Need top feeding jar advice

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by crackerbee, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    I was using one of the boardman feeders I got from Brushy Mountain at first,but switched to a top jar feeder using mason jars,My problem now is trying not to get stung while filling up the jars.I have an 11/2" hole in the top cover,and when I try to switch out the jar bees come pouring out every time,and they're not happy at all.I've tried using a smnall block of wood to block the hole as I slide the jar over but that doesn't always work and I end up getting popped,along with a few bee casualties.
    I've thought about using a piece of bottomboard screen stapled over the hole,but I'm not sure if the bees can reach the lid to cause the syrup to drip out.

    Anyone got any advice to help with this?
     
  2. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Once in a while I have a hive that behaves like that. When I do I just leave the almost empty jar and install a full one next to it, when one is empty and they are working the full one, then I can remove the empty with no problems. I set my feed jars between the inner cover opening and the front edge of the inner cover and not over the opening so that IF they leak the syrup runs out the front of the hive and not down into the hive(even with SBBs I slope my hive slightly to the front). Jim
     

  3. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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    just use some hardware cloth (#8 ?) and plug the hole (on the same side as the jar is of course) the can easily stick their little noses through and get to the feed
     
  4. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    You have to watch using # 8 cloth, It works great if ;

    The lid is flush across the top, it there is much of a ridge they can't get their tongue thru the wire then across a gap to the lid.

    I feed with quart jars on top of #8, but I use plastic lids and file the outside ridge flush across the top, this way the complete lid is setting on the wire !
    Sure beats getting stung each time.

    The bees do sometimes attach comb to the wire, when I'm in the hive I hit the wire with a quick butane lighter and melt it off.

    Murrell
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I can think of two things going on here. 1) the bees are extremely hungry and are essentially mobbing the jar and 2) you are exchanging the jars a bit too often <ie once empty for a day or so the bees will not be hanging out at that particular point so much.

    sounds like the wire idea should work???? do tell us how it all turns out.
     
  6. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    I think I'll try the 1/8" hardware cloth over the feed hole,and I already have 2 or 3 lids that are off jam jars lids that have a flat cap.I see what Murrell means by the mason jar lids have a ridge on them that would keep the lid up where the bees can't get to it through the hardware cloth.

    Tec
    yes the bees are hungry,and have been since I've got them,and I've tried leaving the jars empty for up to 3 days,and it makes no difference because the bees still pour out just the same when the jar is removed.
     
  7. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Here are some pictures of my year round hive tops;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the winter I throw in a couple of old rug pieces, then some dried oak leaves for insulation.

    The top entrance is closed when I'm feeding, so any robbers would have to enter at the bottom of the hive, never had any problem so far.

    Murrell
     
  8. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    Murrell where do you get the plastic lids for the quart jars? And are those regular quart canning jars?

    Thanks
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    boardman feeder built into a migratory lid...
     

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  10. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Uh, smoker? Are you using a smoker? Sounds to me like you are trying to get away w/out using a smoker.

    I don't use jars to feed, but help a guy that does and don't seem to notice the same behavior as you. But, maybe I'm used to dealing w/ stings and don't give much attention to a cpl of stings.

    Are you wearing any protective clothing like gloves or gloves and a suit?

    Seems to me that wearing gloves and a suit and veil, of course, and then also using a smoker, would keep stings to a minimum. But, that's just me.

    How many are you feeding? I didn't catch that. Are you going out to the yard w/ a milk crate full of feed jars? Or just two?
     
  11. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    Sqkcrk

    I'm trying to be able to feed without suiting up and the use of a smoker,that's gets to be a pain having to go through all that just to feed 5 colonies every other day or so.When I approach from the back of the hives I don't run into much opposition,but take that jar off and it's game on,I'm talking 20 or so bees pour out in just over a second,and I guess I just haven't been at it long enough that I'm used to stings as of yet.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I don't think I would be putting up with that. I use the "hole in lid" like Tec. A few may come out, a few may be clinging to the jar, but I've never been stung changing jars. They are looking for food, not a fight. I would be considering new queens or something.
     
  13. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    As I suspected. And I understand.

    One thing I try to get across to new beekeepers is to listen to what your bees are telling you. They may not speak English, but they are telling you that they wish to be approached and manipulated in a different way than the way you are doing it.

    If you don't think it is worth it to yourself to suit up and light a smoker, then don't expect to not get stung. It does disturb the colony too, your setting them off by not "knocking at the door properly".

    Also, not to be too critical, there is a word for doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Plus, if you thought, perhaps, that your bees would come to recognize you and see you as friendly, as an owner to a pet, it doesn't work that way.

    Some folks say stings are good for those w/ arthritis. I avoid them as much as possible. W/ 500 colonies I take plenty as it is. They all hurt. some worse than others. And beekeeping is supposed to be an enjoyable vocation.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    I have some regular canning jars but, Most of lids & jars are from Kraft Miracle Whip, I started saving them when that came in glass jars, the lids are interchangable , Kraft now have all plastic and weird lids.
    I have some white plastic lids that Mary bought a package of years ago, she has forgot where, but probably at Wal-Mart or Dollar General, not too many other places in our big city.

    Murrell
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    several good post above from both Iddee and sqkcrk and likely good advice to topics way beyond simply changing out syrup jars.

    first crakerbee I don't mind getting stung so much and here (like I suspect it is in Florida at this time of year) it is extremely hot. suit and gloves just magnifies the heat and for me both are unessential for changing out jars. quite typically I am wearing a short sleeve cotton shirt and I always dawn my alexander veil. I do light my smoker and give them a puff at the entrance and sometimes when I lean the empty jar backward I give them a puff there also. do light that smoker, it is good practice. on average I feed about 18 - 27 jars at a time so I don't think such issues are a matter of numbers. on the other hand if you do have one hive that is a bit testy changing the bottle there can get the others acting in much the same manner. fire ants crawling on the outside of the box will get you much of the same kind of response.

    if they are putting away a quart jar every two days there is (or was) a lot of empty space (or what was empty space) somewhere in the those white boxes.
     
  16. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    I must have the calmest bees in the world. I feed my bees (2 hives) twice a day, the bees that are hanging on to the lid, I wipe off with my finger or shake them off. No smoke, no gear.
     
  17. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    Two out of my 5 hives are the only ones that give me any guff refilling jars,the other 3 have Cordovon queens and are very nice about it.The other 2 must have demon queens,because they are very aggressive,I'm requeening those 2 maybe next month if I can find Cordovons for them.