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Thread: Group Feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Boonville, Indiana,USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Group Feeding

    I have seen where some beeks take a chicken waterer full of syrup and put it in the bee yard to feed many hives. Have any of you tried this? I would think it would cause mass robbing. What are your experiences and thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    I have heard that this starts robbing. Can anyone tell us why?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    Much depends on the location of the feed in regards to the yard in relation to how close. Bees have difficulty orienting to close food sources and as a result tend to start robbing behavior.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,718

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    I do it with a couple five gallon buckets. I set the buckets a couple hundred feet from the hives and have not had any problems with robbing. If you set them too close to the hives the bees get into a feeding freenzy and since they have a hard time communicating short distances they may start robbing out any weaker colonies. That been my experience with doing it anyway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland OR. United States
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    If you use the waterer with the white plastic top and the red bottom you need to block the hole with a sponge or the bees get in it and die. You also need to set it a ways from your hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Boonville, Indiana,USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    Good idea about blocking the hole. Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    I open feed using 5 gallon buckets with about 50 1/16" holes drilled in the lid and inverted like a jar feeder. A cup of cider vinegar mixed in lets the bees find it quick. I have no room to set the buckets far away, so I close the entrances down to about an inch.

    It definitely promotes robbing, but is fast and easy.

    Just to add to this, I don't feed for extended periods. A tip I picked up from MP last fall to ready light hives for winter; make them take it all at once and be done with it.
    Due to the drought last year, I plan to do this once more in late Feb or early March to ensure they have enough feed to get brood going.
    Last edited by DonShackelford; 01-18-2013 at 06:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Group Feeding

    i'll take a stab at why it promotes robbing
    1) people feed when there is a dearth,the bees run out and smell the nectar/syrup in neighboring hives
    2)there are always a few robbers in every hive. feeding during a dearth promotes more graduating nurse bees to foragers. these new foragers are easily recruited by the robbers bee dance.
    its OK to disagree with me, i'm not selling anything and have no pretensions of being an expert/authority
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

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