Hello all you crazy, wonderful beeks!
I am more of a lurker/ learner here but thought some of the newer bee keepers might find this useful. I have only been at this calling for 3 years but in that time I have experimented with all types of feeders and this is hands down my fave when I reached 5+ hives. I can’t stress enough I have not had ANY issues with communal feeding at all; i.e. no robbing, no pests (like wasps), no drowning (the most I ever found were 4 bees in the litter) and no disturbing the hive. Best of all --not encouraging & feeding hive beetles in the hive. (I found with the top feeder there were entirely too many drowned bees and with frame feeders the hive beetle population went nuts). So, thought it was best to mimic nature with these really big “flowers” and make the bees gather “nectar” like they normally would. Placement is at least 100 yards away. I have found that 5 gal. of syrup per hive, served over the course of our local dearth is plenty sufficient to see them to the fall flow.
Well, drats. Either I haven’t posted enough to have video “rights” or this old lady can’t figure out how to post a clip (quite possible) so I will try to describe what I do.
You will need: 2-3 icing buckets (free from local grocery bake shops); 2 pieces of wood per bucket about 18" long no smaller than 3/4" square (I have also used sturdy branches lying around); pet bedding or wood shavings or chips
- give your buckets a good cleaning
- pour in your syrup
- sprinkle a good layer of wood shavings/ chips on the surface of the syrup
- insert the two sticks to the bottom of the bucket and to keep them in place snap on the lid on one side.
- Place at least 100 yards away from the bee yard. My 5 hives will empty a gallon in about 3 hours. I try to dole it out to them in sips as I don’t want them to flood the hive and trigger the queen into swarming. Has worked so far. I see them capping it into food stores and still have all my bees
Anyway I thought some might find this useful. I know I wish I had this information 3 years ago!
May your bee always be happy! --Pam