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Bees coming in soon, but vacation is coming soon, too!


#1

My bees are coming in at the end of this month (I’m getting a nuc from Beeweaver). The nuc comes with a feeder frame.

I’ll be going on vacation for 2 weeks in July and will be out of the country…

I know my bees will probably be able to care for themselves for the most part, but I worry about them being a relatively new colony with no syrup for a period of time.

Any advice?


#2

So you will have them for a month before you leave? I would get them to fill up your brood box by feeding them, then removing that feeder frame ASAP and switching to some other form of feeder. If you really think they will still need feeding in July, you have a couple of choices. I quite like pail feeders, which hold a gallon of feed. That will usually last a couple of weeks, and sometimes much longer. The other choice in the US is a Miller type hive top feeder like this one:
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-Hive-Top-Feeder-w_Floats/productinfo/262/
The info says that the 8 frame model holds 1.5 gallons, but mine will hold 2 gallons if it is level. The only issue is if you have a big ant problem, this feeder is a magnet for ants.

Honestly though, if you have a month before you go, they may well be fine with no feeding while you are away. If they have at least 2 frames of stores, they have enough even if there is a nectar dearth.


#3

Here in the Houston, TX area we have a prodigious fire ant problem. I will probably be in a constant state of war with them.

I am probably stressing overly much over nothing, but seeing as that’s all I have to do until the bees actually get here, I might as well make appropriate plans.

I think what you’re telling me is that if I feed them well prior to vacation, then I probably shouldn’t worry overly much as long as I switch to some other feeder prior to leaving (which they may not need anyway)…


#4

Exactly right. Frame feeders are convenient, but they don’t hold much and they take up at least one frame slot in the hive. Some designs are good at drowning bees too. :cry: However, with a nucleus, I would rather have a productive frame of comb in the space, than a feeder taking up 10% or more of the available brood/storage space. :blush:


#5

On the subject of feeders…

So if the top feeder has an ant attraction issue, and the front-feeder breeds robbing, the basic “jar feeder” (or bucket) with holes in the top turns out to be “the best” option?

What? Something that’s low-tech and doesn’t require $$ outlay? WTH? :slight_smile: Don’t the bees know how much we spend on this stuff?!


#6

That’s a good little video of the different feeder types :slight_smile:


#7

Hi Michael! I’m new here and a new Beek (first season). I’m right down the road from you!

Welcome back to the US and how did your girls do?

I saw a couple of people suggest long term feeding ideas and my question is (for my future needs) here in our Texas heat wouldn’t the sugar water turn rancid after a couple days? I know I can’t leave a glass of sweet yea out over night!


#8

I used a bucket feeder with 1:1 syrup and a little vinegar and citric acid. It was empty when I got back.

The bees did fine – turns out that they really don’t need me that much!