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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Packages, Top Entrances, and Pail Feeders

    I am adding a few packages in a couple weeks and I want to try using top entrances for them. I also want to continue using pail feeders on the top cover. Is this going to be a problem, being so close to the entrance? I plan to keep the entrance reduced for a while.

    Also, is it necessary to feed new packages if you are already in a flow? I don't have a lot of extra drawn comb to give them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,085

    Default Re: Packages, Top Entrances, and Pail Feeders

    I woud offer them feed. If they don't want it, you will soon know, but it could rain too! Leave the feed on until they have a reserve to get them thru a rainy week without your intervention. If you are not putting one of the honeybhealthy type feeding stimulants in your syrup, I think the top entrance will be fine as long as it is appropriately small. An inch wide for a package is more than enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Packages, Top Entrances, and Pail Feeders

    In my experience, feeders too close to the entrance lead to robbing. How close is too close? Hard to say unequivocally. If the entrance is small, you may be okay. If the entrance is large, you may be flirting with calamity.

    Feeding allows the bees to focus on other tasks rather than foraging. However, it is not objectively necessary. I had problems last year with feeding swarms. They would build brand new white comb and fill it chock full of syrup, and then it would collapse, even wired. I recommend feeding slowly if at all. Conditions may vary.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,404

    Default Re: Packages, Top Entrances, and Pail Feeders

    Good advice from Soloman. A disoriented 3 pound package just starting out is no match for a mega hive that wants their syrup. I use a top feeder with a bottom entrance that's reduced for the first month.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Packages, Top Entrances, and Pail Feeders

    OK, that's about what I thought. I think I will start them with bottom entrances and keep the top entrance closed for a while. I'm really just trying some variations to see what works best for me.

    VanceG, I'm going to try your swing gate top entrance. I'm building them now.

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