General information

Heat chamber for the treatment of bees from parasites


Until now, the controversy over what is better — a heat chamber or chemistry for the treatment of bees with antiarrhotic treatment — has not ended. But experienced beekeepers believe that heat treatment has significant advantages over the chemical one. It is eco-friendly, its effectiveness is many times greater. We propose to consider the experience of beekeepers in the application of heat chambers for the treatment of bees from ticks.

V. Zharov. Flat Cassette Heat Chamber

The most famous advocate for thermal processing in our country is Vladimir Yarankin. His articles are published in popular beekeeping magazines. Works of Yarankin, based on practical experience, became for many beekeepers a guide to action.

The thermal method of treating bees from varroa ticks is based on the different resistance of bees and ticks to temperature. Due to their smaller size, ticks quickly lose moisture and die already at a temperature of 47-48 ° C with the necessary time period of exposure. For the death of insects, this period is 15-18 minutes.

You can buy a heat chamber in the store or make it yourself, which will significantly reduce costs. Manufacturing technology is not simple, but in the end you will have your own design, which you will understand well, you will know how to regulate the process and how to fix it in case of a problem.It will also serve as an increase in the productivity of bees and the quality of honey, as well as the absence of chemical additives in the resulting products.

First practices

In our country, the practice of using heat chambers in the treatment of bee colonies for varroa began with I. II Khrust. The design was extremely simple; it was made up of a case with inspection windows, a heater, a grid for dead ticks, a bee collection cassette, a thermometer and a funnel. The Japanese model was taken as the basis, only in the Crunch model the cassette had to be shaken by hand, and in the Japanese model it rotated. Moreover, it was necessary to measure the volume of the cassettes in kilograms (1.5 kg.), But not in bee colonies, as some mistakenly did. Weak bee families tolerated heat treatment better than strong ones. The latter steamed due to crowding and self-activity, which increased the already high temperature. And the camera did not provide for going outside.

The required time for the processing of bees is 15 minutes. In fact, the cassette was inside the chamber for up to 25 minutes. This is explained by the fact that when installing a cold cassette in the chamber, the temperature in it dropped, and it was again required to be raised to 48-50 degrees. Then 15 minutes - the procedure itself, that is, shaking the cassette with bees. As a result, the time reached 25 minutes.

Due to the duration of their stay in the chamber, the bees lose their fatty body and as a result suffer wintering worse. After treatment, bees strongly affected by ticks disappear in a few weeks.

Such a model of the heat chamber was the first and, alas, not the most successful version of it. Its main drawback was the duration of heat treatment. Due to the constant fluctuations in the cassette there was a difference in the temperatures and humidity of the bee coma. Therefore, the mites were separated unevenly, stuck in the thick of bees.

It was necessary to adjust the temperature regime in the chamber, for which research was carried out empirically. As the first unsuccessful versions of heaters, household heating elements and electric tiles were used. They, due to large thermal inertia, heated the air in the chamber after disconnection from the network. As a result - burns and steaming.

Later they began to use low-inertia heaters, but the bad reputation was already fixed for heat chambers. Needed was the rehabilitation of such a method of processing bees.

Rotating cassettes - the next stage

The Crunch Chambers became the basis for the next generation of designs - with cassettes rotating in different ways. These heat chambers rotated pushes on the axes or eccentrics, resembling a concrete mixer. She facilitated the work of the beekeeper, the cassette no longer needed to shake, you just need to twist the handle with your own hands. But the problem of uneven temperature distribution remained - in the center and at the top it was hotter than in the corners and at the bottom of the heat chamber.

Well, the problem of accuracy and accumulation of bees remained. In addition, the problem of re-attaching mites to other bees was revealed due to their falling on top of fallen bees as a result of the incessant movement of the camera. Part of the ticks, therefore, remained on the bees. Such processing also was not the most effective.

