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Author Topic: Help!! Clogged Feeders  (Read 1193 times)
mat299
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« on: October 26, 2012, 05:57:45 PM »

Ok, my bees need to be fed because they are light on stores.  I am using mason jar type feeders on top of the inner cover with 2:1 sugar syrup.  The problem is that the holes in the jar lids are clogging.  I suppose it's because the syrup is thick and it crystalizes.  I need to feed fast.  Does anyone have any ideas?  The jar feeders are the only kind of feeders I have right now.  Should I try open feeding?  Would open feeding supply the syrup faster.  I have four hives and all of them are light right now.
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 07:02:53 PM »

I am a brand new beek, but will take my Chef background to task here...If your syrup is crystalizing, you have brought it beyond the saturation point.  I find it hard to push beyond 2.25:1 without it crystalizing.  You sure you're not trying to push beyond 2:1?  Maybe back down to 1.75:1, and see if that stays better?   Hope this helps. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 07:15:47 PM »

The bees will suck dry an open feeder much faster than they can take syrup from a mason jar.  The downside to open feeding is the risk of feeding your neighbors bees and yellow jackets.  However as long as there isnít a bee yard right next door, I think open feeding is a good option.  Others will disagree, but the odds are the majority of your open feed will go to your hives if the premise noted above is true where you live.

The other problem with open feeding is the bees will continue to look for an easy meal after the feeding too.  That can result in robbing.   While open feeding has some downsides, I think it works well in my bee yard. 
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kingbee
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 12:04:13 AM »

... I am using mason jar type feeders on top of the inner cover with 2:1 sugar syrup.  The problem is that the holes in the jar lids are clogging....

I assume you mean the wee holes in the inverted jar lids are clogging.  I can tell you this, bees forever more hate light above the brood nest.  Unless you have an empty super on top of your intercover and a tight fitting hive lid covering the empty super the bees think the light peeking through the wee holes in the jar lid is a crack or hole in the hive and they will propolize the holes in the feeder lids shut. This is even more true this time of year because they are getting the hive ready for winter.  Bees know (or think they know) that anywhere light can come into the hive from above, cold water is sure to follow.
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 02:36:16 AM »

I am using mason jar type feeders on top of the inner cover with 2:1 sugar syrup.  


Frankly, those type feeders are toys. Open feeding is out of mind. When nectar flow is over, open feeding makes a real riot. It calls robbing hives from distance of mile and you may loose you hive. Open feeding is toy #0

If the syrup "freezes", it has too much sugar. It is slow to suck. Give more water. About 10 %.
One litre to 10 litre.

Get a good plastic box feeder which has capacity 8-15 litres. Bees take so 10 litres syrup in 24 hours.

Forget self made and wooden.

Something like that

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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 02:43:28 AM »

.

There are so much DIY  tricks how to feed bees but they are labourous and dirty jobs.
One week robbibg and fighting on entrance is not nice to see.
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tryintolearn
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 10:08:13 AM »

everytime i try feeding sugarwater now it starts a robbing frenzy...even with the jar inside a hive body on top....i started feeding a type of fondant on wax paper now...they demolished the entire cake in 2 days...without any robbing problems....u shud have seen the ground in front of hive after they cleaned up ...wax paper everywhere on ground... they really are tidy arent they
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 10:39:13 AM »

everytime i try feeding sugarwater now it starts a robbing ...

Yes is goes so. When you feed bees, they think that there is somewhere a good food place and they do not find anything else than other hives.
It is continuous fighting there. More or less. Warm weather and sun inspiore tehm too.
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T Beek
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 11:54:27 AM »

Keep Your Syrup Warm is my best advise, and perhaps make the holes a bit larger.

If I have to feed syrup 'inside' my hives (due to them being light or the weather prevents flight) in the Fall or Spring I make absolutely certain its kept warm, changing it out each day.  

Put simply; Bees won't take cold syrup.  

