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Newbie Feeder Question


#1

Hello! I will be starting my journey into beekeeping this spring. As I plan and look ahead, I want some clarification on something. I intend to start my nuc in one deep brood box with a feeder. Once they’ve built that out, I will add a second deep brood box on top. Do I move the feeder to the second brood box, or does each box need a separate feeder? Thank you for any advice, caveats, etc.


#2

I am presuming you are getting your nuc in early summer?
Feed them a litre of syrup to get them going then leave them to it.
This is providing there is forage available.
This way you et the bees develop at their speed. The danger with feeding them constantly is that they draw the frames then fell the cells with syrup leaving the queen no place to lay so they. They may make early swarm preps and you will also end up with sugar in your honey supers


#3

I get my nuc on April 30. And what you say makes sense- use the feeder to help them get stabilized/started, but then remove it so they are foraging instead of relying on the feeder.


#4

If you are getting a new nuc, you will probably want to buy a pollen patty to place on top of frames. It will help the bees produce brood faster too. Just one ought to do per brood box. You might consider a top feeder instead of the cheap plastic feeders inside. Many bees drown in those types. I use top feeders and actually place them outside the hive next to boxes and have ever hardly had bee loss. a few compared to hundred. I also build little ladders out of 1/8 mesh hardware cloth on small strip of would if they should fall in.


#5

Great way to spread disease too

Great way to promote robbing


#6

No problem in my mind with a pollen patty provided it’s on top of the hive on crown board or straight on the top bars. Feeding of any description outside the hive does encourage spread of disease and robbing. What happens when every bee in the vicinity feeds on the outside grub which then runs out. They move on to the poorly defended nuc.
I agree with the top feeders. Frame feeders can drown a lot of bees.


#7

Hi JD

Lots of ideas n experience here. Frame feeders are popular but a pain to refill n need refilled often ! If you do you make sure it has a floater n rough sides so bees don’t drown crawling in n out.

In the future you might chose a larger top feeder type. Mine can hold up to couple gallons of syrup. Internal feeders help or even robbing as well.

I’ve added a pix of one I just purchased. I used frame feeders when I was a teen 55 years ago but upgrading to top feeders as I re-enter beekeeping again. Your knowledge n beekeeping will progress as your experience n mistakes ( we all make those). Enjoy the ride … This is an Awesome hobby ! Good luck n keep reading, watching You-tube vids n learning. Gerald


#8

You know Valli, mostly I don’t respond to your comments because I realize you mostly get your answer from books and listening to what seems to me to be very paranoid people. No real experience of your own yet. From what I’ve gathered you only have boxes and no bees, but if you do have bees at least go a full season before making comments that aren’t necessarily true.

By placing a pollen patty on top of the frames inside of a hive doesn’t spread any disease at all. How do you figure that? I have been using them, one per hive at beginning of season in early spring. My brood have grown faster and get productive faster is all. No disease because of this.

Second, bees, hornet, wasp bumble bees are all robbers by design anyway. Maybe for the more crowded areas where you live and in such a place that you have one apiary on top of another robbing might actually be a problem, but for me in the very rural land I’m in and being the only bee keeper around for 75 miles, I have little worry over being robbed by somebody elses bees. What I leave out isn’t sugar water or bee food, but just water. Bees need water and acutally so do other critters and if a skunk or racoon or deer need a drink of water, I’m okay with that. We are a semi arid area and water isn’t always nearby. Sometime there is a creek nearby, but mostly its a water tank with a windmill nearby pumping water out. This water supply goes for horses, cattle, sheep and the occassional wild animal. We have a variety and they share they land and water with us and my state has the highest game animal population of any state in the west because of proper management. I do my part, no matter how small it is.

When I do supply sugar water or extra honey it is in the top box feeders I use and it will sit on top of the hive under a secure cover. They have ladder built in them and they sit early on top of the hive and that is only if they really need it. The cheap plastic feeders that come with many ready made up hive boxes seem to have the highest drown rate for bees than any of the feeder I’ve seen to date. I don’t recommend them at all, ut realize that might be all anyone can get. They are the cheapest.

I don’t want my bees to get lazy and depend on a ready supply when the honey flow has already started here which comes in early spring by way of fruit trees and early clover.


#9

When you say syrup, are you referring to corn syrup or a sugar water mix? I have a scientist friend whom has been doing much research in the collapse of colonies and it might be that corn sryrup might be a link. I have shared this concern with the large commercial friend of mine and he has switched to buying pallets of raw sugar to use instead. He works 1600 hives and I help out in early spring while also atrending to my own, this is where most of my experience is coming from, but I have been on my own all this last year with my own hives, starting with 4, then a sudden jump to 16 and hopefully a jump to 30 this year. My goal in three years to is to have around 100 hives. That would be a quarter load of a semi load to go to California and could be profitable to boot.


