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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Humor an old man charlie. You're going to throw that bin away anyway so try this: Stop up that sink strainer you have in the center and cut a big hole in the side of the tub that would let the level get to about 4 inches until it spills out into your vessel below. You will obviously have to change the arrangement you have there. I think that will cut down your splash.
    Another note, make your vacuum side hose as large as you can and as short as you can. Almost like a flexible coupling. On a warm day the hose might collapse and shut down the flow.
    What is that stainless tank? That is a nice tank.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    This is a good thread!

    Ace design one...you seem to know something about this. Give us details on exactly what design yours would be and what components. Cost of course is important.

    Better yet start a thread that takes us through the process of actually building one and when it's finished offer it for sale here. You could share your knowledge, donate the money from your first one. Making the world a better place one Ace bird auto frame filing feed pump at a time.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    I only offer advice. I have no interest in a entrepreneurial endeavor. This is a forum meant to help people. If you think I have nothing to offer ignore me, it won't hurt my feelings.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Attachment 4660Attachment 4661Attachment 4662

    I think I got pics uploaded. FYI cold straight HFCS runs great no nead to heat. 2 things to change, deeper tub for splash (note I did include cleanouts for spray wands) and a bypass hose so you can lower the pressure. with 1-1 ratio there is too much pressure and syrup actually splashes back out of the comb. Also note I had to cut the plastic out of the sink trap, otherwise the drainback was a little slow.

    I like this and would have considered using this pump if I had one as well. Nice to be able to call upon the pump for double duty.
    Acebird is right about using the largest supply hose that you can. It may be that the bottling tank doesn't have a bung large enough to go any bigger but even if you upsize it right from the tanks it will help a lot. Even perhaps easier would be to bag the bottling tank. The pump will handle unheated syrup easily so it will be thicker coming out and you can use another vat or go straight into the pump from the tub drain. I really think heating the syrup is posing more of a problem than helping.
    I used small sections of "Spa Hose" on the inlet & outlet of mine. That's why the plumbing looks a little crocked. It is flexed a bit from the memory this type hose has. It is PVC and easily glued and it will not collapse whereas the vinyl you are using will collapse easily as I am sure you know.
    I used "spigot" 90* elbows which make the spray bars about 2-2 1/2" closer together than slip/slip 90* fittings. If I were to do it again I would make them with even closer. I'd like them to be about 3" apart. This would also reduce splashing if it was an issue.
    Do you have your spray bars shooting downward?
    Nice system. Have you filled a lot of frames? I checked out some hives I put syrup frames in today. I had some strong hives that were a bit light so I gave them each 5 frames and they have cleaned these frames out and stored the syrup somewhere below the top box I guess. This is good because the queen could become bound up with too much syrup. Our flow is staring up here for sure so I don't need the hives swarming due to my over feeding.
    All in all I think this is how I am going to feed period. I am getting rid of the many buckets I have as well as the many nuc tops with holes for jars/buckets. The buckets have always been such a PIA to keep clean and to clean the lids on etc.
    Jamming frames full of syrup into a hive is golden to me. Puts the food right there in front of the bees with no issues that come with other methods. I used to open feed sometimes and that was easy but has it's drawbacks so no more of that either for me.
    Fair warning though-it could be a bad deal if 1:1 syrupis used IMO. I think this will bring too much H2O into the hives and the bees will need to work to evaporate it and it could mean condensation developing. I'll stick (no pun intended) to the 2:1 even in the "queen castles" I use to make queens.
    Looking forward to all the designs people come up with. Simpler is better and you have me beat on that count for sure.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Great Job, Challenger ! It takes a great amount of initiative to design and complete a project that operates as well as this. Well Done.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I only offer advice. I have no interest in a entrepreneurial endeavor. This is a forum meant to help people. If you think I have nothing to offer ignore me, it won't hurt my feelings.
    I was trying to be positive. You seem to have experience and valuable insight.
    I think it's very nice when people share constructively .
    I bet that you could teach us a lot by building one and sharing as you go though the process.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    I used "spigot" 90* elbows which make the spray bars about 2-2 1/2" closer together than slip/slip 90* fittings. If I were to do it again I would make them with even closer.
    If you use vinyl like Gmcharlie, you can use a "Y" fitting and then you can put the spray bars at any distance you want. You will also have a better flow than using the "T" fitting.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    The tank I used was a bottleing tank... When I talked to Ron Housholder a cpl years ago he mentioned heating it to get it in the comb. I assumed that would be required. His system is a but different and he heats it to 160 Deg. I had then bought supercell combs to start hives with but couldn't find a way to fill combs. This was so sweet and simple. and it works with cold hfcs, or you could heat it in an attempt to kill bacteria.
    The outlet for the botteling tank is 1" and it pumps sweet, no need for a larger suction line either as you can see the pump is also gravity fed.

