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Author Topic: Bees reject new feeder - Need to share this  (Read 2113 times)
annette
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« on: October 08, 2007, 11:19:05 PM »

I need to share this. Fed one hive sugar syrup last Thursday in my "new" Mann Lake top feeder. When I checked on the feeder on Sunday, it was completely full of syrup and not one bee drinking from it. I detected a plastic odor coming from the feeder. I removed this feeder and dumped the syrup in the woods.

I then placed my "old" Mann Lake top feeder on the hive with new syrup. Within 16 hours most of the syrup was gone.

They refused to drink from the newer feeder because the new plastic had an odor. I forgot to wash it with soap and water before using, and the bees are so sensitive to smell they would not go up to drink the syrup. This was a lesson for me on how sensitive the bees are to smell.

Just thought I would share this story.

Annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 12:14:10 AM »

Annette, wow!!!  That was pretty incredible for sure.  When you wash out the feeder, give it back to the bees and see how they feel about it then.  I would be curious to know this fact.  I have learned some things today about my bees, but it is almost bedtime and I will have to make an embarrassing post tomorrow morning with regard to communal feeding  Sad Wink rolleyes  All is well, but I learned a valuable lesson too, this day.  Have a wonderful and great life and day to boot!!!!  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 07:41:43 AM »

This bee man is waiting patiently to hear the communal feeding story by Cindi. My communal feeding hasn't been real successful. Thankfully we will be getting some desperately needed rain the next few days. Hopefully this will stop the kamikazes from diving into the swimming pool.
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2007, 09:35:48 AM »

Shakerbeeman, I have pictures that I need to download from my camera to be able to tell this tale indepth.  I have only a small window of time before my household (and my two grandsons come over) get up and ready for school.  That is chaos  Wink Smiley Smiley, so many lunches, breakfast and attention that must be performed.  I will try to get a post happening once all the little animals have gone to school.  Have a wonderful day, best of this great and beautiful life.  Cindi grin
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2007, 11:22:18 PM »

I use communal feeding as a distraction to keep down robbing when I am only focusing on feeding some of the hives in my apiary.  All the hives will go to the communal feeder while those hives being fed will consume the feed given directly as well. 
Just using a comminal feeder alone will not stop robbing if the feeder is allowed to run out of syrup, then the bees will begin robbing each other. 
All feeding should be stopped at the same time also to curb robbing.  neighboring hives have been known to rob from internal feeders too.
By feeding communally and seperately at the same time, those that really need the help get to retain what is fed internally as well as what is collected from the communal feeder.  The other hives will feed from the comminal feeder but will not store at the same rate.  The object is to get as much feed to the hives that need it in as short of time as possible while limiting robbing.
For those hives that don't really require feeding the feeding insures that they have maximum stores even if they end up building burr comb to store it in.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Robo
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 07:29:53 AM »

At Brian's advice, I ended up going with two 4gal bucket communal feeders and it has seemed to help my robbing issues.  I had tried many other things like robber screens, feeding all the hives with no luck.  Knock on wood, so far the communal feeders seem to be working.  It is amazing how they can empty the buckets in one day shocked   I'm loosing some to yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and bumblebees,  but the minor loss is worth it if the robbing stops.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 10:05:21 AM »

Robo, good, it sounded like you were at your witt's end with this robber stuff going on.  So many good things to learn eh?  Tips from so many people that try different things in our world of the honeybee.  Have a great and beautiful day, greatest of health wishes to us all with this wintertime comin' down on us.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 01:06:33 PM »

In regards to Ann's story....
Is it not also possible that the new feeder didn't have the "bee" smell (propolis, wax, honey, etc) so that they didn't feel the need to go exploring in this new place?
Then when you put the old one on, it smelled like the hive so they inhabited it, finding the syrup.?

Did you drip and spread syrup on the screen to bait them up?  Or have a scent of some kind in the syrup?

Huh

I don't know, but without more information I'd guess it was because of the lack of correct odor rather than presence of the wrong odor.

Rick
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Rick
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 05:57:00 PM »

Anything made of plastic needs to be aired out for sometime before placing in/on a bee hive.  Bees seem to hate the smell of plastic--this is 1 reason (I believe) that is so hard to get bees to work plastic frames and/or foundation very well. 
If you are going to use plastic equipment on a bee hive I would suggest buying it in the fall and using it in the spring.  Let it air out over the winter.  Even wash it out (if feeder, etc.) and apply syrup if frames or foundation before putting it into the hive. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 10:36:28 AM »

Brian, hmmm...now you have shed a different light into my thought processes about all the plastic Pierco frames/foundation that I have.  It is really a great product becuase of the light weight of it, but like i said, my bees didn't like it too much.  YOu say they don't like the smell of plastic......I relate this now to the Pierco plastic frames.  That makes 100% total sense and I bet that is why they don't work it, I never thought about why they didn't.

So, you have probably saved me alot of money.  I will take the time this winter to ready these plastic frames for the bees, because I will be applying wax to the plastic.  Yes, this will disguise the smell of the plastic and I can bet my bottom dollar that the bees will work these frames.

Isn't life all about living and learning.  Brian, like you diddy at the bottom of your signoff says something like "life is a school, did you learn anything?".  I can honestly say, that yes, I am learning stuff in this lesson we live in and I am loving every minute of it.  Yeah!!!!  Listening, learning, listening more and learning more.

Have a wonderful and beautiful day, best of this great and wonderful life we are all livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
annette
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 12:28:07 PM »

I washed out the feeder really good with soap and water, aired it out for a few days in the sun, and placed sugar syrup in it yesteday. After about 1/2 hour I peaked under the lid and saw a few bees going up for the syrup so I believe it will be alright. I will find out tomorrow, as they should have finished the syrup by this time.

I smelled the plastic odor also when I went to open it up so I know that was the problem.

Annette
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dlmarti
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 02:34:05 PM »

I have the same problem on a new hive.
I have a top feeder that has seen heavy use this year, I just put it on a new hive (that has never seen a top feeder before), and they are refusing to use it.  Hopefully its just a learning curve issue, and they will start feeding soon.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 09:29:21 PM »

I put two top feeders on my main hives, smelling like plastic, no problem. The HBH drowned out the plastic smell just fine. Same with the two nucs and top feeders I put on them. They sucked the stuff down like gangbusters. Maybe mine were a different kind of plastic and didn't reek as badly.
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Robo
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2007, 07:58:53 AM »

  Hopefully its just a learning curve issue, and they will start feeding soon.


I've never had any learning curve or rejection with inverted jars tongue
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Eshu
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2007, 12:34:34 PM »

Like Moonshae, I used HBH (or actually a homemade version) - and the bees could not wait to enter the new plastic feeders.  I have since put a little lemon grass oil in the their water source.  That smell appears to motivate them despite the plastic odors.  I rinsed out the feeders and poultry waterer a little before use, but didn't wash them with soap.
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annette
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2007, 12:58:27 PM »

Well, no problem since I washed out the feeder really good with soap and water. They finished all the syrup. I guess it was the smell that got to them.

annette
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