Subtleties of the thermal method of prevention and treatment of Varroa mite in bees

  1. According to many years of experience, the processing of bee colonies is better separated from the uterus. If the bees gather around her in a tight club, the procedure loses about 10% in efficiency. But the bee itself itself is extremely rarely affected by parasites, so it can completely do without treatment, without the risk of the occurrence of secondary infection of insects.
  2. An increase in the time the bees stay from 12 to 18 minutes under conditions of high temperature is dangerous for bees with full intestines and for hungry insects. Therefore, it is necessary either to strictly observe the time interval, or with the help of smoke, force the bees to collect food into the goiter, or to allow them to fly around and empty their intestines.
  3. In late autumn, when the outside temperature becomes less than 11 ° C, the mite falls almost into a state of suspended animation. To restore its vulnerability to heat treatment, immediately before the start of the procedure, the cassette with bees should be warmed to a temperature not lower than 18 ° C.

Oxalic or formic acid, used in the case of a chemical process, can be dangerous for both the beekeeper and his bees. In addition, we can not exclude the likelihood of exposure to chemicals on bee products.

Description and principle of operation

To begin with, what is a thermal chamber?

Beginner beekeepers may not realize that insects are often affected by various pests that need to be fought, otherwise you will either lose a significant population, or you will receive a completely sick swarm that is not capable of producing the expected amount of products.

Thermal chamber - This is a small box that looks like a gas stove in miniature without a burner. It has glass inserts that allow you to observe the process, and the cavity, which is heated and ventilated. Power is produced by electricity. This device works as follows: after you place a bee frame with insects in it, the camera closes tightly and heats up to 48 ° C. In the process of heating, the intervals between the abdominal rings, where the so-called varroa mite dwells, increase. As a result, the parasite can not keep on the bee and falls down. This process is called "heat treatment of bees from parasites."

A remarkable feature of the camera is that the bees do not react to this temperature, because it is quite acceptable for them. At the same time, the processing of bees in the chamber also increases their resistance to fungal diseases, and also reduces the percentage of insects affected by viral infections.

Materials and tools

You need to start any manufacturing with the purchase of materials and tools. We provide a list of the most cost-effective materials from which you can make the best option for the heat chamber:

  • Bars of wood 3x3 cm
  • Plywood, 6 and 10 cm thick.
  • Screws for wood.
  • Screwdriver.
  • Saw.
  • Silicone glue.
  • Glass.
  • Incandescent bulbs 60 W each - 4 pcs.
  • Electrical cable.
  • Power Supply.
  • Thermometer.
  • A small fan like a cooler in a stationary computer.
The last item can be changed to the thermostat, but in this case, the total cost will increase.

Instructions for making

First you need to sketch a drawing that will display the actual size of the device. Since we manufacture a thermal chamber to fit our needs and for a certain number of families, it is worthwhile to set the dimensions convenient for you.

Once you have decided on the length, width and height of the structure, you should proceed to the creation of the frame.

  1. Cut the bars and form the frame.
  2. Cut the plywood 6 mm and fasten it to the walls with a screwdriver.
  3. Take a piece of 6 mm plywood and make it round or square cut-out, which will serve as a viewing window.
  4. Fasten the glass on the outside of the cut, while using silicone glue. You need to glue it in such a way that the cut-out in plywood, which is less than glass, is under this same glass. It is not safe to glue from the inside, as any glue can release potentially hazardous substances when heated.
  5. Fasten the plywood with glued glass to the top of the heat chamber.
  6. We make bottom from thick plywood.

Next we need to put the lamp and fan. Incandescent bulbs will serve as a heating element, so you need to put them closer to the top. The fan must be placed at the bottom, otherwise many insects that will fall into its blade will die. Take 4 lamps and mount in the upper corners. The power wire can be pushed through the ring and out in the place where the door will be closed, or make an additional entrance with a drill.

At the last stage, we place the thermometer so that it is at the same distance from all the lamps and at the same time is clearly visible in the viewing window.

As for the door, its frame is made of wooden bars, and then plywood is placed on the screws. The door hangs on good hinges and closes the latch.

The heat chamber for the treatment of bees with their own hands is ready.

Preparation for work

To do the job you will need the following tools:

  • roulette,
  • ruler,
  • square,
  • pencil,
  • hacksaw,
  • hammer,
  • screwdriver.
A heat chamber for processing is constructed depending on the size of the hive frames.

