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Author Topic: Open feeding method  (Read 1842 times)
tjc1
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« on: July 03, 2013, 11:42:37 PM »

Experimenting with a way to open feed without drowning bees and came up with this. Plastic mesh window screen cut to fit the dish - it then floats on the syrup as it is consumed. If you sit the dish in a larger dish or pan of water, you can keep the ants out... rolleyes







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capt44
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 11:53:51 PM »

I use a concrete bird bath with SB2 gravel in the bottom and sticks broken up and placed in the feeder.
I call the sticks Bee Boats.
Hey it works.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 01:20:32 AM »

Nicely done again. applause

I like your idea so well I might just steal it this fall. grin

I have tried foam and wood floats in the past but they all had problems.  This looks like a better idea.  My only concern is the size of the plate.  Need to scale that up somehow when you've got more hives looking to feed.  

We are having a glorious summer in Michigan this year.  Lots of rain and normal temps for a change. applause  Tons of white clover for the bees to harvest along with the lindens that are blooming.
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JPinMO
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 01:59:49 AM »

Very interesting. For watering, hubby wire-tied mesh screen to a circle of tubing so it floats inside 5-gallon bucket. (He first tried a piece of old garden hose, but smaller tubing worked better). We're not getting much rain right now; thank Heaven we're not in the heat wave and drought we had last year. 

We have hive-top feeders; I never considered open feeding like this. Tjc, do you have more than one hive?
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 04:05:27 AM »

.
Open feeding is from ...I cannot say it for banning.

I cannot understand what idea is in that. It makes only a riot to bee yard and bees kill each other.
Perhaps you loose couple of week nucs.

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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 10:53:58 AM »

No riots here Finski. cool

Our friend TBeek from Wisconsin convinced me to try open feeding last year and it worked fine.  I think of it as an easy way to top off the winter stores in the fall.  Yes, it can get the bees in a robbing mode, but I didnít have any hives robbed out when I did it.  Putting syrup inside my hives was just as likely, if not more so, to promote robbing for me.  The bees can really smell where you put the syrup in the fall.

I miss TBeek, I hope he comes back for the Winter debate.   applause
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 11:06:29 AM »

Putting syrup inside my hives was just as likely, if not more so, to promote robbing for me.

And I have wasted my 51 years for nothing in beekeeping.

Syrup does not promote  robbing.  Oh dear.

Force may be with your honey balls!  (not horse)
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 11:20:39 AM »

There is still hope we may teach you something after 51 years Finski. Wink

You canít seriously tell me youíve never opened a nuc with a top feeder and found it completely packed with bees; far more bees than what were in the nuc prior to adding the feeder.  Adding syrup is like ringing the dinner bell.

The beauty of honey balls is they donít set off a feeding frenzy inside a hive like syrup does.
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2013, 11:21:08 AM »

open feeding works well in spring.  it's handy to mix only a couple of gallons and put it out.  

open feeding in later summer or fall will bring yellowjackets and all their nasty cousins.  save the open feeding for spring.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 11:27:22 AM »

We usually have a killing frost here by Oct 15th and that takes out most of the yellow jackets.  I hold off on open feeding until mid to late October.  There are asters and goldenrod for the bees to work up until about Oct 15th.

In a milder climate, open feeding in the fall might be a real mess as Kathy says.
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tjc1
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 06:13:24 PM »

To JPin MO - I have only one hive and a nuc with a newly caught swarm. I was experimenting with open feeding just now because I wanted to give something to the swarm nuc but A) didn't want them to get robbed as a result and 2) couldn't quite figure out how to feed a nuc and have it enclosed, which some folks suggest might incite robbing. The alternative that I read somewhere here was to open feed.

I would imagine that you could adapt this to a larger area container/tray - the plastic mesh floats, tho I don't know what quantity of bees it could support before it started to get pushed under... I can see how the JPinMO's screen float in the bucket might work for larger operations.

Interestingly, watching the feeder today it seemed as if I am primarily feeding someone else's bees; most of those leaving the feeder tanked up headed off across the brook rather than back to the nuc... rolleyes With the linden in bloom, I think that I'll take the feeder in and assume they can take care of themselves - one reason I was feeding is that I have given them three out of five foundationless frames and I thought they'd need the extra food to make all that wax.

Finski, I can imagine how open feeding in a large beeyard might cause a riot.
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derekm
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 06:42:58 PM »

.
Open feeding is from ...I cannot say it for banning.