    ACebird, not sure what you mean by the hole and less splash? all the splash problem is from the pump streams hitting the comb. full submersion would help that.... I intend to build a steel version this summer.

    Challenger, I don't think your going to want to feed this way all year. Robbing and such will be an issue, as well as you won't know syrup from honey. My goal/ intention is 2 fold. first Starts, getting new splits and packages moving when there is little nectar or flow. the second will be wintering. I take all honey I can and let the hives do what the can... this will allow me to add back more feed, and increase survivors.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    all the splash problem is from the pump streams hitting the comb.
    Drill the holes in the spray bar a little bigger. It will decrease the pressure of the stream and increase the volume. Less splash off the combs. 160 degrees means the comb has to be plastic, no?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Well I think in Rons case the syrup has cooled a bit before it hits, I also know his are OLD comb... not much wax left in them!
    I am going to play with the splash issue. start filling frames today, I have about 600 to do. its a balance between pressure to get it in the hole and do much washing it back out.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    I would think it is a matter of getting the air out of the cells. In a submerge situation there would be no way for the air to get back in once it is pushed out.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    The tank I used was a bottleing tank... When I talked to Ron Housholder a cpl years ago he mentioned heating it to get it in the comb. I assumed that would be required. His system is a but different and he heats it to 160 Deg. I had then bought supercell combs to start hives with but couldn't find a way to fill combs. This was so sweet and simple. and it works with cold hfcs, or you could heat it in an attempt to kill bacteria.
    The outlet for the botteling tank is 1" and it pumps sweet, no need for a larger suction line either as you can see the pump is also gravity fed.

    ACebird, not sure what you mean by the hole and less splash? all the splash problem is from the pump streams hitting the comb. full submersion would help that.... I intend to build a steel version this summer.

    Challenger, I don't think your going to want to feed this way all year. Robbing and such will be an issue, as well as you won't know syrup from honey. My goal/ intention is 2 fold. first Starts, getting new splits and packages moving when there is little nectar or flow. the second will be wintering. I take all honey I can and let the hives do what the can... this will allow me to add back more feed, and increase survivors.
    I only extract from medium supers. Once in a great while I'll use a deep as a honey super but it is when I need deep foundation drawn and the flow and colony are super strong or it is for a swarm. I will make sure to not extract sugar honey.
    If you extract all the honey how is it possible to know that the honey is not from "manipulated" HFCS?
    I also, unfortunately, very aware of the robbing potential and I personally keep the entrances super small during our dearth. I feel that keeping hives at equal strength & strong is the only way to prevent robbing around here. Same for SHB which are big time here. If the colonies are weak and/or have to cover more comb than they should both problems arise and kill hives. When there is no flow. I keep my hives crowded and of equal strength. I use a couple of out yards and they typically have hives of different sizes. Separating the hives by at least 3' seems to help me too with robbing. I'm not going to argue what I do with anyone-it is what I've found works for me - for now anyway. 600 frames! How were you doing this in the past?
    Good luck-Howard.
    Almost forgot-the plain sugar syrup seems a lot harder for the bees to find. I filled several frames the other day and they were flying hard and I didn't get a single one come into the shop yet they were right outside the roll up door cleaning out a few buckets from the day prior that I mixed some home made HBH in? This could make feeding syrup less of a robbing potential but I still feel if there is nothing for the bees to forage on they will take whatever a weak hive has.


