The bee trailer can be purchased in a ready-made, factory-made version. However, there is one significant drawback - the high cost. For transportation of apiaries, beekeepers often make homemade devices from decommissioned trailers of agricultural equipment or cars.
Benefits of using trailers in beekeeping
The simplest device for the owner of a nomadic apiary is considered to be a cart for transporting bees, attached to a car. The vehicle allows for the transportation of a small number of cabins. The owner of a large nomadic apiary benefits from a spacious platform.
The advantage of using a trailed device for transporting hives is explained by the advantages of a nomadic apiary:
- The nomadic method of keeping the apiary contributes to the better development of bees in the middle of spring.
- Moving the hives to another location benefits the bees. Insects gain access to the required amount of nectar.
- For a nomadic apiary, the honey harvesting season begins earlier and ends later. Transporting bees to flowering honey plants brings more harvest to the beekeeper. The purchase of a trailer and fuel for transport will pay off if you collect at least 6 kg of high-quality honey from each hive.
- During the transportation of the apiary, the beekeeper independently chooses which honey plants to stop near. Frequent wandering allows you to get different types of honey during the season.
If we talk about the advantage of the towing device itself, then small carts for passenger cars are advantageous in terms of compactness. However, the downside is the capacity. Typically, a standard light trailer can transport a maximum of 4 hives with bees at a time.
Large trailers, called platforms, have many advantages:
- During transport, the shaking on the hive platform is minimal compared to a small trailer. Bees do not get stressed, they behave calmly upon arrival at a new place.
- When transporting by cart, the hive must be unloaded and loaded. On the platform, houses with bees are constantly standing.
- Due to the stability and high sides, the platform transports a large number of beehives installed in several tiers.
The presence of a trailer or platform for the beekeeper is always a big plus. Non-export bees bring little honey. Families weaken, eventually die.
Advice! During the season, the apiary must be taken out to the field at least once. Hives standing in the yard will be useless.
Types of trailers for transporting beehives
There are many types of homemade and factory trailers used to transport bees. By design, they are conventionally divided into three groups: carts for passenger cars, platforms and pavilions.
Beekeeping Trailer for Car
Distinguish between a specialized design beekeeper car trailer and a homemade version modified by the beekeeper. In the first case, the trailing device from the factory is adapted to transport the hives. In the second variant, the beekeeper alters the trailer himself.
A standard model, for example, for a Zhiguli car, accommodates 4 hives. You can build up the sides by installing 8 houses in two tiers. If there are a lot of horses under the hood, beekeepers expand the frame, adjust the platform on a retractable mechanism. A good option is a bee trailer for a UAZ car for 25 bee colonies, which allows transporting an average apiary at a time.
Advice! The extendable trailer can be adapted to transport a small apiary without removing the hives from the platform at the point of arrival.
Bee transport platforms
In fact, the platform is also a trailer, only more spacious. The design is usually biaxial. When transported in 2 tiers, you can hold up to 50 hives. A single-tier apiary is usually not removed from the platform. The hives are in place. There are large platforms with over 50 hives. If desired, the structure can be improved with a roof.
There are stationary and mobile pavilions. In the first case, the structure is installed on the foundation. A mobile pavilion is an analogue of a platform, but it is equipped with a roof, walls, and a door. The hives stand outwards in several tiers, and here they hibernate.
How to make a do-it-yourself bee trailer
A conventional single-axle bee trailer for a passenger car will be improved with sidewalls. Removable roof racks can be adapted. In order to capture more hives in one transport, the frame will have to be expanded. It is advisable to add a second axis. The whole process of manufacturing a trailing device consists of assembling the frame and its sheathing.
Drawings, tools, materials
Begin to make a hive trailer with a drawing. Initially determined with dimensions. When choosing dimensions, it is important to take into account the tractive force of the vehicle so that it can handle the load. An example of a finished drawing is easy to find in various sources. Sizes can be customized. It is important to remember that the trailer will have to be driven to the apiary along the highway. Its dimensions should not interfere with the movement of vehicles.
Of the materials, sheet metal, pipe, profile, corner are used. From the tools they take a grinder, a drill, a welding machine, a hammer, pliers, wrenches.
