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Author Topic: using top feeder  (Read 1912 times)
jsmob
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« on: January 03, 2009, 01:51:10 PM »

I have a couple of hives that are in an out yard. I want to start feeding them using top feeders. I know as the population grows that they will go through more feed. What I would like to know is how often do you need to check on them? Twice a week? Once a week? The feeders look like they will hold a couple of gallons, but how many pounds of pollen patties would you put on the hives at one time. Thanks
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 02:38:57 PM »

The first week, you may want to check on the feeders every couple days, until you get a feel for how fast they empty it. Keeping in mind it may take a day or two for them to fully utilize the feeder to their capacity.

As for pollen patties, try putting one and go from there. No sense putting on more until you know they will eat them faster since sometimes they dry out and other times they can get moldy. make sure you place them in the middle of the cluster between the two brood boxes, and not just on top of the frames of the top box. Much will depend on your bees strength, how much brood is being raised, and whether adequate outside sources are available.

Keep an eye on them and they will answer your questions probably better than any beekeeper could... Wink
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 02:48:32 PM »

Right now, with temps in the 60-70's F, my medium strength hives are going through 3 qts of syrup a week.  But next week the temps are going to go into the 20-30's F and when they do my hives won't take but half or less of that amount.  Your local temps and hive conditions will determine how much syrup yours will take.  I can't feed pollen patties here because of SHB.  So I feed dry pollen substitute on a piece if cardstock.  But if its warm enough for them to fly here they always seem to find pollen and therefore consume very little of it.  I bought five pounds and four medium strength hives have only consumed about a 1/4 pound so far this winter.
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 04:40:05 PM »

make sure you place them in the middle of the cluster between the two brood boxes, and not just on top of the frames of the top box. Much will depend on your bees strength, how much brood is being raised, and whether adequate outside sources are available.
Keep an eye on them and they will answer your questions probably better than any beekeeper could... Wink

Absolutely colony size has to do with everything.  But here I disagree a little bit.  I always winter in two deeps, always have.  I have never placed the pollen patty between the two brood chambers, it sits on top of the top one, the inner cover directly on top of that of course.  The bees consume the pollen patty like there was no tomorrow, mostly always.  I totally think it depends on what pollens and what the weather is like whether the bees can get out to get pollen, that be governing how much of our pollen patties we give them.

Personally, I think that placing the pollen patty between the two brood chambers would be a big pain in the butt.  We were taught in our bee courses to place the pollen patty on the top.  Have a great and wonderful day, health, love and live life, 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
BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 06:27:15 PM »

Cindi,
There is a huge difference between time of year, and location. I see the original poster is from California. Probably pretty active colonies. Cracking open the boxes and sliding in a patty is actually faster and easier than taking off a top, top feeder, etc. I could probably feed a patty in about 5 seconds.

Now, feeding in Canada, I may actually agree with winter or early spring feeding with patties on top. The trapped heat, the moisture, and the location of the cluster may dictate that top feeding would be the way to go.

But In California, to maximize feeding, it is still best to place the patty directly in contact, if not directly in the center, of the cluster.

Location, location, location...... Wink

Added: And it is also good advice for anyone in SHB areas, to ensure your bees will utilize the patties by placing in the middle of the cluster. Many have found out that patties ignored while on frames of the top box, really is a feeding ground for the SHB. Many suggest now placing in the middle of the two boxes in the center of the cluster to allow the bees to keep SHB in check. Yes, in a perfect situation, the bees would go right up and eat all the patty. But that does not always happen as planned.
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 10:04:11 PM »

You could also do the following: Then you can easily see every time you walk past the hives:

Make a migratory cover for each hive.

Cut two holes in the cover: one in the center and one off to the side.

The holes should be 2-3/4 inches -- you will need to buy a special hole saw,  I bought one on ebay for about $12 including shipping.

Feed pollen patties through the center hole, as this should be right above the cluster in most cases.  Cover the hole with a piece of wood and then a brick.  The other hole will accommodate a mason jar, just like a boardman entrance feeder, with less of a robbing risk.  Fill the jar whenever it is empty, and you can peen in to check on the pollen patties with minimal invasion to the colony!  I'll be building a bunch of these to use this spring.

justgojumpit
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 10:29:53 PM »

I have a couple of hives that are in an out yard. I want to start feeding them using top feeders. I know as the population grows that they will go through more feed. What I would like to know is how often do you need to check on them? Twice a week? Once a week? The feeders look like they will hold a couple of gallons, but how many pounds of pollen patties would you put on the hives at one time. Thanks
right now it is to cold to use that type of feeder(syrup stays to cold for bees to deal with)-sounds like you want to stimulate
try light syrup in some kind of fashion as jumpit speaks of whether its a jar or a gallon can-let them nurse off this and place one patty in-between the boxes every two weeks and gauge the results of there consumption the trick is once you get them on sub dont let them run out -save your top feeder for spring or fall winter is not ideal for it -if you are looking for a hands free approach a box of honey will do wonders cheesy RDY-B
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rdy-b
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 10:52:25 PM »

make sure you place them in the middle of the cluster between the two brood boxes, and not just on top of the frames of the top box. Much will depend on your bees strength, how much brood is being raised, and whether adequate outside sources are available.
Keep an eye on them and they will answer your questions probably better than any beekeeper could... Wink

Absolutely colony size has to do with everything.  But here I disagree a little bit.  I always winter in two deeps, always have.  I have never placed the pollen patty between the two brood chambers, it sits on top of the top one, the inner cover directly on top of that of course.  The bees consume the pollen patty like there was no tomorrow, mostly always.  I totally think it depends on what pollens and what the weather is like whether the bees can get out to get pollen, that be governing how much of our pollen patties we give them.