However, at this time of year when daytime temps still can reach into the 40's (F) and bees are flying about seeking nonexistent forage I open feed (warm syrup).  Its true that yellow jackets make up a portion of those consuming but its minimal and has proven unproblematic for my bees.  

I do have the luxury of the available land to place open feed quite a distance away, well over 100 yards from the bee-yard.  

The only time I've had a robbing issue occurred when I wasn't feeding at all so that has pretty much been a non-issue when open feeding.

Yep, 'all beekeeping is local.'  Even making repeated comparisons to the climates of Finland and Alaska (or any other locals that are on opposite sides of the planet) is questionable at best and lacks any true representation of a similar 'assumed' climate.  

Its more than that.  IMO; it has much less to do w/ latitudes and longitudes than w/ the actual region bees are being kept.  There are too many variables to generalize, whether its methods or opinions.

Although 'most'  Beeks will do things different from other Beeks it is never reason enough to condemn or ridicule anothers methods, which only shows a lack of vision and/or tolerance from those doing the condemning or ridiculing.

But hey, some folks already know everything there is to know whether its beekeeping or life, so for entertainment sake lets let them continue to think so  grin
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 05:07:41 PM by T Beek » Logged

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danno
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 12:14:31 PM »

Pour your feed in ziplock bags.  Just put a bag in the hive and cut a x across the top
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rober
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 12:41:53 PM »

i'm using division board feeders in an empty brood box on top of the inner cover. yes, some bees drown but i have wooden sticks for floats & screen for them to use as ladders. the screens came with the feeders from kelly. the sticks cut down the number of drowned bees by 3/4.
i also bought div. bd. feeders from dadant. they were heavier & cheaper. i like them better than the ones from kelly.
the only time i've have a problem with robbing i was feeding a weak & queenless hive. also, feed ALL your hives to keep down the robbing. it's starting to get too cold here to feed syrup. my understanding is that they quit taking syrup when the temp. is below 60*
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 12:55:01 PM »

I open feed in my apiary and have not experienced any of the problems with robbing, wasps, ect. described above. I use modified hummingbird feeders. I did have to do some further modifications when I thickened the syrup this fall because of the change in viscosity. I wonder if the style of feeder is helping. What type of open feeders are other people using ?
Cheers,
Drew
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 05:15:20 PM »

I use a 5 gallon bucket filled about a third w/ syrup and a wad of hay placed on top to prevent drowning, placed at least 100 yards from beeyard.  On a sunny day in the 50's my bees (8 colonies) will empty it by dark.  If its warmer, say in the 60's,  I'll put out 2-3 of them w/ the same result.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 09:03:19 PM »

Have you had problems if you put the buckets right in the apiary ?
Drew
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duck
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 09:46:01 PM »

here in USA, we open feed all day and all night long and never have robbing issues.  Our bees are the best!
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BlueBee
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 02:16:08 AM »

I think T Beekís advice to keep open feeding some distance from the hives is a good idea, but I donít always follow it.  Sometimes Iím just lazy and open feed within 20 feet of the hives.  I donít usually see anymore robbing than feeding syrup inside a hive.  But the bees will be looking for an easy meal close by for a day or two later.  You need to keep an eye out for robbing if you try open feeding.
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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 07:46:03 AM »

It was an old Canadian Beek (long passed) who told me to place a feed station at least 100 yards from any Beeyard w/ more than 2 colonies.  The theory being, as BlueBee pointed out, your bees 'won't' be seeking a nearby meal.

That said; I open feed 'pollen sub' right in the yard, sometimes placing a tray on top of a hive even.  No noticable issues have been observed and its very entertaining to watch them roll around in the stuff. 

As w/ syrup, they take it 'if' they need it and leave it 'if' they don't.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 01:31:58 PM »

That is the experience I have and as you say it is an absolute delight to look out the window and watch them. Just like a bird feeder or an aquarium I guess, very therapeutic  Smiley
Drew
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