They begin to assemble a trailer for transporting bees with their own hands from the layout of the location of the hives. The place of the houses is marked on the drawing, from here the size of the frame is determined. The further process consists of the following actions:
- According to the drawing from the profile, corner and pipes, the frame is welded. If a factory trailer is being reworked, then the structure is usually expanded, a retractable platform is made. If necessary, add a second wheelset.
- If you intend to build a van with a roof, the frame is equipped with racks. The walls are sheathed with plywood. Holes are cut out opposite the entrance.
- The roofing material of the van is metal, corrugated board.
- When it is supposed to transport hives in 2 tiers, shelves from a metal corner are welded to the trailer frame under the houses.
- For hives, fasteners are provided to hold them during transportation.
When the beekeeping trailer is ready, they try to set up empty hives, test the design. If everything goes well, bees are brought closer to the honey plants with the beginning of the season.
DIY bee platform
The bee platform is considered the best option due to the larger capacity of the hives. In addition, the cabins remain on the tow hitch after arriving at the parking lot.
Drawings, tools, materials
In the manufacture of the platform, you will need similar tools and materials that were used to assemble the trailer. The drawing differs in size. The platform must be equipped with two wheelsets, high removable sides. On request, a roof and a retractable platform are made.
To obtain a platform, standard beekeeping car trailers are modified:
- The first step is to lengthen the frame by at least 1 m, by welding additional blanks from the profile and pipe.
- The axle and springs are used from a UAZ car.
- The frame is visually divided into sections across. Usually there are 3 of them 60 cm wide. A retractable frame for hives is welded from a square pipe. They put it on a sled.
- Under the hives, frames are welded from the corner, attached to the platform. The bottom is welded with sheet metal.
- The wheels of the retractable mechanism of the common frame for the hives are made from bearings. They are distributed evenly throughout the structure.
- The floor of the platform is laid from a plank. Loops are welded along the side walls for tightening the hives with ribbons.
- The side posts are welded at the corners of the frame and in the center where the sleds are located. The drawbar of the platform is reinforced with a 40 mm pipe.
- The roof frame is welded from the corner. Be sure to withstand the slope so that rainwater flows down.
The end of the work is the laying of the roofing material. Usually they use tin, galvanized, corrugated board.
Models of trailers for transporting bee hives
Prefabricated light trailers are popular among amateur beekeepers for transporting bees. If it is not possible to make a platform on wheels on your own, you can always buy it, but it will cost the beekeeper a little more.
The video tells about trailers for transporting bees of the MZSA brand:
The specialized Pchelovod trailer from the Progress manufacturer is equipped with a reinforced spring suspension that can withstand heavy loads while driving in a laden state on an uneven dirt road. The structure is equipped with 15 cm high sides. The bottom is made of moisture-resistant plywood. The maximum permissible lifting capacity is 1 ton.
The Kurgan Trailers manufacturer presented a two-axle Tandem model with a rolling wheel. The height from the ground to the bottom is 130 cm. Bees are transported with hives installed in 1 row. When the apiary is parked, the houses can be placed in 4 tiers.
From the manufacturer "Axis" the trailer apiary saddle 24 is equipped with a retractable frame-stand for 8 hives. The total capacity is 24 houses. The hitch is equipped with overrun brakes.
The compact tow hitch from the manufacturer "MZSA" is completely made of galvanized steel. The sheathing is made of moisture resistant plywood. For convenient loading of hives with bees, there is a folding board. Carrying capacity - 950 kg.
Rules for transporting beehives
Bees are transported at night. The place is chosen at least 2 km away from the neighboring apiary. It is optimal to start transporting bees in the spring and finish in the fall. Insects adapt better to a new place. During transportation, the frames are reinforced with pegs, provide good ventilation through the notch.
A place for an apiary is chosen closed by trees from the wind. A source of water is desirable. In the heat, the brought hives are set to the north with tap holes. If the weather is cold, turn south. The holes are opened after the bees have calmed down, after about 20 minutes.
The bee trailer helps the beekeeper to transport the hives closer to the honey base. The presence of the platform additionally eliminates unnecessary loading and unloading operations. Which model to choose is up to the beekeeper.