    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I would think it is a matter of getting the air out of the cells. In a submerge situation there would be no way for the air to get back in once it is pushed out.
    A submerged situation? Um....well....I guess design a system like this on paper so I can better understand it. I would bet $ there isn't such a system that would allow filling frames of comb while submerged. I've been wrong before though.
    I have no problem at all with splashing as is shown in my recent YouTube video where I show droplets on the plastic stretch wrap as being on the underside of this wrap and not coming out all over the place. I suspect it is a combination of properly sized holes, pressure and angle of the streams that helps most. Having my tub fairly full of syrup also helps to keep the streams from hitting the sides of my tub when no frames are there to block them.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    A submerged situation? Um....well....I guess design a system like this on paper so I can better understand it. I would bet $ there isn't such a system that would allow filling frames of comb while submerged.
    There probably isn't a system that exist. Is that because it hasn't been tried? Sit is a whirl pool bath and feel the jets hitting your body parts. Keep in mind that the cells are constructed in an upward 13 degree angle so the tendency for the air is to go up and out of the cells if a forceful flow is imparted on the comb. Do I know it will work? Of course not. Is it worth a try? Someone else will have to decide.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Well I did let the tub get full enough to "submerge" the nozzles I can tell you it slows the Flow of the jets enough it would take more pressure or nozzles that are much closet together. less turbulence, but you also couldn't see clogged nozzles.
    Clogged nozzles were the biggest issue and a real pain until I put in a large filter sock under the drain. Problem solved.....
    I did about 400 frames yesterday, your going to get a bit sticky. need a temp drain pain. let the frames sit for 4-5 minutes would be better than straight to the box.

    Challenger, no worries on which way you feed, just a comment. I use a truck mounted pump and boardman feeders the rest of the year. AS for "manupiliated honey" its the same procedure on deeps as it would be in a super. there is no stopping the bees from moving HFCS from the deep upwards to the super, the key is the timing, and knowing that the bees have consumed the feed. Thats one reason I wouldn't do it all season also. after the first month or two how would you tell syrup from nectar??
    As for how I did it in the past, I didn't ... I would split up any remaining honey as best I could (usualy one frame per hive)......and fill the feeders

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Sweet! I was just at Rons place this weekend and looked at his system, and was figuring out how to make one of my own. I was going to use vacuum, but this thing makes it look so sweet!. How are you heating the syrup???
    My experience with vacuum and fluids is you get foam. Think about how pressure is keeping a bubble a bubble. I have also seen that pressure is a better way to reduce air or bubbles in fluid. Some say it is only squeezing the bubbles so small you no longer see them. I am not so sure. But if so it would not work so well for getting bubbles out of cells.

    Nice job on the design by the way. looks like it was a lot of work. I am impressed by the perseverance alone.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    My experience with vacuum and fluids is you get foam. Think about how pressure is keeping a bubble a bubble. I have also seen that pressure is a better way to reduce air or bubbles in fluid. Some say it is only squeezing the bubbles so small you no longer see them. I am not so sure. But if so it would not work so well for getting bubbles out of cells.

    Nice job on the design by the way. looks like it was a lot of work. I am impressed by the perseverance alone.

    Thanks-my perseverance is actually a fault in my case. Md's call is a form of OCD. I call being Irish. Never quit even if it makes total sense to do so

    One way I was going to try the vacuum, as per the suggestion of an engineer that specializes in this sort of thing, is to draw down the atmosphere in the chamber first while the frames are empty and then slowly introduce the syrup supply. I imagine filling the frame while they are submerged in a vacuum chamber would mean a ton of air coming from the frames = massive bubbles.
    Thanks
    Howard

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    Thanks-my perseverance is actually a fault in my case. Md's call is a form of OCD. I call being Irish. Never quit even if it makes total sense to do so

