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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Wow! Am I glad I asked! THANK YOU, that was a great response, on par with the writings of C.C. Miller or G.M Doolittle. I see that a feeder hose with an excellent anti-drip stop on the spout will be a big help, and a tank that seals in the smell. Also, feed boxes that are wide will help reduce spillage.

    I think my routine will change - from one guy opening all the lids while another guy feeds patties, then the first guy feeds liquid, then the second guy closes lids to something more like the following:

    Both guys cork all holes, and close all entrances. One guy opens a lid while the other guy covers the hive with a net. After they are all open, both guys start feeding patties, then about two-thirds of the way through, one breaks off and starts feeding syrup. The other guy finishes with the patties, then goes to closing hives under each net, then the syrup guy finishes with the syrup, and goes to removing the nets off the closed hives and both guys open entrances after they are all fed. Corks can stay in for a day or two - make them eat first!

    The arrangement you mention is better than the one I was using, forcing a robber bee to go through a one-bee opening and directly through a large, defensive cluster to a feeder on the opposite end of the hive. And, like you say, be obsessive about not letting them get started in the first place. THAT will really help!

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,925

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Hmm... well thanks for the compliment although not really deserved.

    Yes a feeder hose with a tap on the end is exactly what we used, fed by a gasoline powered pump on the truck.

    Our routine was similar to what you suggested. We set up the hives and put top feeders on. Long as there was no sign of robbing we might set up the whole yard. But the actual feeding was a 2 man operation, one guy using the hose, and another guy right behind him putting lids back on. The hive was fed and closed in seconds. We didn't feed pollen.

    But if it looked like robbing may start we would work the whole thing on a hive by hive basis, and if necessary, pack up and leave. Better that than lose hives to robbing.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    So, I suppose you were using something like a Miller hive-top feeder box?

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,925

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Not sure exactly what the Millar feeder looks like but in any case what we used was a super dimensioned wooden box around 6 inches deep, with an internal groove cut just above the bottom of it to fit a piece of board. There was a hole in the middle of the board with a wooden funnel nailed on for the bees to go up & get the syrup. Whole thing was wax dipped to seal it, it could hold (from memory) around 4 gallons. But any top feeder is fine for this type of work.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    >Well all due respect but it only goes like that if you allow robbing to start in the first place.

    The way to avoid robbing is to avoid the things that set it off, like too wide an entrance, entrance feeders, smell in the syrup, feeding honey (because of the smell), spilling syrup, feeding the weak ones... etc. etc. etc. Usually it takes all of those to succeed at avoiding robbing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,982

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    > Not sure exactly what the Millar feeder looks like

    Oldtimer's description of the top feeder certainly matches a Miller style feeder. An illustration of a completed feeder and plans to build your own are here:

    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...r-type-feeder/

    Of course, a top feeder like this is intended for a Lang style hive, and this is the Top Bar forum.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Thank you, Oldtimer.

    Thank you Michael Bush for suggesting the foundationless Lang' frames as an alternative to the TBH.

    Thank you, Graham for the plans reference. BTW, my best hive top feeeders so far are the ones with the biggest float and the smallest holes (1/4") in the float. In cold weather, I use inverted 5-quart pails with #60 holes drilled in the lids. Of course, it rarely gets fondant board cold here in SoCal.

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