3/8" x 1" x 15" stick as a float for the bees.
Terry, that's what I said to them: that there's a float for the bees. They said they drown anyhow. Well, that's how beekeepers are. Ask 10 of them a question, you'll get 10 answers. All good answers, too. Just keep trying different methods until you hit on the one that works for you. Oregonsparkle, yeah, I was hoping Michael would weigh in on this--wonder where he is?
I use 2 to 1 sugar syrup they don't drown as much.
Among the negatives of open pail feeding is the question of robbing and the huge cloud of bees that results, potentially scaring neighbours. Moreover, when the feed runs out, if the hives are not full and the weather is hot, severe stinging can occur in the neighbourhood.
Also look around the hives for clumps of chewed up bee parts, and scratches on hive fronts. the only time my bees got very agressive is when they were being harrassed nightly by possums,and raccoons. As soon as that stopped, they were nice again, no requeening needed.
And you are also feeding everyone elses bees, potentially spreading foulbrood spores and what about diabeetes.
>>>>what about diabeetes. <<<
A diabetic bee would be in a
lot of trouble!
Beebarf: I'm way ahead of you--did check for those signs. No critters have been at the hives at all, but I have put reducers on all of them just to stop the robbin.
>>>>>And you are also feeding everyone elses bees, potentially spreading foulbrood spores and what about diabeetes.<<<<<
There is no "everyone else" where I am. The closest beekeeper is 30 mi away. I don't mind feeding the local pollinators as well and if I am "potentitally spreading foulbrood spores," I'm spreading them to those wasps, hornets, yellowjackets and bumble bees. Diabeetes?
I open feed about 10-12 feet from the nearest hive. I did keep the interance reducers in last fall and they are still in place. Well I had to replace them and put out an asprin egg for a skunk attaching them and causing a riot when I went to feed them I could not get close to them. That was last week. There has been no sign of the skunk returning and my ladies are calm. My gallon jars on bricks and covered by hive bodies has not drowned a bee. Boardman feeds caused massive robbing last spring for me so I will never use them again. I have fed with quart jars with hole only punched in a few rows so that I can place them on the hole in the inner cover so I can feed without putting on my veil. Dry sugar on the inner cover only works for feeding a starving colony. As soon as any flow starts the bees will leave the left over sugar alone.
A side note on the dry sugar feeding. I had a strong but to mild for their own good hive get robbed. This hive on what was supose to be my last inspection went from having 3 medium boxes full of honey to less than a frame of honey. I took the top now empty box off and filled the comb with dry sugar. I misted the frame and gave it a few minutes to dry then flipped and filled the other side. This was the only food this hive had to over winter on and they did good. In Jan. when I did my quick check I noticed they were light and fed them some 2:1 in a quart jar over the inner cover. This was only about 10 days before I started feeding trying to get them all building up.
I tried the syrup in the middle of the dry sugar. I did not like it. The bees did not use the dry sugar like they did in the other colonies. The moisture from the syrup causes the sugar to harden and takes alot longer for the bees to take it.
The best food for honeybees is..........honey.
>The best food for honeybees is..........honey.
The best < EMERGENCY > food for honeybees is..........honey.
Honeybees prefer to live on nectar and pollen when it is available, honey when nectar is NOT available.
Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
Food of honeybee
The food of honeybee is naturally honey which is the nectar extracted from pollen grains of flowers. Bees adapt their body structure in a way suitable for extraction of honey. They produce honey by gathering nectar from the follower blossoms containing more than 15 percent sugar content. The nectar is stored in a sac, to which digestive enzymes such as invertase are added, and the sucrose in the nectar gets converted to glucose and fructose. When the bee returns to the hive, it regurgitates the nectar and transfers it to another worker, who takes it to the honeycomb and evaporates it by fanning her wings. What is left, is honey! Once the honey is aged, the comb is sealed by wax to prevent spoiling.