    One way I was going to try the vacuum, as per the suggestion of an engineer that specializes in this sort of thing, is to draw down the atmosphere in the chamber first while the frames are empty and then slowly introduce the syrup supply. I imagine filling the frame while they are submerged in a vacuum chamber would mean a ton of air coming from the frames = massive bubbles.
    Thanks
    Howard
    The HFCS would of course foam if you were to go that far with vacuum. I have since learned from this post and trying it, its not that hard. a mild stream of syrup from about any source will displace the air in the cell. it does seem that a submerged system would be a bit better, for both splash and what I would call wash out. force of the stream bouncing if you will, but it was a small amount.
    Experience with about 500 frames in the last 2 days tells me filter, and refill method are the two important details. a larger drain rack would also be in the works for fall. overall its sweet, hives are full of food. for the new ones, and I added some food to some of last years that were real light.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    a larger drain rack would also be in the works for fall. overall its sweet,
    Here I would recommend a very light squeegee system that you could pass the frame between two rubber flaps and take off most of the surface syrup without damaging the comb. Then put the frame on a rack. I would make the rack a sliding rack where you can use the newly filled comb to push the other combs away from you. Then another person can take the older filled combs (drier) off the rack and put them in boxes.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Here I would recommend a very light squeegee system that you could pass the frame between two rubber flaps and take off most of the surface syrup without damaging the comb.
    Pardon me here but, just IMOHO, that is complete overkill. The rack, again IMOHO, is overkil as well.
    If one has some of the plastic type hive covers these work great for catching the excess syrup. If not then hive covers sealed with wax OR just a trash bag. Then you can stack out a good pile on top of each other. From my perspective I find it most convenient to use what I already have. As shown in a photo or two, I can fill one of those black totes and put a deep hive body on top of it as I fill it and do so again until it is 2-3 high. An alternative would be to take a single deep and seal the bottom so it will hold 10 filled frames and then be the bottom deep with additional deeps stacked to the ceiling if need be. Having to make, acquire or otherwise add additional equipment for filled frames takes away the simplicity and ease of use that makes this system so attractive to me.

    If one wishes to turn a frame filling unit into the R2D2 of the beekeeping equipment list I imagine this could be a form of entertainment but for me it is about simplicity and multi-purpose equipment. The diaphram pump is a good example. It pulls double duty if need be whereas mine is, as currently set up, a single function unit.

    I was very happy to find the results I did for several key reasons. One of them is that I got to get rid of the many buckets and hive top feeders I used in the past for feeding. It isn't often that project results in a net LOSS of "stuff" and this was a huge side benefit for me myself & I.

    Then put the frame on a rack. I would make the rack a sliding rack where you can use the newly filled comb to push the other combs away from you. Then another person can take the older filled combs (drier) off the rack and put them in boxes.
    See above PLUS NOW we are making this a two man operation? Not in my world. I want to do things when I can and when I feel like it. To get involved with another person, that will likely show up late or even worse stay around too long, is adding complications.

    A sliding rack? How big? Where would the dripping syrup get collected? Now you have to add yet another bit piece and part to collect dripping syrup. It seems as if this is getting to be a, "who can design the most unneeded complications into a frame filling machine" contest.
    If that is your thing then beautiful-life has a purpose. I'll continue reading and see who wins that one.

    A squeegee? Really? How about a centrifuge? Yea-that's it. Make a conveyor rack to hold the ears of the frames as they spiral skyward with a twisting/twirling/rotating motion until they gain enough speed so they can be flipped end over end at just the right speed. Dripping syrup is thrown off the frames. Enclose this Willy Wonka Framededripper Rack in, heavy duty, hospital grade clear vinyl and all the stubborn syrup will run down the inside of this enclosure and end up at the very bottom. Then they syrup can be combined with other yummy ingredients and turned into a "Wonka BeeBerry Spinny Sticky Treat"
    A squeegee? Really? Oh my!
    Howard
    I may be simple but I am...........darn................what's the word????????????????Oh yea-I'm simple too

  20. #80
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Howard, I admire your ingenuity in developing and building this frame filling tool.

    I suggest that you not take Ace's comments too seriously. After all, he is an "engineer" that also recommended removing some counterweights from a homebuilt forklift and going to the trouble of shifting the position of the operators seat (and therefore operator's weight) to make up for the missing counterweights. Of course, he overlooked what happens when the operator dismounts the forklift with a load on the forks.


    The fun is in the thread linked here - it even has photos:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...t-toys!!/page2



    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 03-16-2013 at 06:36 PM. Reason: missing word
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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