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Author Topic: Simple syrup warmer for early spring  (Read 558 times)
tjc1
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« on: April 13, 2013, 09:09:39 PM »

Here in the Northeast we have the problem of a week in March at 50 - 60 degree days, then it drops back down to 30-40 degree days for two weeks, or fluctuates between the two. I wanted to get the syrup on to encourage brood rearing but figured it was useless if the syrup got cold.

So I put a 23 watt fluorescent bulb inside the super covering the feeding bucket. I used a socket that can plug into the end of an extension cord, and set the bulb into a small ceramic plant pot to break the direct light and heat and to shield the bees from it - (found after the first day that I had to enclose the bulb in the pot by covering the top with some metal window screen and an elastic because about 40 bees climbed in with the bulb and got cooked... But I found that this much heat keeps the inner temperature about 20 degrees above the outside temperature, so that even at 30 degrees, the syrup is well above 50 degrees (heat from the cluster warms the bottom of the feeder and the syrup in addition to the heat from the bulb). The bees having been taking syrup steadily. On days when it will be 50 degrees plus, I turn off the bulb, and turn it on again in late afternoon. Simple and low cost!
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 12:00:21 AM »

Great ingenuity, but do you think you could be faking the bees out to make them think it is warmer out than it is?  They will take granulated sugar if you think it's too cold for syrup, if they have no stores.  Grew up in New England, and I know how unpredictable the weather is...just a bit concerned you might be faking them into a premature spring, when it hasn't happened yet.  I in no way claim to know much AT all, but that would be my concern.  Good luck with your bees, Plymouth!   Smiley  (family is all still up there...Hingham and Pembroke) 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 12:49:30 AM »



Way to go tjc1. applause applause applause  I bet even our master bee electrician, Mr Finski, would approve. Wink

Bees are like humans, they’re going to stay in their heated little home (mostly) until the weather breaks. 

This has been the coolest April I can remember in a long time here in Michigan.  It has felt more like early March than April.  It's getting down right depressing.  To add insult to injury, we got flooded out for the last few days and ended the week with some lovely snowflakes.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 04:58:16 AM »

Here in the Northeast we have the problem of a week in March at 50 - 60 degree days, then it drops back down to 30-40 degree days for two weeks, or fluctuates between the two. I wanted to get the syrup on to encourage brood rearing but figured it was useless if the syrup got cold.



Allmost all beeks that syrup feeding encourage brood rearing but it is not so. Syrup only fills valuable combs and limits brood area.

Protein patty is only way how you can add brood production. Second thing is electrict heating of bottom.

Brood rearing is a long process. It is not only 3 weeks but it is 6-8 weeks.

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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 05:12:07 AM »

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Plymouth, MA is quite in north. I have fed protein 20 years in spring to bees.

I have noticed that bees are anxious to make brood in spring but pollen stores are missing and they stop brood rearing and wait for pollen from willows.

First 3 weeks after winter go so that the colony has lack of nurser bees. What ever you do, colony can make only 4 frames of brood.
When first generation of brood emerges, after 4 weeks from start the colony is able to make 10-15 frames of brood, and even 20 frames-

In second stage colony has nurser bees but night temperatures limit the brood area. Then bottom heating adds the radius of the brood ball and it has tremendous affect on amount of brood.  With patty feeding and heating brood production may be 3-fold, .....but in big hives.

In small colonies 3-5 frames progress is very small, and they will become sick if you push them. When you give a frame of emerging bees from big hive, that will change at once the build up of small colony.

After 50 years experience I can tell that in cold climate syrup feeding does not help spring build up. And so say universities in USA and Canada.


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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 05:32:21 AM »

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If I need to give syrup in emercengy feeding, I pour 1:2 syrup into combs and then I put the comb box under the wintering box.
Bees move the syrup in a week to upper box where brood is.


When I did not know protein influence to hives, I tried to "encourage" them for example with feeding extracted wet frames to bees in early spring. Nothing happened.

Just now in UK beeks are mad to feed their bees. Now they are unhappy. Weathers are bad that bees have stopped brood rearing because they have no pollen. However guys "encourage" laying with syrup. Nothing can change their mind and even life cannot teach them.

.I have snow here 30 cm. A week ago it was snow 50 cm.

Normally this time I have patty feeding on but now I wait better weathers. Bees must get drinking water from soil.

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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 05:36:11 AM »

.

http://www.globalpatties.com/pages/articles/nutrition.htm

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tjc1
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 03:51:41 PM »

Thanks, everyone, for your insights. Finski, strangely, my bees were not at all interested in the pollen patties that I gave them. But every day we have temps over 50 degrees F, they are out and now are bringing back pollen (red maple and now some willow and other flowers). Since it seemed that they must have some pollen stores (since they wouldn't eat the patties) and now they are bringing in fresh pollen, I thought that it was worth feeding them syrup, and so keeping it warm when it gets chilly.

Bees in Miami - greetings from the chilly North homeland! My wife is in Pembroke (her hometown) at this moment, visiting old friends...
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Sunnyboy2
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 08:55:35 PM »

TJ, what great ingenuity!  I struggle with same concerns about syrup.  I never considered a heat source centered on the liquid.  Have you considered a ceramic reptile heater?


Thank you for the artical link Finski.  I think that heating my hives would be helpful.  I hived bees (two 4 pound packages) yesterday at 38F.  The weather is supposed to get cold this week (lows 12 to 18).  I really have enjoyed keeping this first year, but I feel bad for my bees.  Between my curiosity, stupitidy and the weather it a wonder my first hive made it.
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tjc1
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 11:04:57 PM »

  Have you considered a ceramic reptile heater?


I just looked up some of these heaters, but it seems that the smallest is 60 watts, which might get too hot, based on the 23 watt bulb adding 20 degrees to the ambient. Might be good tho for placing under the hive per Finski's suggestion of spring warming to encourage brood production.
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