#10

@tony I have 2 hives thanks. I don’t like pollen patties because they can transmit disease, just as I don’t like wax foundation as it can bring disease with it. The Pollen unless from your own bees can come from infected hives and some diseases are spread by bacteria or fungus - you can’t see them so hygiene needs to be spot on.

I’m very cautious by nature and apart from using an Oxalic Vap my bees are pretty natural as far as can be.

Outside feeders encourage robbing and can in turn promote disease. I had to battle with wasps last summer because there wasn’t enough forage - the weather here was rotten - I have also seen a other hymenopterans on my landing board - the one I saw was renowned for flicking their eggs into bee hives.
You said outside feeder ie food Water is Water not food.

And reading books is how people learn, I do a lot of research - in the UK we don’t promote use of antibiotics or such for the sake of it - just because you live in semi desert does not mean what you do is correct for all situation - perhaps a better description of your circumstances would be more useful and people would not take your information the wrong way

Whether I have little or loads of experience, I’m still entitled to my opinion - as are you - if people are not allowed to question then the beginner will never learn, hopefully bad practices


#11

I have always thought this - most corn in the USA is GM and treated with chemicals, goodness know what that will do to the bees


#12

Tony, I mean sugar syrup. In the UK (which is where I am) there is nobody feeding corn syrup. As a country we grow a lot of sugar beet and that is a ready supply of sugar. I’m not one for discriminating between 1:1 or 2:1 sugar:water. to my mind it’s a waste of time. Bees need concentrated sugar for feed so if I am making my own up I just get a robust plastic jerry can, half fill with sugar, mark and add hot water up to the mark. Job done. I only have a few hives and often I use pre-prepared invert syrup as that provides a stronger sugar concentration than you can mix with sucrose.
I don’t have a clue what disease you can get from pollen patties unless Valli means AFB from contaminated pollen. Commercial pollen patties you can buy here in UK are made with irradiated pollen so pose no threat at all. Lots of people preparing their colonies for the early flow of OSR use them or make their own up using yeast/soy instead of pollen


#13

Unfortunately it was the large commercial operators that started using corn syrup here in the states. No doubt they got a great price from the makers of it and it’s now why we have the problem the corn syrup causes if that is truly the case. I’m glad my friend listened to me because I get my bees and queens from him. So far so good. Going the way of raw sugar is best I think and I too Dee, just make up my own and give a little, not a lot. I don’t want sugared honey produced and this year I have been able to pick up two stores to sell my honey through and it’s popular and people are starting to know me as a local supplier.


#14

Yes I realize you are entitled to your own opinion as I am, but you do seem to lean towards spreading fear to the newbies. Its like anytime someone ask a question your comments invaribaly lean towards fear-mongering. If you do this you might get or cause the spread of disease. You say this almost all the time, and it’s isn’t from your own experience but from a book you read or some paranoid dolt who might only have had a run of bad luck. There isn’t anything wrong from learning from our mistakes. And until you can say for certain that a disease is imminent just because someone wants to try something that has been around and is used by many bee keepers perhaps you ought to back off on the fear mongering a bit. An example is that we do now know and are learning just what a mistake using corn syrup has caused. But honestly, the commercial keepers didn’t use it because they knew it would cause collapse or other things, it was an honest mistake or so I tend to believe. And anyone responsible will change their ways, but the world does have those who will continue to use the cheapest methods even if it does kill bees.

At least me, anyway if I make a mistake, I own it, but I think we shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for us. If I listened to every “expert” who wrote a book I think I’d never leave my house.


#15

As for foundation, most UK beekeepers use it. I am experimenting running half my colonies without it. I will put my ASs in boxes with half foundation, half empty frames. The reason I am doing it is I would like to see how the bees do making their own comb. whether it reduces the amount of treatments I have to use (I use only sublimated oxalic).I have friends who swear by it and maintain they are treatment free. The first two years I kept bees I never saw any varroa…ha ha. On the third year I had real problems.
PS I don’t think foundation is inherently bad. I sell cut comb made on thin foundation as well as free comb.


#16

Caution is not fear mongering. I have a healthy respect for Science and cause and effect - Just because you do something and it works for you does not make it perfect - diving in the deep end unheeded has caused problems such as the fight we now have with neonics, GM will prove no better down the line - I don’t have money to burn so the suck it and see attitude does not an option I will employ - bearing in mind my food and hygiene background, and honey is to be consumed, I will always err on the heath and safety side.

Darwin had a theory, I don’t intend to be a weakling fighting the odds


#17

GM people are next. On the UK news.