feeding sugar syrup is akin to killing bees

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by lazy shooter, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    I tried open feeding and killed thousands of bees. I used Boardman feeders until so many forum members told horror stories of the entry feeders initiating robbing. I tried external top feeders and two different internal top feeders and they only drowned hundreds of bees. I ordered some plastic bucket feeders that set over the hole in the interior cover and these leaked syrup through the hive and the SBBs onto the ground, and that summoned bees from many places. I put three zip-loc baggies in three nucs last Friday, and by Monday one hive had drowned a couple or three hundred bees in one of the bags, but the other two bags worked perfectly.

    My conclusion is that my syrup feeding had provided the remaining bees more stores to eat. If you have some stores in the hive and kill one-half of the bees, the remaining bees have twice as much feed.

    I am going to solid feed using sugar in a Mountain Camp or a candy form. Does anyone have any ideas on how to to do the candy.

    It's moments like this that purchasing honey looks very easy and inexpensive. I wish I wasn't so damn hard headed.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I feed with boardman feeders on my back porch. It is 100 feet from 3 hives, and 1000 feet or more from the others. It is easy and convenient, and I have never seen more than 1 or 2 dead bees.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Please if you are a new beekeeper- remember you do not want to open feed syrups during a nectar flow, or any beekeepers within 5 miles of you in all directions will have their honey contaminated if they have honey supers on during the nectar flow.
    If you are not sure whjen there's a nectar flow happening, then either contact your local experienced keepers or assume there's a flow when you see your bees bringing in a lot of pollen.
     
  4. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    @Omie:

    You live in New York State in a semi metropolitan area. My ranch is in a sparsely populated, semi desert area. There is either 15 or 16 souls within five miles of my ranch (I don't know if my neighbors son is still home of if he is in the Navy). The nearest beekeeper is in Abilene, some 60 miles north and west of my bees. Our area has only received four inches of rain since last September. A flow is something that I picture in my mind, but in reality if we get rain this weekend a flow is still some 30 days into the future. I hate feeding, and I am going to solid food from this time forward. It's either Mountain Camp or sugar candy.

    I didn't harvest any honey last year from my three mature hives because I wanted them to have plenty of stores for the winter. They wintered real well, but my three nucs ate up their honey in the last couple of weeks. Dang, bees have turned into a greater endeavor than I ever imagined. But, like Anthony Hopkins said in the Edge"what one man can do, another can do."
     
  5. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    Do you not have any problems with robbing? That's my only concern with Boardman Feeders.
     
  6. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    I doubt very much that you'll be feeding bees 5 miles away!
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They have been known to go 7 miles. but they are also known to stop at the nearest dinner table, so you would only be feeding distant neighbor's bees when there was little or no flow.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Omie, that not contaminated honey, it's Chinese honey

    I had very good luck, with remote feeding, a plastic 5 qt Ice Cream bucket. Fill up with syrup-snap on the lid-invert-poke a lot of small holes in the bucket, but below the lip of the lid. This is a lot like a chicken waterier, but with no room to drowned the bees.
     
  9. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I have read about someone using a chicken waterer with a rope in the trough to prevent drowning. I have also heard of people using smaller chicken waterers on top of the frames with an empty super around them.

    I have found so far that a gallon ziplock bag filled with syrup laying on a table works great. Just take a pin and poke holes in the top once you've laid it where you want it. I am also trying a Kelly community feeder maybe this weekend if it warms up and my dad has it painted.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I wish I wasn't so damn hard headed.

    tecumseh..
    ALL good beekeepers are hard headed.

    Candy as you might have guessed also can have it's own problems but is not as messy as syrup unless of course it turns hot.

    I would suspect you just need to find a method of feeding that works for you. Beyond the boardman feeder Iddee I think places on his porch you can pretty much do the same thing with a large inverted dog waterer.

