why not just pour granulated sugar into drawn comb or the super cell frames you were asking about? seems like you could fill one side, cover it with plastic wrap then fill the other side, take the plastic off and put it in the hive. honestly, anything other than division board feeders becomes pretty time consuming and labor intensive when you reach your 200 colony goal.
we had a drum that we pressurized with an air can and a hose with a nozzle like on a gas pump. if all your feeders are on the same side you just crack the hive open, slide the back to one side and pour the syrup in then close it up.
we could feed hundreds of hives in a day.
Rob, I plan to do this in spring. I really don't care for any of the division board feeder designs commercially available. They just take up more room than I want them to. I thought about top jar feeding but you have to add additional space above to cover it. If I implement the HSC feeder system, I would have prefilled units and simply open the nuc and swap them out. This would only be in my mating yard.
As far as granulated sugar goes, I guess that could be done. Pack the HSC with sugar then moisten. Can the bees process this as well as syrup?
My full sized hives are fed with inverted buckets, 2 1/2qts, I put an extra super on top to make them weather proof. To change I slide a piece of thin sheet metal under the feeder to contain the bees, change the feeder and slide the sheet metal out. Quick, easy and no flying bees.
Honey Super Cell
Do you think a sprayer could fill the cells?
amazing where you can run across a good idea. recently I was clearing out a shed and ran across several boxes of honey super cell and 'your idea' would at least be something to try with the stuff. I was just this far from tossing it all in the dumpster.
getting somewhat to very think syrup to flow thru a sprayer would present some significant problems. perhaps 40 years ago or so Kelley had a device (essentially a tight metal box equipped with a pump) that they sold for doing just what you seem to want to do. if I had small numbers of comb to fill I would likely first use a sqegee, a flat pan and a squeeze bottle.
To battle fire ants I found a cheap sprayer with a metal wand. I cut the wand at an angle like a hypodermic needle. I would pump up the sprayer, jab the wand into the center of the mound, squeeze the handle and withdraw the wand. Very effective.
In this application, I will try the same kind of sprayer but this time flatten the wand so that it has a fan like pattern. Much like Rob's method for filling the division board feeders I'm hoping the syrup flows well. Hopefully the HSC has the upward sloping cell configuration to retain the liquid.
Have you considered sugar frames?
If your going to make 30 nucs, I would advice trying multiple methods to see which works best. Would hate to see you loose a large portion to any one method that you haven't proved.
Thanks Robo, I'm kinda one of those "all in" types. You know, come up with a plan then do what is needed to make it work. A little reality check goes a long way.
This is all just me throwing out ideas right now. Making things work and coming up with solutions for problems is kinda what I do for a living. Group discussions share concepts and help me see different perspectives. I haven't even cut the first board to build the nucs yet and thanks to this open exchange the final build is still being fine tuned.
I really appreciate the feedback and discussions.