More than 70 years ago, Roger Delon made a hive in which the habitats of bees are as close as possible to the natural ones. The prototype was the usual log, in the hollow of which the bees arranged their dwelling. For its naturalness, this hive was called the Alpine. What are the features of this design, as well as how to do it yourself, let's find out in more detail.
It is logical that the hive designed by Roger Delon has its own characteristics, otherwise it would not have bore the name of its creator. The main differences from the traditional models are that the feeder is located in the ceiling, and there is no separation grid and air vents. The manger-ceiling plays the role of an air cushion and, contrary to fears, protects the inside of the evidence from condensate. In theory, it should have been formed, but gas exchange successfully takes place through the entrance pipe, due to the fact that the air saturated with carbon dioxide is gradually moving to the bottom of the evidence. A full description of this hive will be presented in the video at the end of the article.
A distinctive feature of this design is the unusual size of the framework for us. Instead of the side and bottom slats, they use wire with a diameter of 3 mm. In the upper bar there is a slot, into which an artificial wax is inserted.
Many beekeepers have long since switched to the Alpine hive and note the following advantages:
- ease of use;
- the rapid development of families in the spring;
- the minimum number of deaths during the winter;
- increasing the amount of honey per family;
- a greater number of frameworks with a wax;
- despite the great height the hive is very compact;
- large output of high-quality honeycombs;
- thanks to a special design does not need warming.
Despite its many advantages, Roger Delon’s hive has several drawbacks. To some they seem insignificant, but for the sake of objectivity we describe them as well. So, judging by the reviews, we counted only three of them:
- frames have a non-standard size, so they are not suitable for every honey extractor;
- after the traditional evidence of the bees is very difficult to translate into alpine;
- The demand for bee packages and families on the alpine frame is much lower.
Despite this, the Alpine Hive is an excellent choice for its apiary. The following video finally dispel your doubts.
The subtleties of beekeeping in the hive Roger Delon
Many beekeepers say that working with the Alpine hive is different from other models. For beginners, it will seem difficult, but experienced beekeepers will be able to adapt a little faster. It is important to bear in mind that in the winter period only two shells are used by insects, and the food supply is in the upper part.
As a rule, wintering takes place without any problems, and with the onset of spring, the uterus moves to another building, where it lays eggs. The remaining shells are used by bees to replenish their sweet delicacies. Thus, the processes occurring within the Alpine evidence, as close as possible to those that occur in nature.
If you have ever held a tool in your hands and are good at beekeeping, you can easily make an Alpine hive yourself. To make it easier for you, we will describe the size and present the drawings, thanks to which you will quickly cope with the task. In order to successfully visualize the drawings, at the end of the article you will find a useful video.
Materials and tools
To build a hive, you will need the following materials:
- timber or rake;
- ground board;
- screws or nails;
- hammer or screwdriver;
- other tools as needed.
- We start construction from the bottom. As a rule, it is made of pine board 30 mm, pre-impregnated with an antiseptic. The outer surface is painted. The letting hole is made 30 mm wide and 7 mm high. The arrival board is set at an inclination of 45 °.
- Pine or fir lumber can also be taken for the hull, it is important that they are well dried. You will need four blanks in total - two 360x230 mm and two 338x230 mm. From the inside, they can also be treated with an antiseptic. In the walls of the knocked-down frame, it is necessary to make ledges 12x12 mm, which will fix metal combs. This will help prevent frame misalignment.
- Making a feeder. For her, you can use fiberboard or plywood. The size of the walls is 324x57 mm, and the bottom of 320x295 mm. Every detail of the feeder is also treated with an antiseptic.
- As mentioned earlier, the Alpine hive has an unusual framework. Given the construction of evidence, they are also better to do it yourself. To do this, on the 320x25x9 strips we mount the wire. Both ends of the wire are fixed in the end holes, and the total length is 730 mm.
- The lid of the feeder is also an evidence ceiling. It can be made of two sheets of fiberboard or furniture board, between which to lay insulation on the glue. The size of blanks 360x360 mm. It is also necessary to make the clamping frame of the slats with a length of 362 and 382 mm and a width of 10 mm.
Now the Alpine hive is completely ready. Having made such a construction with your own hands, you will be able to fully verify its practicality from your own experience. Do not forget about the drawings, which will help to correctly calculate the size.