    I didn't realize you were so dry up that way. Pray for rain and perhaps bribe the local preacher and if that one doesn't bring you any results bribe another one.
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Yes if you are positive you have NO beekeepers within 5 miles of you, you can feel pretty safe about not contaminating other people's honey. But some folks don't really know who might have hives 3 miles away from them, and those are the folks I'm addressing my cautionary post about open feeding to. :)
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    lazy,
    i don't use boardman's because of all the robbing problems associated with these for me and attracting all sorts of undesirable insects and other critters....the only thing i might use a boardman for is for water, for nucs and packages til they find the river, or in the city, my neighbors pool.

    i use 1 gallon pail feeders, but i order these and the lids, been using these for a long time. what pail feeders did you use that leaked? or rather the lids?
    there is a trick to these, and some are not as well made as others.... you can check to see whether they leak or not before you flop them on......you have to fill them right to the rim. take an empty pail, quickly invert the 1 gallon pail over the empty pail, to let the excess run out before you place it on the hive and check to see that it doesn't leak, you can even give it a good shake or tip it to see if it leaks, and it shouldn't after the first flop.....
     
  13. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    Before I found the solution that works for my setup I also drowned a lot of bees. I also fed a lot of ants, yellow jackets and probably some feral hives. Now what we do if we feed syrup is make a feeder ring out of 2x6's the same size as the hive bodies.....the feeder ring has #8 hardware cloth on the bottom. (#8 is the same stuff you use for screened bottom boards, so the bees can't go through it, but their tongues are plenty long enough to stick through the holes.)

    So the feeder ring is on the top hive body with the #8 on the bottom, of course, and then I put syrup in either plastic butter tubs or yogurt containers or whatever. The lids to these plastic containers have 10-20 holes punched in them with a paper clip, and then we fill the containers with syrup, put the lids on, flip them upside down on the #8 cloth "floor" of the feeder ring, and put the top back on the hive.

    The bees can easily eat the syrup, they can't drown, the syrup is completely inside the hive and doesn't induce robbing (unless we spill it too much during dearth) and I'm not paying to open feed syrup to yellow jackets and ants, etc...

    If it's hard to picture how I described it, I can post a picture.
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Try these, I have no trouble with bees drowning. (they only hold a half gallon though), and you have to put an empty box around them.
    Buckets work well too, except when you have wild temperature swings and the air inside the bucket expands.

    Feeders 003.jpg Feeders 004.jpg Feeders 005.jpg
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    great pics perry....
    "Buckets work well too, except when you have wild temperature swings and the air inside the bucket expands."
    a good point perry i forgot to mention, freezing and thawing, i typically don't put them on until we are past the goofy temp swings.

    doc buzz-
    "The bees can easily eat the syrup, they can't drown, the syrup is completely inside the hive and doesn't induce robbing (unless we spill it too much during dearth) and I'm not paying to open feed syrup to yellow jackets and ants, etc...
    If it's hard to picture how I described it, I can post a picture."

    i would enjoy seeing a picture of your method as you described doc buzz, trying to picture this...thanks!
     
  16. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I give up, Perry. What exactly are these?
     
  17. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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  18. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    And humans are known to run marathons but don't do it as a matter of course. Studies show that bees only travel over a mile when there is nothing closer. Doubtful any supers would be on hives then.
     
  19. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    without a doubt at least for me feeding bees in whatever form you desire is really about attending to detail and minimizing the problems associated with each. for almost any of the feeding strategies you mention all can be accomplished if you attend to the detail and avoid the pitfalls. as the old saw goes 'the devil is in the detail'.... failing to recognizing the devil and you do face certain peril that you have already (and in kind of a funny fashion) described.
     
  20. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I have real robbing problems too. I made a bottom board with openings on the front and back of the hive body. Then, placed a boardman feeder on one end and blocked the remaining entrance on that end of the hive body and used the opposite entrance for the bees (reducing it as needed).

    That way, it reduced robbing yet it allowed me to use the boardman feeder (for syrup in Spring and water in a hot dearth). Being careful with the jar as you charge the boardman feeder pays dividends too; meaning, invert slowly and away from the hive to reducing the impetus to rob because of less mess to draw robbers. Simple and easy. :)