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Author Topic: Just had a brainstorm about feeding sugar syrup  (Read 3833 times)
Cindi
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« on: March 02, 2008, 01:02:55 PM »

I was reading a post about something and it was spoken about about the sugar syrup being warm to the bees or the bees won't suck it up.  Yes, that is common knowledge, cold syrup and the bees ignore it, do you blame them?

That can be a very common problem with feeding bees, another reason to feed the bees in smaller quantities, rather than huge amounts, for example, a quart versus a gallon.

I have used a new method for feeding my bees in the fall, spring whatever.  Previously I had used the division board feeders (inner frame feeders, call them what you may), the black plastic ones that replace a frame in the hive, which hold about 1 gallon.  They are good and they are bad.  They are within the colony body which may help to keep a little warmth to the sugar syrup in the feeder, but still on the outside position so they can get chilled quite easily, and they drown bees, precautions can be made to prevent drowning with apparatus inside the feeder, there are many things human designs for this.

My method, which is very simple and works extremely well, (I used these last fall and was impressed), is the zip loc baggie feeder.  The large ones hold approximately one gallon.  Smaller baggies can also be used.

To make a longish story short (I can ramble, you all know that), I like the baggie feeder.  It can be placed directly on the frames or it can be housed inside an Imrie shim or an empty super.  The hole in the inner cover allows the bees to climb up and sip up the nourishment.  Tiny slits are cut in the baggie, crossways to the frames.

Sitting on top of the frames or inside this shim or super retains the heat from the bees within.  It is quite flat when placed in the colony.

I find it an exceptional method for feeding because the syrup remains for the most part warm.  I have read great reviews about using baggie feeders for feeding, it is simple, keeps syrup warm and the bees love it.  This is my 2 cents worth, my method of feeding, my story and I'm stickin' to it.  Have a wonderful beautiful day, love our awesome lives we lead.  Cindi







I have also fed cappings from extracting honey to the bees, the food on top of the inner cover is kept warm too.



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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 #1 on: March 02, 2008, 03:15:26 PM »

love the pictures have to try the capping never thought of that.
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rantcliff
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2008, 09:12:18 PM »

So some dumb questions:

The slits are on the top of the bags I assume?

How big are the slits - 1 inch, 4 inches?

Are there multiple slits?

Are the bags bulging with syrup?

I am just surprised that the syrup does not simply leak out of the bags and cover the bees?

newbee Rich
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2008, 09:22:49 PM »

Cindi,

I love the baggie feeding method as well.  I have put baggies in the hives and had bees drown, but that only happens if the baggie is not completely flat on top of the frames.  I left the baggie full of dead bees on my deck near my door.  My little grandson (age 20 months) is fascinated with the dead bees in the baggie)

Mostly baggie feeding works beautifully.  Jennifer Berry only uses Ziploc baggie feeders at all the research hives at the University of Georgia.

Linda T in Atlanta with happily baggie feeding bees

PS - your pictures are GREAT!
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the kid
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 09:42:18 PM »

I to like bagge feeders ,,,  tryed them for thr first time last year ,, the wife just got a new box of bagges when she wanted one they were gone ,,  after the second box was gone she wanted to know who and why ...  when I told her the girls needed them she just rolled her eyes at me ....
the slits can bee as long as you want them ( with in reason )  they say that you can refill them but it never worked for me ,,, but it did make a mess .. 
the kid   
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 10:47:27 PM »

Newbee Rich.  It is absolutely imperative when feeding with the baggie feeder that the baggie not be overfilled, period.  If the baggie is bulging when the slits are made the sugar syrup will balloon out of the baggie and syrup will go everywhere, including all over the bees.  That could be devastating.  The baggie must be filled only about as level as the eye can see it, maybe a little bit fuller, but NO BULGING.

I make about 4 or 5 slits that are about 1 inch long around the middle of the bag and slightly away from the middle. Again, a word of caution that I learned the hard way.

The slits must not be cut near the sides nor the top or bottom of the bag, if this happens I have found again that the syrup leaks out, the pressure on the sides, bottom and top of the bag is too high and syrup coming out on its own.

If the baggies are filled to the proper level, as I said, there is no leakage.  Period.  Whatsoever.  None.  The bees will smell the syrup and begin to find the slits and sip the food.  Again, the syrup remains warm because it is in close contact to the warmth of the hive.

I make the slits with an exacto knife type, sharp, and the slits slit very easily.  A dull knife I do not think would work very well, too much pressure would have to be placed on the bag.  If the slits were jagged or wide in any way, I would imagine that bees would get inside the bag and perish for sure. 

Linda, is that what happened to you when you said that some bees drowned?  I would be curious because I didn't quite understand what you were saying when you said the bees drowned.  Elaborate please.

I do not attempt to refill the bags.  I do recall one of our forum members talking about his method of refilling the bags.  I do not recall whom it was, I am sorry.  But he refills the bag with the use of a pressurized garden fertilizer container.  You know, the ones that you pump to pressurize the liquid to spray.  I have not tried that.  Of course, if this kind of apparatus was used, I would strongly suggest a new one that has never had any sort of chemical in it whatsover.  Chemicals can leave residues on things that I am not sure any kind of washing would ever clear it of.  I would never take that chance to use a pressure sprayer that had been used for any kind of chemical.  Period.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, love this life we lead. 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 #6 on: March 02, 2008, 10:56:25 PM »

The bees drowned because I put the ziploc in in a hurry and it didn't lie flat.  This made a fold in the bag up against the side of the box.  Instead of the slit being a place where the bees could sip, the sugar syrup pooled on top of the slit and they drowned.  I guess they couldn't get their footing.  There were about 100 dead bees in the bag and since it's winter and the hive wasn't replenishing its numbers very quickly, I was sick about it.  I kept the bag of dead bees to remind me not to be careless like that again.

Linda T ashamed to be a bee-haver on the drowning day
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2008, 11:02:44 PM »

Linda, good.  Now I understand what happened.  What a bummer eh?  I know that feeling about killing bees accidentally.  Man have I had experience with that one, and yes, my dear, it has made me so sad on occasions too, the feeling is not good.  So many lessons that we learn to become better and better at knowing what and what not to do.  My worst experience with inadvertent death of about half of one of my nucs last year was when they starved.  I thank my lucky stars that day that I saw the pile of bees outside, I checked inside and there was no food, zero, nothing, oh I felt like the worst mother on earth that day.   I sprayed the colony with some sugar syrup I had in a spray bottle and immediately feed them.  They recouperated very quickly.  I fed them for quite a long time, and they became one of my strongest colonies going into winter.  Lessons learned, oh the hard way, have a wonderful, great life, keep on keepin on.  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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