After it I began to break up this big stump into two parts. First, drive the wedges into the cuts, and then used the jack.
I decided to make 10 cm of the thickness of the log walls. I made the appropriate markings on the two halves of the block of wood, so that I would not accidentally remove excess wood in a burst of labor. I tried to cut out the core of the tree with chainsaw, not reaching the marking of 2-4 cm.
Then in the work I used adze in order to remove the excess and make the inner surface rounded and smooth.
Chainsaw I trimmed the ends of the walls with chainsaw, making them smooth. I leveled the planes with a plane where the halves of the future log interlock with each other.
The resulting halves were pulled together by tightening straps with a ratchet mechanism (the so-called load tie).
Next I had to make the covers, to close the log from the ends. I made them from a bar 100mm thick by 150mm. I sawed blanks 90 cm long. I put them together using the thorn-groove method. The resulting shield I put on the end of the future log, then I marked it and sawed off all unnecessary.
Then I fastened the lid to the log with wood grouse screws with a diameter of 10 mm and a length of 200 mm.
RACK FOR THE LOG
After I made a Log, I had to come up with a rack for it. The log weight turned out to be quite large, so I decided to make the rack from a metal profile 20mm by 40mm and 2mm thick.
I had an idea about how the rack should look like, “In my head”: 4 stands, jumpers that hold these racks together and two supports on which the deck will lie.
Despite the fact that I did not have the skills of a welder, I welded the rack myself, and it seemed to work out. The seams did not turn out “WOW” beauty, but the whole structure held tightly enough and did not fall apart under load.
Support for the log were made in such a way that the log lay at an angle of 30 degrees to the surface of the earth.
Further I made a simple roof from the bars and scraps of the board and covered it with remnants of the roofing material “Ondulin”, which were laying unused down.
Then I painted the stand with a nice to my eyes green color. I disassembled the entire structure, transferred it to the place of permanent deployment and again put everything together.
In the first year I removed the covers from the ends of the log and gave the log the opportunity to dry out completely. It took me about 1 month to make a log.
POPULATION OF SWARM IN THE LOG
When, due to my opinion, the log was ready to accept tenants, it was time to think about where to get the new bees. It was possible to buy a bee package through the Internet, or buy a young family from friends beekeepers.
But I decided to go the other way: I made a trap for catching bee swarms and hung it on a suitable tree in my opinion.
Just a couple of days later, a swarm flew into the trap. Apparently, indeed the freshers are lucky. I was very happy!
I put the top cover on the log. I didn't close the lower end of the log for a while. I took out the frames with the bees sitting on them and put them in the lower part of the log, and then I closed the lower end of the log.
From one side of the log along the entire length, but not reaching 20-30 cm to the edge, I drilled holes with a diameter of 10 mm. in advance, just in order for the bees to fly out and fly into their home.
The next day, I excitedly approached the log. I was sure that the bee swarm wouldn't take root and they flew away from the “new building”.
I was worried in vain: the bees were busily flying in and out of the log, carrying a curb and actively occupying their new home: I did it!