Anyone Inner Feeder with comb built...Need to help new-bee

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bees In Miami, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    We set my mother who lives in New England up with two hives for her Birthday. She installed her packages this past Saturday, and added inner top feeders. This is the type of top feeder that has floats inside the box, that rise and fall based on the depth of the syrup. (I have ZERO experience with inner feeders, as well as packages since all my hives have all been swarm catches and cut outs). So, sorry for the dumb question, but I want to make sure I am giving her proper advice....

    She opened the inner cover this morning before she had to leave for work to add more syrup. She discovered they have built comb on the wall of the top feeder, and it is of course covered with bees. (she couldn't figure out what the "black thing" was on the side of the feeder for a while...lol...but it was also only 6am). It is about a 4" diameter of comb in the feeder they are working. She is going into her hives tomorrow to make sure the Queens have been released. I advised her to remove the feeder, take a long, thin knife, cut off the comb in one motion, shake off the bees into the box, and set aside. Pull the frame with the queen (hopefully empty) cage, remove the cage, and slide the cut comb into the same rubber band she used to hold the cage in place. Replace frame, and close the hive back up. Make sense?

    So my more dumb questions...
    What is the chance that the comb in the feeder is the only comb drawn? Install was Saturday.
    Should we expect to find comb in the hive box as well?
    If the comb in the feeder is the only comb, than that inevitably means she will be dealing with her queen, too.
    Is there a way to discourage them from repeating this comb in the feeder, other than a laying queen in the bottom...

    I feel terrible she has been put into a cut out situation this early in her experience...

    Any advice you with experience with inner feeders and packages can give? I would like to feel good about the advice I have, and will, provide to her.

    Thanks to all!
    Edited to add...I guess my main concern is that this comb will be the only comb. I have advised her to dispose of it if indeed there is additional comb in the brood box. I just have no idea how quickly package bees will typically draw. Thanks!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    She left too much space between the feeder and the first frame. I would tell her to remove the comb and slide all frames over until they are touching each other and the first one is touching the feeder. If there is room, put another frame in the space remaining.
     

  3. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Iddee...Thanks for the reply...I need to edit my original post I guess. This is a top feeder...the kind with floats in it, not a frame feeder. Other ideas? Her set up is a medium brood box with all 10 frames with foundation, top inner feeder, then inner cover and telescoping. Thanks!
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I would say they are building a ladder up to the top of the feeder to get to the feed. Seen this several times when I used to use theses hive top feeders. I would leave the comb. Anytime I removed it they built it back. Or do as I did and go to an inverted glass jar over the inner cover to feed with
     
  5. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Thanks riverrat, but the feed is in the bottom...With "floats" like a raft in a lake, that move up and down depending on the depth of the syrup. They walk on the "rafts" and take the syrup from below.

    Here is a link to the feeder style...

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/10-Frame-Hive-Top-Feeder-w_Floats/productinfo/688/

    They built on the wall above the floats. The only thing above them is the inner cover, and telescoping. :dontknow:
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ignore my first post. There is a BIG difference in an inner feeder and a top feeder.

    Tell her to carefully remove the comb, as the queen may be on it. Then FILL the feeder and keep it full until the flow starts in her area. When they have the foundation drawn out and she is laying down below, the feeder can be allowed to empty, as they will not rebuild there at that time. Then remove the feeder.
     
  7. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Iddee...Told you I don't have experience with these things!! I didn't even know the right term to use!!! :lol: Makes absolutely perfect sense!!! I am concerned for the Queen, too, but at least she is marked, so hopefully Mom can pick her out! I will pass on your advise! The full feeder makes perfect sense! I think she was afraid of a drowning problem. I guess I will be learning and studying about flows and such in New England now, too... :grin: Thanks SO much! I give her a TON of credit for beginning her adventure!!! Put it this way....I am 45, and I am the 'baby' of the family...she caught the "bee flu" helping me in my bee yards here... :rolling:
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    There will be some drowning, but if it isn't excessive, tell her to not worry.
     
  9. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Thanks again Iddee...I added a tid-bit to my prior post while we were both typing you may find interesting. :wink: Thanks again SO much! You are most helpful! :thumbsup:
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    We had a 74 y/o in our beginner bee class this year. :thumbsup:
     
  11. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    She has them beat.... :grin: I love it!!! :thumbsup: