Ok, I'm new to bee keeping. When I say new, I mean N-E-W. I bought two complete Hive setups from a retired keeper, who wasn't much help. I have 2 packages of bees in route from Rossman Apiaries and am quite excited.
My question is feeding of syrup. Don't laugh, but somewhere I'm missing something. I have full size hive bodies, but got shallow supers. I cannot get the tops on the hives with gallon jars inverted. Is it ok to leave the tops off the hives? They probably won't need feeding long considering the time of the year, but believe it or not, I'm kinda sweating this detail.
You need two additional deeps or what you would consider hive bodies. That will allow you to put the gallon jars onto the hive body and will allow you to enclose the top of the hive with the empty box.
I would not leave the box open, all the bees predators will have free access to the bees. Wax moths, ants, etc. Plus the will get real agitated very quickly, by not being able to set up housekeeping.
You may consider getting some type of hive top feeder. I made mine, and they work very well.
Just my thoughts, someone else may have a better idea.
The normal routine is add enough empty boxes to clear the feeders. This may be one deep or two mediums or whatever depending on the height of the feeder. How many supers do you have? How many hive bodies? Probably you have at least two hive bodies and two supers for each hive or more. If you put the pakcage in one hive body (normal) and put the other hive body on top of the inner cover for the feeder is that tall enough? Or do you need a body from one of the supers? If you don't have enough, you can always build a box from whatever width one by you need to clear the feeder. Just build a box the same dimensions as a hive body except maybe taller. The only delemna is that you probably need somewhere to put the frames that are in the hive body. Maybe you can find a cardboard box or something to put them in where they won't get the foundation or drawn comb messed up?
ok maybe the old guy gave me didn't REALLY give me everything I needed. Again, I had no idea, other than what I've seen in pictures. I found the guy by word of mouth, went tohim and asked for two complete setups to start two new hives.
That said, I have 1 hive body and 1 shallow super for each setup. Shallow foundations for the supers and deep ones for the hive bodies. Nothing more. What got me to thinking about it was I started seeing what looked like empty hive bodies on top of the supers with the jars inverted.
SO, with 2 4# packages do to arrive the week of 5/12, do I need more parts as well as foundations?
Re-reading my own last post, I do have tops, excluders, bases etc for each; but right now I'm primarily concerned that I don't really have enough frame(?) space to accomodate not only feeding, but the number of bees I have coming.
I think you will have enough room to get them started. You can put the hive body and super on at the same time. Place the gallon feeder onto of the hive body and super. You will still need a box to enclose the gallon jar.
I think you will be fine, and welcome to beekeeping.
You could get a division board feeder, but you would have to give up one of your frames.
Thanks. I'm quite excited! The other option I've been considering is using 1/2 gallon pickle jars versus 1 gallon. A little shorter and don't hold as much of course, but I could simply use more jars.
FYI, as karma would have it, I just got off the phone with an extension agent and he recommended feeding new hives for a couple of weeks!? I suppose there are as many ways to go about it as there are keepers I suppose. Think I'll just keep feeding until they stop using it.
It's a matter of details what is a "starter kit". Most of the ones in catalogs seem to be just one deep with covers bottom and frame. Some are more or less. Some include smokers, veils etc.
To hive a package you can get by fine on one deep. You will need a second deep for each hive before you will need any supers. It will take them a while to fill up the deep box.
There are many ways to feed bees. Frankly, this late they may ignore your syrup anyway. I wouldn't sweat it too much. If you don't feed them at all they will fend for themselves.
You can take a regular quart jar and punch small holes in the lid and put it upside down on the inner cover with the shallow super for the box around your feeder. You can buy some one by whatever (I'm not sure how tall a gallon jar is) and make a box to put the gallon jar in.
You could also not feed them at all. It's spring and they will not starve. You can buy or build all kinds of feeders. A simple one is use some 1 x 2's and build a box the size of a hive and put it over the inner cover and put dry sugar on it. Or put the syrup in Baggies and put them right on the top bars with the 1 x 2 frame to make room for the Baggies. http://www.beesource.com/eob/baggie.htm
Feeding is easy and is a luxury for the bees. Don't worry. Be happy.
It's like Michael said all they need to start is 1 deep,you could us the baggie feeder as he said on top of the inner cover,& place the shallow super you already have on top of that,Until you get more equp, Mark
If your brood frames only have the foundation on all frames you might want to consider trying to find a few frames of drawn foundation from a local beekeeper...one who is a little more willing to help you out. It takes time, energy and a lot of resources for the bees to draw out the wax. Having a few frames of drawn wax could help reduce the stress of the bees and make for a quicker transition.
Hope you have a great experience either way!