Personally, I think that placing the pollen patty between the two brood chambers would be a big pain in the butt.  We were taught in our bee courses to place the pollen patty on the top.  Have a great and wonderful day, health, love and live life, Cindi
sometimes i put patties on top with a feed rim -use couple of patties - (now adays the big thing is feed stimulants like honey bee healthy in the patty bees cant resist it )one thing to think about is that it is actually possible for the bees to move up and when doing this they move off of brood and you just set your colony back with a dent-many times i think about this - Wink RDY-B
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 12:32:02 PM »

Bjorn, I keep forgetting about SHB, pollen patties are definitely an issue I hear, getting them as close to the brood, deep within the colony makes sense.  Thank my lucky stars we don't have them up here, and hopefully they won't come.....

Rdy-B.  I think that in our area when we are feeding pollen patties the likelihood of the bees being in the upper brood chamber is pretty high.  Have a great and wonderful day, health.  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
rdy-b
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 01:23:18 PM »

inter Honey Store Layout

1.   40 pounds honey stored in dark brood combs in top box
2.   From 1-3 of middle combs should contain small areas (approximately 3-5”) which are more or less free of honey so that the cluster will occupy this body during coldest weather
3.   Pollen reserves may be covered with sealed honey in upper hive body or close to the centre in the hive body just below
4.   From 20-30 pounds of additional reserve honey should be contained in frames about equally divided on each side of this lower hive body
5.   In a two-story hive, full combs of honey must sometimes be exchanged for light combs to ensure 40 pounds of honey in the top chamber or 60 pounds in both
6.   Bees will move honey from the bottom to the top
7.   The winter cluster will form to the upper hive body provided the stores are contained in dark brood combs and there is a small open centre free of honey.  Under these conditions the cluster will cover comb of sealed honey in the coldest months
8.   If all of the upper combs are filled with sealed honey or if they have not been used in brood rearing, the bees will cluster lower down in the hive
The mortality in winter of a healthy hive will seldom exceed 15%
-realy  cheesy cool RDY-B

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jsmob
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 02:16:59 PM »

What I am trying to learn is how to build the #'s up this year.
 I would like to have some experience of doing this because I would like to place hives with strong #'s in the almonds next year. I know part of the answer is feeding in the late summer early fall, but I was thinking it might help to give them a bit of a jump for the nectar flow in the almonds. Even though I would probably still feed them while in the orchards because it is still winter and lots of very cold mornings, rain,  and over cast days would keep them inside.
 
Quote
right now it is to cold to use that type of feeder(syrup stays to cold for bees to deal with)-sounds like you want to stimulate
try light syrup in some kind of fashion as jumpit speaks of whether its a jar or a gallon can-let them nurse off this and place one patty in-between the boxes every two weeks and gauge the results of there consumption the trick is once you get them on sub dont let them run out -save your top feeder for spring or fall winter is not ideal for it -if you are looking for a hands free approach a box of honey will do wonders  RDY-B

 I was going to use feeders that did not use the hardwear cloth and use cork board instead to float on top of the syrup so the bees still have access to the syrup around the edges and the cork would act as an insulator to help keep the warmth of the hive in and the syrup from freezing. While also putting the patties just under the feeder for more insulation. The days half of the time will get above 50 and the bees break cluster and fly. so I don't think they will have a problem of reaching eather the syrup or the patties. But I could be wrong. grin
 I would apprecate any thoughts on this.
 Thanks you again for your inputs.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 03:59:34 PM »

The days warm up but the syrup stays cold-to cold for the bees-you need to get at-least three rounds of brood built up -so you should start no latter than oct-there is not time to start building up a colony for feb almonds at this time -what you have is what you can hope to maintain-of course you can combine and that is another approach -how many are you putting in?-this year the price is starting to wobbel-good luck-RDY-B
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jsmob
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 07:27:53 PM »

 I have four hives right now. I know of a broker that deals with beeks that only have a few hives. I just think I am totally unprepared this year to do anything. I am hopping to have 12 hives next year to work with.
 They say to get top dollar for your hive you need eight frames covered in bees. I am just not sure how to get that accomplished.
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 05:03:11 PM »

rdy-b.  You have confused me a little here, maybe it is just your style.

Why did you highlight that last sentence in red, and then say "really", I got a mixed message from you.  Was it something you may have learned, or did you disagree,  denoted a little sarcasm.   Sometimes I may be too sensitive when people say things.  Have a great day, health.  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
rdy-b
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 09:20:05 PM »

                                                                                                                                                                                      









                        I will not use red any more- cool-but that dont mean the bees will not be in the bottom box  Smiley-RDY-B                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                     

                     Rdy-B.  I think that in our area when we are feeding pollen patties the likelihood of the bees being in the upper brood chamber is pretty high.  Have a great and wonderful day, health.  Cindi


       
8.   If all of the upper combs are filled with sealed honey or if they have not been used in brood rearing, the bees will cluster lower down in the hive
The mortality in winter of a healthy hive will seldom exceed 15%
 

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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 01:15:18 AM »

Rdy-b, sorry, you confuse me.  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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