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Author Topic: Barnyard style feeding  (Read 2465 times)

Offline madscientist

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Barnyard style feeding
« on: July 08, 2008, 12:11:00 PM »
What would the drawback be to using one large feeding station per bee yard (with the appropriate measures to prevent bees from drowning, of course).

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 01:11:07 PM »
That's the way I do it. It is 100 yards from the hives, to not induce robbing. Just a dog waterer with rocks in the dish.

There is fighting that goes on sometimes.
And you are feeding all bees in the area, not just yours, if you do this.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 11:22:21 PM »
What would the drawback be to using one large feeding station per bee yard (with the appropriate measures to prevent bees from drowning, of course).


I'd rather feed that way than individually.  Even with the most cautious approach to feeding a hive individually can set off robbing by other hives, especially during dearth, drought, or late summer.  Using a community feeder some distance from the bee yard feeds them all and draws all the foragers to the feeding site and away from the other hives.

Those who've had bad experiences community feeding have usually put the feeder in the bee yard which then sets off robbing when the feed source drys up due to the proximity of hives to food source.
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Offline Ross

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 08:16:01 AM »
You are far more likely to start robbing by feeding in the hive.  Feeding in the open may cause fighting at the feeder, but I have never seen it start robbing.  It simulates a flow.  All hives get syrup at once and all have a vested interest in staying home, unlike feeding a weak hive in your yard.  That draws all the others in a dearth.  Feeding any way you do it has some risks, but open feeding is not a robbing risk.  They empty that feeder in less than an hour.  It's a fast way to get everyone some help.
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Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 12:33:55 PM »
Ross,
That is what I use. Do you use rocks or what?
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Offline qa33010

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 04:48:46 PM »
   Same here.  I use rocks when I don't have a good piece of wood available.

    I also have a five gallon bucket that has bubble pack (small cell) with some slits on the interior and the bubbles up.  Surprisingly the bees don't sink it and I have had very very few drownings.  No fighting either.  But I've only used it twice in three years.  Since it's food grade I can use it for other stuff as well.
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Offline Amanda

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 05:42:05 PM »
I use a chicken waterer.  I started with gravel and decided to use sponges instead.  I cut them into strips and squish them into the base of the waterer.  The bees can land on the sponge and drink the syrup through it but couldn't drown even if they wanted to. :)
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Offline Ross

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 08:29:19 PM »
Same here, started with rocks, then got a sponge.  I don't do it often, but when I have a bunch of hives in the yard and they all need it, it works.
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Offline tandemrx

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2008, 09:43:15 PM »
how do you keep ants away from these things?

I would think they would be over-run with ants/wasps/etc.

I am intruiged as it would be a nice way to avoid having ants around the hive.

Maybe not as practical for a tiny operation such as ours.

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2008, 10:43:38 PM »
I think it is because there are so many bees the ants don't have a chance,
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Offline qa33010

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2008, 03:26:41 AM »
   Except for right at sunset, the wasps and hornets don't have a chance either :evil:
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline Koala John

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2008, 09:03:45 AM »
I tried it, went to a lot of trouble to build two nice big feeders, both hlding about 5-10 gallons. Put some floats in with lots of small slits to enable the bees to keep their foothold and drink without taking a swim, got the idea from some great info on some posts here. Set it up, looked fantastic. Built a special roof to keep the rain out. Came back a day later, very busy and lots of busy happy bees - I am now a master beekeeper! Came back a few days later - huge amounts of dead bees in both feeders. The sheer volume of bees on the floats had weighed them down until some bees got stuck and drowned. As more bees piled on and the weight built, the floats sank further. Catastrophe. Massive losses and I learnt my lesson. I'm strictly an internal hive feeder now, though I MAY try a chicken feeder one day if I get brave enough. Bot not for a very long time.
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Offline poka-bee

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2008, 12:39:27 PM »
I have chix waterers & put rolled paper towels in the dish part so the bees don't drown.  When the syrup is gone I cann toss towels in compost or rinse quickly & put back if not too gross.  One bad thing is that the flys & hornets found em. :-x  Jody
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2008, 08:41:02 PM »
I bought the dog waterer.
Tried the pebbles and the bees just drug them out and proceeded to have a mass drowning.
Tried the sponge and the bees just drug them out (!) and proceeded to have a mass drowning.
Tried larger stones and now only kill a few hundred bees a week.

One thing that occurs to me though, is that if there are any other bee keepers in the area I could really be adulterating their honey if they harvest anytime after I start feeding.  Maybe it's not a good practice from an ethical perspective??

Offline Moonshae

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2008, 09:36:32 PM »
Put some floats in with lots of small slits to enable the bees to keep their foothold and drink without taking a swim,

Yep. Fill the basin with rocks, which are already sunk, and the bees can't drown. At least, not too many. The crevices allow them to follow the syrup down at the end of the jug (If you haven't filled it on time), still without drowning. I like to slope the pile of rocks a bit, since in the heat of the day, the airspace in the jug expands and overfills the basin...the higher mound at one side gives the bees a place to land until the space contracts and draws the excess back inside.
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Offline Moonshae

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2008, 09:37:46 PM »
One thing that occurs to me though, is that if there are any other bee keepers in the area I could really be adulterating their honey if they harvest anytime after I start feeding.  Maybe it's not a good practice from an ethical perspective??


If you're feeding, there's no flow, so hopefully that hypothetical beek has harvested by that point.
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Offline annette

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2008, 12:08:12 AM »

One thing that occurs to me though, is that if there are any other bee keepers in the area I could really be adulterating their honey if they harvest anytime after I start feeding.  Maybe it's not a good practice from an ethical perspective??


Interesting point!!!

Offline dhood

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2008, 12:21:53 AM »
If your looking for a cheap way to open feed, I have found one that works. I use a five gallon bucket, and a mesh onion or potato bag as an inner liner, and just throw a little rock in to sink the liner to the bottom. They will walk down the mesh as they consume the syrup. I have seen far less dead bees this method than any other I've tried. During the process of trial and error while feeding, I learned that every time I used small floating objects they would land on each other until the wood sank and lots of bees died. But as previously mentioned, it will definitely attract all other bees. Especially Yellowjackets.

Offline greg spike

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2008, 10:35:06 AM »

One possible problem with open feeding...The strongest hives with the most foragers will get a dispropotionate share of syrup. Whereas a weaker hive that might need it a little more gets less. I guess thats not a problem if your just looking to boost spring buildup among even hives.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Barnyard style feeding
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2008, 08:35:36 PM »
>The strongest hives with the most foragers will get a dispropotionate share of syrup.

That will be true no matter what you do.  Even if they have to steal it from the weak hives.  There are more workers, so they get more syrup.  But it's easy enough to steal capped honey from the heavy hives to give to the light ones.
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