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Author Topic: Top feeders, pollen patties, and ventilation  (Read 1255 times)
patook
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« on: May 01, 2009, 07:48:34 AM »

Greetings everyone,

I use the beemax top feeders and I noticed that I have to squish it down when I put my brood-builder patties on. I don't think the bees will be able to get them like this. I also see a problem as summer approaches here in Texas.

I was wondering what others do who use this feeder. I was thinking about perhaps putting a inner cover frame on with the Masonite removed. I could even cut out a section of the frame to make a vent, but it would be hard to stop rain from getting in.


Looking at the Mann lake feeders, they may not have this problem and look like they can be ventilated as well if there is room between the wood walls and the sides of the insert.

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doak
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 07:29:01 PM »

Never tried top feeders. I use division board feeders. It is not even necessary to take the top cover off to fill it. Put it on the outer edge and just slide the top over enough to expose the feeder. Fill and slide the top back. This way I have space to put a paddy under the inner cover.

There are several different variables For venting. I just raise the rear of the cover and stick a two inch long by 1/2 up to an inch thick.
I also have entrance holes in most of my honey supers. 5/8 or larger. Some time the bees have waiting line to get in and out. rolleyes :)doak
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 10:08:58 PM »

I like my Mann Lake Feeders, but I think you will have the same problems with those pollen patties on the top frames. You need to place a small super on top of the frames to give room for the patties. Unless you squish those patties down really flat???  I do not know because I do not feed pollen patties.

Anyway Brushy Mt bee supply has this wonderful item I purchased just for this purpose. It is a small super which I use when feeding them the baggie feeders, but can be used for this purpose of providing them extra room on top

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/prodinfo.asp?number=645
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 10:12:41 PM »

For optimum ventilation in the summer I use the Honey Run Apiary Ventilated covers

http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/season-inner-cover-p-50.html?osCsid=d9e1b7c2542658943b4b24ea2c22238e

This is a fancy cover and other beekeepers will tell you of other ways to ventilate. I just love these inner covers.
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patook
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 04:11:24 AM »

doak, I like the top feeders because I can fill them without opening the hive at all. Besides, I have them and I am not currently in a position to buy new stuff.

I like the vent that Annette mentioned. What do they do in the 3" of space where the vests are? Ithought they would fill spaces like that with comb. 

I suppose I could put my patties in there rather then on the frames.

Thanks both of you for the advice.

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annette
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 03:18:16 PM »

I have to be honest,but I do not let my bees go up to that space.  Some beeks here let the bees fly around up there.  I keep the area screened off (It comes with a hole in the middle and screen for that purpose) But all those vent holes provide more than enough air in the hot weather.  also there is that top opening that comes with the cover. 

I have thought about letting them fly around there, but I also do not know what they would do up there. Anyone else know?Huh
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2009, 05:44:47 PM »

I have to be honest,but I do not let my bees go up to that space.  Some beeks here let the bees fly around up there.  I keep the area screened off (It comes with a hole in the middle and screen for that purpose) But all those vent holes provide more than enough air in the hot weather.  also there is that top opening that comes with the cover. 

I have thought about letting them fly around there, but I also do not know what they would do up there. Anyone else know?Huh

Eventually they'll build burr comb.
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patook
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2009, 11:27:20 PM »

Annette, do you not use this with the top feeders then? My desire is to have this on with the top feeder.  I was thinking that I could still modify this plan a bit to work with my top feeder. If I made the inner chamber shorter on the side where my feeder entrance is, I could make a bee sized passage through this vent super and into the feeder entrance.

I also need a way to prevent rain from getting in the vents. The rain tends to move horizontal in these parts.

Cheers,
Patook
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patook
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2009, 11:33:13 PM »

Brian, thats what i figured, soon it would not provide any ventilation at all if I left it open. And here I was hoping they would keep it open, perhaps use that space to play bee-ball.

Patook
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 02:00:43 AM »

No, when I am feeding with the Mann Lake top feeders, I remove this top inner cover.  I only place this on top when I am done feeding.
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Robo
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 08:02:44 AM »

Brian, thats what i figured, soon it would not provide any ventilation at all if I left it open. And here I was hoping they would keep it open, perhaps use that space to play bee-ball.


If the bees aren't cramped,  they won't build comb there.  The inner cover act as a barrier and the bees don't like splitting up the nest unless forced to.   I have been using vent boxes for 10  years and have never had comb built in one.   If you screen it off, earwigs, ants and spiders will take up residence in the space.  If you give the bees access they will patrol it and keep it clean.   They will propolis the vent screen over time (kind of makes you wonder if we are trying to force what we think is best),  but they will do that with the screen over the hole too.



You can then just feed pollen patties/candy/inverted jar right over the holes.

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annette
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2009, 11:56:41 AM »

Since reading your post Robo, I think I will keep the screen open this year and see what they do.
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