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Author Topic: who does the feeding?  (Read 841 times)

Offline FRAMEshift

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who does the feeding?
« on: August 02, 2011, 02:10:24 PM »
This question keeps coming up when I want to feed a weak hive in my beeyard.   People say that feeding a weak hive is dangerous since that invites robbing.

One proposed solution I have heard is to feed all the hives at the same time, to prevent robbing.  Does this actually work?

If it's the house bees in the strong hive that go to the feeder (we use top feeders), then the robber class and foragers are free to rob other hives, even as their own is being fed.  But if the foragers are engaged in collecting sugar syrup from the top feeder, they would not be available to get into trouble robbing other hives.

So does anyone actually know which bees in a hive collect feed from a top feeder.  I would think there must be some research on this somewhere but I haven't seen it.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 05:02:27 PM by FRAMEshift »
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Offline David McLeod

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Re: who does the robbing?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 02:38:08 PM »
It's the foragers doing the robbing and no feeding all will not stop it. I'm feeding all of mine trying to get some drawn prior to the fall and my biggest is taking down a half gallon a day AND robbing. I'm having to watch them like a hawk to keep them out of their neighbor's boxes.
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Offline rbinhood

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Re: who does the robbing?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 03:53:19 PM »
Why not try open feeding, is seems to work the best for me it keeps all the foragers busy away from the hives.
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Offline iddee

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Re: who does the robbing?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 04:40:57 PM »
DITTO,  rbinhood.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: who does the feeding?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 05:05:44 PM »
I just changed the name of the thread.  I realized that I'm really asking who is taking feed from the feeder.  I know who does the robbing.  :-D
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline T Beek

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Re: who does the feeding?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 05:23:23 PM »
Agreed, open feeding this time of year just makes sense, especially if your building for winter survival and are done taking honey.  I place mine (a five gallon bucket) about 100 yards from the beeyard and have never had any robbing issues.  I'm down to just five colonies right now after my Spring Bear episode (S), one was a combine and still doesn't seem to want to get going, but when I begin open feeding in a couple weeks I'm hoping it gives them the needed boost.  For now we just went through a weak basswood flow but they've got LOTS of goldenrod that's just beginning and can bloom up here well into October.

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: who does the feeding?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 01:37:45 AM »
>This question keeps coming up when I want to feed a weak hive in my beeyard.   People say that feeding a weak hive is dangerous since that invites robbing.

Yes it does.  But letting them starve doesn't seem like a good alternative.  One alternative, however is to steal capped honey from the strong hives and feed them if you need them to replace it.

>One proposed solution I have heard is to feed all the hives at the same time, to prevent robbing.  Does this actually work?

It won't STOP robbing but it will help prevent it.  Especially if you combine it with restricting ALL the entrances including the ones on the strong hives.  Better, though, to steal from the rich and feed the rich.

>If it's the house bees in the strong hive that go to the feeder (we use top feeders), then the robber class and foragers are free to rob other hives, even as their own is being fed.  But if the foragers are engaged in collecting sugar syrup from the top feeder, they would not be available to get into trouble robbing other hives.

Maybe.  Any bee can be recruited for any job, though, so it's hard to say.

>So does anyone actually know which bees in a hive collect feed from a top feeder.  I would think there must be some research on this somewhere but I haven't seen it.

My guess if from the point of view of the bees, the bees emptying the feeders are "receiver" bees who are just taking it to the combs.  But both foragers and receivers can be recruited from the bees of the hive.

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