I am new to beekeeping and have a few questions about feeding.
I put the bees in the hive 2 days ago and am using a frame feeder. I have been reading recently about all the disadvantages to this type of feeder and am considering switching to a hive top feeder.
My question is: Should I just go with the frame feeder for now or switch to another type, such as the hive top? Is it a bad time to switch? I don't like opening the hive so much to check levels and refill.
Also, for a new hive how long should I feed them for? I live in Salt Lake City, UT and the daytime temps are nearing 70 degrees.
My last question: I have the inner cover on top of the lower brood chamber and then the outer cover on top of that. Do I cover the hole on top of the inner cover? I have that plastic one way escape cover.
Believe it or not I do have the beekeeping for dummies book and have been reading it but still have questions. Does that make me more or less of a dummie? Any help would be appreciated.
Welcome to the forum! There are a couple other Utah beekeepers here. I am from Cache County, and golfpsycho is from the Salt Lake area as well there in Canyon Rim just south of I-80.
1) Would recommend replacing your feeder. You use up frame space and the capacity is small leaving you to have to refill it often. Also, if the design is bad, you will get a bit of drowned bees. A lot of beekeepers here will probably disagree with me, but I like the big plastic hive top feeder from Better Bee (http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1709
). You don't have to open the whole hive to fill it and it holds 2 gallons.
2) Our daytime temps are also in the high 60s low 70s, but the honey flow hasn't started. Nearly nothing but dandilons have blossomed. Also, I have two new packages that need the syrup to build comb fast. They are doing a great job too being fed as much as they are. One hive has drawn out 2 full medium hive bodies in 18 days and now have their 3rd box to begin on. Feed until the flow begins and then they can take care of themselves. Until then, feed, feed, feed to get them to build comb and feed the brood.
3) No, you're not a Dummy. I have read it twice as well as Starting Right with Bees, Keeping Bees and several others, but still have a million questions. That is why I and everyone else is here. If you think you will ever know everything there is to know about this hobby, it's time for you to find a new one where that is actually possible.