Building materials and equipment:

  • sawn timber - bars 3 × 3 cm,
  • plywood with a thickness of 0.6 to 1 cm
  • screws, nails,
  • light bulbs
  • electrical cable
  • Voltage regulator,
  • thermostat or mercury thermometers with graduations from 0.1 to 0.2 ° C,
  • fan,
  • watches with a second hand,
  • soft broom brush
  • fine meshed mesh cassettes,
  • smooth funnel for collecting bees,
  • stand, allowing to rotate the cassette during heat treatment.

Assembly sequence

A heat chamber for processing is constructed depending on the size of the hive frames.

  1. Cutting timber for the frame in accordance with the specified size.
  2. Build the frame.
  3. Cut plywood.
  4. Sheathing frame. Walls - thin plywood, bottom - thick.
  5. Drilling holes in the upper and lower parts of the camera to monitor the bees, the number of ticks, and temperature.
  6. Mounting incandescent bulbs as heating elements in the upper corners of the box. Wiring is laid on the outer surface of the thermo box.
  7. Installing a low-power fan for air circulation.
  8. Install thermomete or connect thermostats. Most often, beekeepers install conventional thermometers in heat chambers, but there is a risk of overheating of air. Using the thermostat allows you to maintain the desired temperature in the chamber by installing the sensor in the middle of the cabinet.

Today there are many types of designs of heat chambers, differing in volume, number of cassettes, types of building materials, methods of heating and ventilation. Each beekeeper has the opportunity to choose a more suitable model for their bees.

Heat treatment of bee colonies

The ambient air temperature from 0 to + 8 ° С is considered optimal for the procedure of recovery of pets.

Stages of heat treatment of bees:

  1. Submission of 10 puffs of smoke to the lower entrance with bees prepared for processing for 5 minutes. Bees collect honey in the goiter, the belly grows in size and ticks fall out from between the abdominal rings. Closed tap holes move to a place with a higher air temperature, but not exceeding + 12 ° C.
  2. Shaking off individuals from the frame into the cassette through the funnel. After 15 minutes of the presence of bees and parasites in closed cassettes, they can be processed in the chambers.
  3. Placement of the cassettes in the chamber heated to a temperature of + 46 ... + 48 ° С. Turning and shaking the cassette carefully, hold it at the right time. For the convenience of collecting fallen parasites under the cassette spread out the paper, which is burned with the tongs after the work.
  4. The temperature inside the chamber is determined on the basis of the readings of 2 thermometers.
  5. Uniform distribution of families on the cassettes to avoid the formation of balls.
  6. Exposure of treated bees in a room with a normal temperature for 15 minutes under red light.
  7. The return of the bees in the hives. Responsible moment, traumatic. As soon as the individuals calm down, the hive is brought to fresh air. For ventilation, open the lower entrance for 5-7 cm for about an hour.

For bees, this procedure is completely safe, but when the temperature rises to + 50 ° C there is a risk of losing the family.

Uniform heating can be provided with a rotating design. This is important because even the few remaining infected bees can lead to reinfection of the whole family. In addition, forced air is widely used, which speeds up the treatment process and increases its efficiency.

Safety requirements

The day before treatment, the uterus should be isolated from the family, since its presence in the cassettes induces the family to create balls around it, with the result that approximately 10% of the individuals remain infected. In addition, you must comply with the following conditions:

  1. In the case of spring processing or prolonged cold snaps during the autumn period, bees with overcrowded posterior intestine must fly around.
  2. Heat treatment is contraindicated in drones.
  3. The oven must be kept clean, free from debris, and free of odor.
  4. It is necessary to maintain the same temperature with an accuracy of ± 0.5 ° C so that all families receive an equal degree of treatment.
  5. The time of the death of parasites is 12 minutes at + 47 ° C, 18 minutes at + 46 ° C and 26 minutes at 45 ° C.

Varroa's pincers die as their breathing becomes difficult, they become dehydrated, and as a result, the suction cups on their paws weaken. Immobilized mites fall on a special litter.

Heat treatment not only allows you to get rid of parasites, but also increases the resistance of families to infectious diseases. It is possible to process bees in this way not only before the onset of winter, but also in spring.