I cannot understand what idea is in that. It makes only a riot to bee yard and bees kill each other.
Perhaps you loose couple of week nucs.


you get fighting around water as well... We have a pond and although there is plenty of room for all skirmishes occur
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Finski
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 06:52:26 PM »



You canít seriously tell me youíve never opened a nuc with a top feeder and found it completely packed with bees; far more bees than what were in the nuc prior to adding the feeder.  Adding syrup is like ringing the dinner bell.


hehe hehe heh . Feeding hives so full that queen cannot lay.

I just carried hives to Canola. 5 weeks ago they had 3 frames and now they have 2 brood + 4 medium supers.
No feeding. They have lived with holy spirit.

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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 06:57:38 PM »



Finski, I can imagine how open feeding in a large beeyard might cause a riot.

I have 30 hives and then I put on the yard 600 litres winter syrup. - What a wonder full world!
Or is it better to say world full of wonder .

I fed my one box hives full in 2 days.
2 box hives I feed in one week.

Why I should change the system and feed them from September to National Day 6.12.

.National day honey balls?

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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 07:20:59 PM »

We usually have a killing frost here by Oct 15th and that takes out most of the yellow jackets.  I hold off on open feeding until mid to late October.  There are asters and goldenrod for the bees to work up until about Oct 15th.

In a milder climate, open feeding in the fall might be a real mess as Kathy says.


when we have killing frost here about 15.9, hives must be feeded and food capped.
Quite idiotic to wake up bees that they start brooding again.

.in Spring feeding with syrup has no value. My hives have so much winter food left that I must get them consumed by bees. I give pollen patty and it has sugar 50%. And I even food frames that sugar vanishes before summer yield.

Why open feeding, I just wonder why?
Not a slightest reason.  or if you want more honey...
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sc-bee
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 08:00:17 PM »


I just carried hives to Canola. 5 weeks ago they had 3 frames and now they have 2 brood + 4 medium supers.
No feeding. They have lived with holy spirit.

I am glad I read that over again. I thought he said he moved hives to Canada. I was trying to figure out how he did that from Findland. But Finski is da man  grin
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John 3:16
Finski
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 12:33:00 AM »



I am glad I read that over again. I thought he said he moved hives to Canada. I was trying to figure out how he did that from Findland. But Finski is da man  grin

Good heavens what I have went went to do!. Mercy sky!

You surely need somethong better in your life than open feeding.

.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 12:41:42 AM »

Well, itís like this Finski.  I live in a continental climate which means we can get some wild temperature swings in November and even December.  Itís a battle between the cold arctic air pushing down from Canada and the warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.  When the gulf wins, the bees wake up rather you want them too or not!  When theyíre awake they fly and consume energy, lots of energy (honey/sugar).

If we have an extended warm spell, all that flying can take a toll on the food theyíre suppose to have to get through winter.  So I have a few options, I could break the boxes back open and add the feeders again but in November and December itís going to be too cold at night for the syrup to be usable, so the feeders really canít solve this problem.  Then if you donít get the feeders off before an arctic blast comes, you have a real mess.

Another option is throwing some honey balls on top of the bees.  That does work well, even when there isnít a festival to celebrate. applause  The honey balls donít draw the robbers like syrup will.  However it still requires you to open the hives and I seem to recall somebody in Finland saying that wasnít a good idea in winter. Brian

So finally there is open feeding.  When the bees are flying in Nov or December at least a little open feed allows them to top off the stores so theyíll be re-filled before the cold sets in for good.  Fast and easy with minimum intrusion to the bees.  Smiley
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2013, 01:42:22 AM »

.

November and December itís going to be too cold at night for the syrup to be usable, so the feeders really canít solve this problem.  Then if you donít get the feeders off before an arctic blast comes, you have a real mess.

Another option is throwing some honey balls on top of the bees.


I feed hives at the beginning of september that hives have enough food to May.

How about in nature the hives. Do they get something out of booming season?

.You will never learn. But do as you like. No one can help you.
.

I have said several times that this forum is more dangerous to hives than winter.

.



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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2013, 02:00:14 AM »

 I've read and heard the pros and cons about open feeding. Although it's really neat to watch, it's not something I'll be planning on doing unless I somehow end up with several dozen hives that need feeding... all at the same time.
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