Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

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    Well, OK maybe not THAT dumb, BUT how do you lights a smoker? I have an oldish one with a removable grate inside w/ 4 legs that seem to want to position it about 25% of the way from the bottom... Do I start a regular fire in there (under the grate?) and then add my burlap or whatever oris it all supposed to be in there at the same time? I tried to light the thing once, but I couldn't get the grate thingy in when the flames were going so I just shoved the burlap in and closed it up - it burned for maybe 10 minutes and produced some smoke but not a lot.

    I'm planning in checking to see if the queens are out in the packages I hived on Monday. My other question is regarding covers and feeding. The hives I inherited came w/ screen floors and attics but there were no solid inner covers (there are conventional outer covers)On Monday I just plopped 1 gallon plastic pails w/ perforated lids right on the bars and stacked a super over it w/ the screen on top of this and then the outer. Should I make a solid cover w/ a hole that will admit the plastic pails or is the current arrangement going to be ok? seems like they could make a mess of the vast empty space of the "protective" deep w/ Burr / propolis eventually...

    Thanks again to all of you have guided me this far!

    BS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Oh, almost forgot... should I use any Apistan this early or will this be an issue this fall?

    Thanks again!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    32

    Post

    The grate goes in first and the burning sacking on top of it.I just light a small hand full of dry pine needles and when well alight stuff'em in.After a few puffs the smoker should be up and running just fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    Smoker question:

    I just light my fuel and drop it in. Burlap is my favorite, but I use grass, leaves and whatever else is handy.

    Apistan question:

    When I was using Apistan, which I am not anymore, and when it was working for me, which it is not anymore, I only used it in the fall. In the spring I used essential oils and put FGMO on the top bars. In the fall I used Apistan. This worked until last winter.

    Some people use it in the spring and fall. Just don't use it when there are supers on and don't every extract the honey from the brood chamber.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Hey! it worked! got the smoker lit and had plenty of smoke. This first check since hiving Monday showed the queens out of the cages and comb being drawn nicely on the Piierco. Decided to switch from inverted pails to division feeders to minimize the harassment of feeding. they had taken about a half a gallon each in the 3 days.

    Thanks again to all of you for your assistance and opinions!

    BS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    >Decided to switch from inverted pails to division feeders to minimize the harassment of feeding.

    How to you see division feeders minimizing "the harrasment of feeding"? How will it be an improvment over the inverted pails?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Well, I noticed the pails were stuck down to the top frames within 3 days and when I took them up to see the syrup content I had to disturb a mess of bees feeding underneath. Also, in using the Pierco frames I have just less than a frame witdth of space w/ 10 frames in... I didn't have a dummy board but I noticed that the frame feeder was exactly the right width to close that space. To fill it all I really need to do is take the outer off, lift the 3 gallon pail w/ a spigot up to rest on the inner screen and open the spigot to fill the feeder. If it's not empty, I don't need to do anything to them, whereas I would have to at least move or tip the pail to check it's content. I was alos concerned re: the amount of free space the bees had w/ the pail on the bars followed by the inner cover and the outer. (there was too much space for the bees to reach the pail if I put the inner (screen) cover on first and the pail on top of that... Does that sound like warped reasoning? I anticipate that I could use both the pail and the frame feeder once I make a solid inner cover w/ a hole cut out that I can insert the pail lid into if I wanted to extend the intervals between checks...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    You still have to face the bees to check and to fill and you get a lot of drowned bees. My favorite feeder is from Beeworks. You put it on the inner cover and check it without facing any bees and fill it without facing any bees. http://www.beeworks.com/uspage5.asp (Rapid Feeder)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Richmond, VA USA
    Posts
    34

    Post

    I have to say that I'm partial to the miller style feeder whose plan is available on this web site. Pop the outer cover off and pour the syrup in and the only bees you'll have to face are those already outside of the hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I do like the miller feeders. There are only three things I DON'T like about them. The first is they slosh a lot if you have to get in the hive. The second is one that some will consider an advatage. I think they hold too much syrup. I have a lot of syrup to move (without spilling hopefully) if it's full and if the bees lose interst I have a lot of left over moldy syrup. The third is they are a bit expensive to buy.

    Other than that I think they are wonderful.

    I have bought the ones from www.Bee-Commerce.com and I've converted the ones from Brushy Mt. by adding a wire screen from the "entrance" and one bee space wide down into the feeder. I've had good luck with this. An alternative would be to screen the whole top of it, but then I'd have to worry more about drownings.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Hmmm. I can't get a picture in my brain of how the bees use a miller. Do the frame feeders still drown bees if there are sticks floating that cover perhaps 1/2 the surface area? These have a ribbed inner surface for them to crawl out...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    Bees drown in any feeder that they get down into. They drown a lot less if there is a ladder to get out (like screen wire). They drown a lot less if there are floats to stand on.

    On the miller they climb up through the "entrance" of the feeder and down into the syrup. There is either a board from the top that goes down close to the syrup or a piece of screen wire that does the same so that there is a narrow space that can be used as a ladder to get in and out of the syrup. The bees cannot get into the general area where the syrup is, just down this narrow feeder portions of it.

    This is hard to explain without pcitures. If you open the plan http://www.beesource.com/plans/mrfeeder.pdf and look at the "sidboard" view of the hive you can see four boards that run the width of the feeder. Two leave a gap at the top big enough for a bee. The other two leave a gap at the bottom that is too small for a bee. The bees crawl up from the bottom over the "*** " that has a beespace at the top. Then they crawl down into the syrup to feed. This small space where the bees can access the syrup, is screened on the top so the bees can't fly out when you check and fill. When I convert the Brushy Mt ones, I use a screen for the ones that go down into the syrup instead of a board, but the principle is the same.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    OK, so where do the bees get into the feeder? Is there an opening in the bottom piece of ply between boards A and the Ladder here is actually the V shaped piece of wirecloth?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    There is an opening into the bottom. Some have it in the center some on the end. Some use wire cloth for the part that keeps the bees out of the rest of the feeder and some have wood. But the bees come up through the slot that runs the length of the hive.

    Speaking of these, I used the Brushy Mt. version but didn't have time to do the hardware cloth. I have a 5 frame version I put on a nuc. The bees moved the brood nest INTO the feeder. Built beauitful little combs in nice straight rows on the diagonal. I will try to post pictures later.

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