Well, we had that good, warm day when I was attacked. I went back to top off the feeder and put entrance reducers on all the hives the following day which was cold (45), windy & rainy. It's been cold, windy & rainy ever since--supposed to start to clear out tomorrow afternoon, but probably won't be "flying weather" again until Saturday or maybe Sunday. So I don't know if my new ladies have "calmed down" or not. Perhaps, like "telling the bees," I should introduce myself and let them know that I'm their new mistress. They might think I'm an interloper!
>The food of honeybee is naturally honey which is the nectar extracted from pollen grains of flowers
You are confusing nectar with honey, which it is not. Nectar is not honey until the bees process it into honey. Honey is stored for emergency food for the time that there is no nectar to live on. When there is nectar, the bees prefer that to anything else, even honey. If they prefered honey they would eat all their honey stores BEFORE they gathered nectar.
Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
I believe this explanation from George Imrie will help.I totally agree with his reasoning.Here it is(shamelessly stolen from a Bee-L post):
GEORGE IMRIE ON SYRUP FEEDING
Herve` First, one MUST understand that the FAVORITE food of the honey bee is NOT honey, but NECTAR. Honey is just their winter survival food when there is no nectar available. Honey, to a bee, is like "hardtack" to a sailor, or beef "jerky" to a hunter. Bees do NOT want their queen to lay eggs until they sense that spring and the nectar of flowers is approaching. The first appearance of POLLEN alerts them to the fact that blooms are getting ready to bloom. This first nectar is going to be very thin in sucrose (sugar), and be very diluted with the water rising from the roots of the plant; but it is this SWEET taste that gets the worker bees very excited who in turn begin to heavily feed their queen so she will lay eggs abundantly. This is why a ratio of 1 pound of sugar to 2 pounds of water, 1:2, is the ideal feed to stimulate queen laying. After the queen is laying, stores are being used up like mad, and bees now need more energy, so the best food then is 1:1 sugar syrup. They can really use this in their brood feeding without evaporating any water as they have to do with early nectar. Lastly, 2:1 sugar syrup is a substitute for honey, the bee's winter survival food, and NOT their choice of food in the summer. I hope I have explained the differences between 1:2 sugar syrup, 1:1 syrup, and 2:1 syrup. George Imirie Certified EAS Master Beekeeper
If anyone's interested, I was back to the hives today even though it was cool and windy. There were quite a few bees flying. THEY'VE FORGIVEN ME! I was fooling around at the entrances, and no one was upset at all. I guess of few days cooped up with all the cold & rain we've been having has wiped their memory clean of my neglect. There are quite a few wildflowers blooming out at the farm now, and I think when they get a good, sunny day (hopefully tomorrow) they'll be more interested in the flowers than the feeder anyway. Whew.
The saga continues. I'm interested in knowing if everything worked out. Are you totally forgiven now that the flowers are blooming and the weather warm???
Thanks, skimedickc, for your interest. Take a look at my post of yesterday entitled "My first look at my newly acquired bees" where I go into detail of yesterday's look inside. Two hives are gentle as little lambs and have the sweetest low hum going on. The other two are pesky. No headbutting or anything, but they constantly buzz around me, checking my every move. You know, like they're saying, "What're you doin'? What're you doin'? What're you doin'?" They follow me to the car, but soon lose interest that far from the hive. There's still no flowers around where they are, but the weather sure has warmed up and they're going through sugar water like crazy. At least they all have their own hivetop feeders so the hives don't have to complete so there's not so much frenzy anymore. The ones at home are all calm hives, but they're eating a lot too. They're on boardman feeders since I ran out of hivetop feeders. I filled them to the brim when I finished working them at 12 noon today. Was just out to check them and the largest one has sucked the jar dry! I'm making up another 5 gallons tonight and will feed everyone again first thing tomorrow. Thanks for your interest. I think everything's under control now. By the way, it sure is a lot easier when you're prepared for a challenge. Armed in my suit, veil & gloves I'm fearless!