Lessons Learned when Ziplock Feeding

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Slowmodem, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've used a ziploc bag for syrup several times without incdent. Yesterday evening when i got home from work, I was excited to see the gals finishing off a bag. They seemed very hungry. Hopefully they're drawing out more comb.

    I had some more syrup in a former tea jug in the fridge, so I poured some in a bowl and stuck it in the microwave and warmed it up. Then the warm syrup and the cold syrup from the jug went into the ziplock, then out to the yard.

    Lesson 1: If you cut too deep, you cut the bottom and the syrup WILL run out and the bees will be all over the leak. Run to the house and get another bag. :doh:

    Poured remaining syrup into another ziplock. Went back outside. Cut the slit CAREFULLY. OK, slit is good and bees are happy. Some bees are on the zip part of the bag. I see a gap in the zipper.

    Lesson 2: If the zipper is not zipped good, the syrup WILL run out and the bees will be all over the leak. Plus the zipper will be sticky, making it hard to slide your fingers over the zipper to reseal it. Syrup is still running out and bees are really wanting to drink it and don't appreciate my fingers running down the zipper. :doh:

    Finally got the zipper closed and some syrup remained in the bag. It looks like many bees are on the ground cleaning up the spilt syrup. I'm sure if there are any ants in the area, they'll find it tomorrow, too. And, I'll probably have to repeat this procedure tomorrow, as the bees were really sucking it down.

    Today I will be a lot more careful and remember the lessons learnded about the ziplock feeding method! :think:
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use gallon pickle jars they work great no hassle
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    and a very few number of ziplock bags will leak directly out of the box.. typically at the bottom corner of the bag. no real problem here with these since I simple set them in the box and don't pierce these with a fork... the leak works to my advantage. if you do pierce the bag this will allow the syrup to flow out the small glitch in the corner.
     
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My mentor uses ziplocks, his friend (my second pseudo mentor) used jars. I started with ziplocks and did not like them...seemed I couldn't get the "knack" for using them without making a mess. I set up a quart mason jar with holes in the lid...I like that method. I can fix up a gallon or so of syrup and have it pre-bottled in jars ready-to-go. I use #8 mesh wire over the top vent holes in my inner covers and place the jars over the screen...bees love it. But, my mentor has good success with the ziplocks so I may revisit them later.

    From reading others experiences (because that's all I have to go with right now having no experience of my own) with any method that is used, lots of precaution should be used to prevent spillage onto the ground which might set off a robbing spree. Especially important to prevent while feeding during a dearth.

    Ed
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have used zlocs feeding successfully. You should buy the good/premium bags, not the cheaper generic ones. (I found this out myself)
    Fill the bag 2/3 full and zip it well closed in the kitchen. Do not reheat the syrup. Let the bag sit on the counter til it comes to room temp. Lay bag on the frames and then take a SHARP razor and cut only 4 or 5 half inch long slits, located near the middle of the bag. If the bag is too full, the slits are too long, or the slits are located near the sides, the syrup will just run out all over the frames. The bees will do fine with 4 or 5 half-inch small slits near the middle of the bag.
    For those who don't know- you need to put a 2" shim box, or a super of some sort to accommodate the height of the bag. Don't just slap the inner cover onto the bag- the filled bag is about an inch tall- it'll squish the syrup out and the bees won't be able to get to the slits. You need a super or a shim on top of the brood box.
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank for sharing your tips, Omie. I think I may have cut some of my slits too far from center. I noticed, too, that a dull razor does tend to cause problems. Good tips.

    I did read another tip from somewhere...cut at least two slits parallel to each other an inch or so apart. If you need to move the ziplock with syrup still in it you can slip a pencil through the parallel holes and lift the baggie with the pencil without spilling much/any syrup.

    Ed
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Inverted feeders like rat.