Nope, that was great. Thanks!
Nope, that was great. Thanks!
Cleo, I assume you mean length on that 24". What is the width/depth of the feeders. Also do you do anything special to seal the troughs?For open feeding I make them 24 inches. To put them inside a deep super, on top of the hive, make them 12 -15 inches long.
All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.
Yes length is 24 inches. I use 1 X 12 cypress, oak, or poplar. The two side boards are nailed/screwed/stapled at a 90 degree angle, then the ends, 1 X 12 are nailed,screwed/stapled to the two boards joined at the 90 degree angle. You can also use 6 inch or 8 inch boards, just won't hold as much syrup and less area for the bees to land and walk down to the syrup.
Sometimes you get a leak if the nails/screws/staples do not seal the pieces together. Sometimes the syrup will seal a leak. If not, you can either seal with food grade silicone sealant, or spray the back sides with a non toxic, rubberized, sealant. I have in the past sealed some with fiberglass. Any way to make them hold syrup.
Thank You Cleo, Your an inspiration to me. ]
Your photos always leave me feeling reminded of the mystique of the bees and also trying think outside the box when thinking about bees.
Despite many people posting how bad of an idea it is to open feed, I have done a little bit of it.
I did it too close to the hives i think in hindsight toward the end of last season... The bees went from some equipment I was letting them clean up and rob out and then proceeded to move right along to a nuc and completely take it over. Fortunately I was able to deal with it and got that under control but I realized the benefit of keeping the open feeding away from the boxes further. I will try it with your guidance to do it 50 to 75 yards away when in the summer. I may even try to build a feeder like you did and fill it with just the right amount of syrup like you said so that the bees can clean up eachother of they get sticky. My positive thoughts on open feeding is that since the bees are collecting it and bringing it back to the hive that the workers will be experienced with brining it back and sending the messages around so it gets stored in a more natural way then when it is inside the hive. I don't know if that is true but it is just what I imagine. I'll re read your specs on building a feeder similar to yours and if I have any questions I will message you. I think it is exciting to be networked with other beekeepers and get to try some of their designs and ideas. I shared a bee watering idea last year and it was fun to see that someone else had built one like mine and had success. This is fun. Thank You, Nice work, Jeff
Last edited by virginiawolf; 01-23-2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: I messed up my distance as seen in the next post Sorry
Thank you Cleo I messed up my translation of the facts. I had success during a warm week in winter last year open feeding too no robbing but in august I had bees clean up some extracting equipment and not my bees but some bees from somewhere else came through the air like the fleet of a foreign army and they meant business. It taught me to be careful about open feeding. Thanks for straightening out the distance I need to use. I appreciate it.
On that feeder does it just come down to a v or is there a straight ledge in the center that sticks up. for the bees to stand on?
Another advantage I can think open feeding would have is that by not having to open the hive the bees don't get disturbed from us opening the hives and maybe even needing to use some smoke.
This was one of my open feeding set ups when it was cold still, not the one that resulted in robbing. I gave each hive a frame from a dead out and put some of the acorn shaped feeders out too. It was an early spring snack.
The feeders are just a "V" , formed by nailing/screwing/stapling two boards at a 90 degree angle.
Those feeders work well also. It is just that the hog feeders are cheaper to make, and you can make them 10 foot long if you want to, depending on how much you plan to feed. Different lengths depending on how many you plan to feed.
If you have other bees in your area, open feeding may not be a good idea, as you will be feeding someone else's bees. There are very few feral bees, and there are no other beekeepers in my area.
Thank You Cleo, I will make one and test it out. I really like the way the bees look all over it.
I still like your open trough design, but live in a neighborhood on maybe 1/3 acre total, so the 70 yards away from the hives will not work for me. I have been using top feeders and if I went with an open feeder it would have to be within 20-30 feet of my hives in my raised bed garden area. Would you advise sticking with top feeders in this case?
Thank you for your time and support.
N5RWH - 9a
Mike...Put a piece of 4X8 plywood or some other obstruction, so the bees have to rise and fly over, around, the open feeder to get back to the hive. In other words, cut off the direct flight which puts them into a frenzy from the trough to the hives. Two or three bales of straw, a hugh cardboard box, etc. This should work.
I bought paint cans from Sherwin Williams for less than that however the lids start to rust on the first use. Maybe thats okay but I didn't like it.
I've always wondered: is rust inside a feeder harmful to bees?
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Cleo, have you ever tried adding floating materials such as straw, twigs, or wood pieces in the hog trough? Some local commercial bee keepers use 45 gallon drums with floating materials and open feed syrup.
Have built a hog trough to try this year.
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!
EDITED... It is in the trough of the first photo. Have to look close as the sun and shadow make it kinda hard to see.
I have used similar chicken feeders but found the quail feeder to be better, the trouth is small so no need to add rocks etc.. but I did need to put a screen over the entrance hole in the trouth. The reason I stopped was that at times the bees would build comb right off the feeder or off the top bars so I started to have to put news paper over top of the feeder and push it down close to the trouth. This method seemed to work but I eventually moved to frame feeders as my hive numbers increased. I do like the quail feeders when hiving packages on foundation, be careful though when the bees stop taking the syrup and you have to remove the feeder when it's partially full, especially when the bees have glued the base to the top bars, it can make a mess and drown some bees