The size of the notch in the hive: what should be the hole for the bees, varieties

The size of the notch in the hive: what should be the hole for the bees, varieties

Beginner beekeepers need to learn a lot of information - how to breed bees, breeds of insects, breeding techniques, bee houses and much more. An important role in the hive is played by the notch - its shape, location and size. The beekeeper needs to familiarize himself in advance with the features of this element, its purpose and installation nuances.

What is a notch in a beehive

In the literature on beekeeping, you can find the following definition: a notch is a hole in the front wall of the hive, which is designed to perform the following tasks:

  • honey bees get the opportunity to freely leave their homes and come back;
  • The small size of the element helps to protect insects, offspring, honey and other products from predators, small rodents and other pests;

  • with the help of a notch and small side holes, ventilation and proper air exchange in the bee dwelling are ensured. Attention! Proper ventilation will protect insects and everything inside from possible diseases (mold, development of harmful bacteria and other problems). Humidity causes spoilage of honey, offspring and other products;
  • in standard hives (for example, the Dadan type), with the help of a notch, you can quickly clean the bee hives from debris.

Small holes help keep insects flying in and out of the house (especially important when the bee returns with a bribe). Letka should provide air access at any time of the year (including winter), but not allow drafts.

More in the video.


There are several types of entrances, each of which differs in external characteristics and purpose. The right option depends on the chosen breed of bees, the structure of the hives and many other factors.


The hole can have a different shape - the choice depends on the design of the bee dwelling, the regional climate, the preferences of the beekeeper and some other parameters. Use the following options:

  • round - most beekeepers consider the shape to be universal because it allows insects to comfortably fly out and fly into the hive. The location can be different (on the side elements, the central or lower parts of the body);

  • rectangular - usually 6-7 cm long, 1 cm high, more often used in apiaries in the southern regions, provides a suitable level of ventilation along the shoulder elements of the bee house;
  • square - rarely used by beekeepers, there are no direct prohibitions or shortcomings, found in the hives of the southern regions;
  • across the entire width of the wall of the dwelling - usually installed on the walls of Dadan hives.
Attention! The latter type is unacceptable to be installed in houses located in apiaries of cold regions - in cool weather it will be difficult for bees and a beekeeper to maintain an optimal climate inside.

By location

Holes are installed from below or from above. Distinctive features of each of the options:

  • lower - cut out a little above the level of the "floor" (approximate distance is 6-7 cm), sometimes the lower entrances are called "garbage" because insects take out garbage, deadness and other things through them, while through such holes they allow carry most of the pollen and nectar, for multi-hull houses it is made across the entire width of the front wall;
  • top - protect the hive from insect thieves, guarantee correct and timely air exchange inside the bee house. In most cases, they are round (up to 2.5 cm in diameter), sometimes they are made rectangular (about 1.2 cm by 1 cm). In summer, the size is regulated by means of a special barrier, in winter - the window closes.

The letok is installed in different places, but on the front wall. This will allow the bees (and especially the queens) not to look for the window while flying around.

Standard sizes

Beekeepers are constantly experimenting with the size, shape and design of hives. But for beginners, it is better to use the standard (recommended) values. The following characteristics are used for tap hole:

  • diameter for a round window - 2 cm;
  • rectangular - 6.5-7 cm in width and 1 cm in height.Attention! Rectangular holes and notches for the entire width of the wall of the house are recommended to be adjusted. The parameters depend on the strength of the family, the number of insects, the season. In spring, it is recommended to cover it up to a length of 5 cm, and in summer it can be increased to 15 cm;
  • windows for the entire width of the hive - no more than 1.5 cm in height.

If the hole is not large enough, it will be difficult for insects to get inside and fly out for nectar. If at the same time the bees need to squeeze through a small window, the hairs on the paws may be damaged, the wings may break. Air exchange will also be difficult, and mold and mildew may appear.


Beekeepers can assemble beehives of different designs on their own. Assembly will require cutting or installing a suitable insect window.


This hole is made with a drill, you do not need to install additional elements on the dwelling. Instructions:

  • choose a drill with a diameter of no more than 2 cm (recommended diameter), install on the tool;
  • if the drill is small, set the manual mode and cut out the desired window;
  • fix the latch around the edges (often use the latch design).

Attention! After the hole has been sawn out, the edges must be processed with sandpaper so that there are no nicks, bumps or chips. Insects can hurt or damage the legs, wings, body.


Parameters are determined depending on the number of bees in the hive, the climatic features of the region. The recommended side length is 2.5 cm. The sawing principle is the same - a suitable drill size is selected, a hole is made, and then finished to the desired size. To eliminate errors, it is recommended that you first draw a square on the wall of the hive.


Such notches are sawn from above and below at the same time. The top should be 6-7 cm long, 1 cm high, the bottom should be about 20 cm long and 1 cm wide. Action steps:

  • cut a hole with a sharp saw;
  • cut according to the selected dimensions;
  • sand edges;
  • install valve.

In the summer period, the letok can be opened to its full length, by winter it can be covered so as not to create drafts.


Such a notch for departure is rarely chosen. Recommended parameters - the lower part - 3-4 cm, the sides - 1-2 cm each. The final characteristics are selected depending on the breed of insects and their number. The saw is made according to the general scheme - make a hole, give the necessary shape, grind the edges and install the valve.

Full width

This notch is assembled according to a different principle. Action steps:

  • assemble the lower part of the hive body;
  • fix a sheet of plywood on the frame, attach 3 more elements on top;
  • install the following cases.

The distance between the bottom of the upper tier and a piece of plywood will become a hole for the bees to fly out. The structure must be covered with a valve.

Installation of a flying barrier

You can use different materials for this element - metal, wood, plastic and more. Instructions:

  • select a piece and give it the shape of the installed window (slightly larger in size so that you can close the notch);
  • bend one side 180°;
  • attach the element to the arrival board (set to "land" the bees).

To facilitate planting, some beekeepers recommend fixing small, tilted planks. Detailed instructions - in the video.

Letok is an obligatory element of the hive. The element performs several different functions - it allows the bees to navigate in the house, sets the appropriate mode of air exchange and ventilation. There are several types of element, the final version depends on the number of bees, the region and some other features.

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