Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,746

    Default Closest distance you can open feed

    What's the minimum distance from a hive that you can place an open feeder, without causing robbing issues?

    I've heard a quarter of a mile (1,320 feet), but I don't know if that is accurate. The furthest I'd be able to get an open feeder on my property, away from the bees, would be about 250 feet. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,827

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I have open fed in bottles on top of the hives. Last spring I put feeders at the end of the yard, about 20' from the last hive. Bees used them without problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    50 Feet is normaly fine... just realize your drawing bees close to your hives, so make sure teh other entrances are small and the hive can protect itself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    It is a point of diminishing returns. 10 feet is better than 1 foot. 50 feet is better than 10 feet. 100 yards is better than 50 feet... I've seen 50 feet work, and I've seen feeding frenzies at 50 yards... a lot of it is the desperation of the colonies. A complete dearth is most likely to set off robbing frenzies...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I fed this past year about 40 feet from my 3 hives only to draw the neighbors hives (that I didn't know was there) and set off a robbing frenzie and take out one of my hives. I was able to reduce the entrances on the others and stop things, but for this one even 1 beespace wasn't good enough to help them fend off the robbers after it had started. Regarding open feeding you have to be careful. I probably won't do it without it being far away,but then the issue is who is getting the feed? Are my bees even benefitting or just others? For me it seems that it's going to be better to feed inside the hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I did 50 feet last fall for 8 colonies and it was fine.

    Adam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I weigh my hives every week and plot the results on a graph. Last fall I set out 5 gallons of syrup about 75 feet from my hives trying to build up their stores for winter. After it was gone (very quickly I might add), I weighed my hives and found that only 1 of my 4 hives had taken almost all of the syrup.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I have put honey cappings out on our deck late in fall which is about 75 ft from the hives and I was surprised how long it took to devour the honey. I don't know if my hives have not been susceptible to robbing or I don't know how to recognize it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    It is a calculated risk. As Michael Bush pointed out, the farther the better. I open feed routinely in one yard. I place the feeder about 300 feet away…and out of sight of the hives. Even at that I see a lot of testing.
    I finished feeding this same yard about two hours ago and fed all of the hives internally. And there’s a lot of testing going on as I speak.
    There’s no sure thing.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,575

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    dan, you got anything blooming down there yet? nothing much here except red cedar. big difference from this time last year.

    i had a little syrup out today 50' from my 11 hives. nothing scented used, only vitamin c added. there was no robbing or testing. my colonies are just are just now bringing on their first round or two of brood. i'm guessing that most of them still too small to launch a robbing attack. my experience (albeit limited ) is that robbing is more of a problem in the fall.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #11

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    sp, I think we’re just beginning to see the first flush of maple. Henbit has been blooming for a couple of weeks. The populations are up noticeably. I’m not sure we had a real brood break but they are surely in earnest now. Some emerged drones and a good bit of capped drone cells. I actually left a good bit of honey on the hives for winter…..and they still seem to consume every bit of it early. So, much like last year, I’m feeding like crazy. Ahhh well. I had a fellow stop by today and he said he’d lost most of his hives already this winter. So I guess I can’t complain.

    The only time I seem to be able to feed without a lot of excitement is during the spring flow. As long as everybody’s in good shape it doesn’t break out into a frenzy. But I can see sometimes that it wouldn’t take much to push them over. .
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,746

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I wasn't aware it was a diminishing returns kinda thing, where the further away you are the better you are, but never really safe. I thought it had something to do with the wagtail dance. If it's within X yards, they don't orient on the combs based on a location, they just buzz around in a circle, telling other bees to "go find it." I thought that's what caused alot of the robbing durring open feeding. I guess I was wrong.

    My problem isn't during spring or late fall. I feed each individual hive then (to whichever one needs it). My issue becomes during a dearth. I've used hive top feeders, and internal feeders. Both cause the same problems. First, I often have to crack open the hives, breaking the propolis seals and wafting the scent of the hive in the air, causing robbing. And second, as most are prone to do, spilling occasionally occurs, which doesn't make things better. I'm thinking that open feeding 200 feet away may help reduce some of that. At least we'll see this year.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,575

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    i haven't used it yet, but have tested it with water. a five gallon bucket turned upside down with 1/8" holes allowing dribble into the 'troughs' really works. (used one of those orange home depot buckets)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    My 5 gallon open feeder. Works well...lost very few bees. Took all 5 gallons in less than a week.IMG_0470.jpg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,575

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    very cool bb. i drilled my holes so the syrup would dribble into the little troughs at the level where the handle connects. looks like you had space to do it just above (below) where the lid fastens.

    i'm hoping i don't have to use mine, but the blooms are behind schedule compared to last year, and the winter stores are getting lower.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    I took this picture at the end of last summer. Like I said earlier, only one hive found it and they sucked out all 5 gallons! I think the thing I like most about open feeding is when I used a top feeder, the ants were all inside the hive. Not so when open feeding. Also there is a lot less maintenance dealing with a 5 gallon pail on a stand as opposed to going in to each hive to fill top feeders or jar feeders. What I like least is you can't try to build up a particular hive. I've put a candy block in my lite hive this winter. That works pretty well too. This winter has been crazy...warm, cold. Warm, cold. But the maples are budding out now. Things are going to start happening real soon. Can't wait!
    Last edited by Belewsboy; 02-16-2013 at 04:50 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Buckingham, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    Belewsboy,

    Can you take a pic with the top removed so I can see exactly the holes are drilled... I get the point but with the buckets I find I am concerned there is not enough room to drill holes and hold a vaccuum like a chicken watered... Etc

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Wilkesboro, NC, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    Yes please show us some pics please and thanks in advance
    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Bee Farm View Post
    Belewsboy,

    Can you take a pic with the top removed so I can see exactly the holes are drilled... I get the point but with the buckets I find I am concerned there is not enough room to drill holes and hold a vaccuum like a chicken watered... Etc

  19. #19

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    Here is a thread with some photos of a community feeding bucket.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...mmunity-feeder
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Closest distance you can open feed

    Lid Off.jpgLid On.jpgOther Area.jpgOK Buffalo and Poppy. Here's some photos that ought to help. I bought the bucket at Lowes. I bought a turkey fryer that will make about 7 gallons of syrup at a time quite easily and quickly. Seven gallons of hot syrup is a bit difficult and heavy to handle, so I siphon the liquid into whatever containers I'm going to store in. I made a 4 foot pedestal with a treated 4 x 4 and a flat board screwed into the top and placed my 5 gallon pail on top. Everything worked out well. I've uploaded a picture of the pail without the lid and one with the lid...both show the 1/8 holes. I've also uploaded a picture with a red arrow showing where I think Squarepeg drilled his holes. Can't say how that location would work out, but it might be an option. Hope this helps!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads