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  1. #21
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    Jul 2010
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    moravia,ny
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    walter kelly had this system back in the 70's. never was very popular because of robbing problems that it caused.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    This looks like a good idea.

    You might add some kind of frame holder/hangers in the sink or even above the sink on the opposite side you will be working from. Fill your frame let it hang and drip dry while you fill the next one. That way you don’t spend time/energy shaking off the excess drops. Also will leave more sugar water in the sink instead of the floor.

  3. #23
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    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    I spent an hour last PM replying to the comments & questions here and sawthus AM my post isn't here???
    Anyway thanks for all the feedback. I'll try to answer specific questions this PM but after wasting an entire hour yesterday doing just that & seeing my effort ended up floating around in cyberspace is a downer.
    My final version should be on YouTube. I left my computer downloading the video last night & have not seen if it went up..the other unit someone posted is my prototype.
    I got this idea from the French Bee Farm filling unit & adapted the concept to my scale/budget.
    Thanks
    Howard

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    I spent an hour last PM replying to the comments & questions here and sawthus AM my post isn't here???
    If you expect to put a lot of time/effort into writing a post, you can take precautions against "oops" situations like this. One way is to compose your reply in an offline editor such as Notepad, Word, etc, then paste the finished result into your Beesource message. Periodically save your Word document just in case you have an unexpected computer problem.

    Another alternative is to "post" a reply before you have finished everything you want to say. Then "Edit" your post to add more. You can check that each part of your message is successfully posted before you continue.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #25
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,442

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Inactivity after 30 minutes will get up "bumped" as well. Composing a post is not considered activity. To avoid getting bumped and losing content from composing a post, make sure you check "Remember Me?" when logging on.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    >If you expect to put a lot of time/effort into writing a post, you can take precautions against "oops" situations like this

    I often don't realize how much effort I am going to put into it until it has grown quite large and then something crashes... but sometimes I realize it and copy it into something else...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #27
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    If you periodically use the "Preview" button/function I'm confident that you will reset the 30 minute "no activity" clock Barry referred to. Preview doesn't create a post viewable to others, but it does show you what your finished post will look like. Very handy to catch formatting errors, see what quotes actually look like, or identify links that don't get automatically activated.

    If the Preview button isn't visible, click the "Go Advanced" button to find Preview.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    what is your youtube channel?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    I didn't realize there was a time out. I certainly ended up composting the message.
    I left my laptop on overnight so the video would download so I am hoping there is an error still remaining on the Beesource tab.
    YouTube loaded at, " Howardtoob"
    Thanks

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Challenger_ Thank you for detailed post. I really appreciate the time you put into sharing your creation. I would drop the full frames into hive bodies and pack them out to the yard. If dripping is a concern then sit the hive body on a tub or over a tub and the extra could be poured back into the tank.

    As far as robbing I can't see why that would increase the robbing unless your using honey b healthy or something like it. Maybe someone could tell me what would make them do it.

    Does the syrup need to be heated? I would think it would be fine.

    Again thank you for the ideas to me it makes the most sense out of all the feeder I've seen out there.

    I thought of another question....do the bees need to suck up the sugar water like nectar so if can be ripened like honey or do the bees eat it as is?

  11. #31
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,142

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Pretty cool. So is this 2:1 syrup? Or something thinner or thicker?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,577

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Great video and very cool machine. Why do you have it partially wrapped with plastic wrap? Is there a lot of splashing?
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    Looks like you had some fun thinking through and building this system!
    Yes some fun-some frustration. I enjoy tinkering. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I think it's a great idea and job. The finished product looks and sounds like a very well working item, and feeding bees in that manner sounds like a very good idea to me, as I'm just a little beek with not many hives.
    As you can imagine I also think it is a great way to easily introduce feed to the bees. Often the syrup is warm after filling and opening a hive, removing empty comb & replacing with warm frames of syrup is quick & doesn't result in a cold hive. I did some hives and it was about 60 degrees out and starting to get late. I discovered many that were light and added 15 frames to a few hives.
    I would think something like this would be even better for a large apiary or even a commercial pollinator but I am not either of those and I imagine they have their ways. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer Jim View Post
    I like it! Do you heat your syrup, if so how?
    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Could you explain the principle,how it works? You fill up the sink with warm syrup and dip frames in it or what? How syrup is forced inside the cells? I would imagine that there were bunch of air bubbles in the comb.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post
    That is a fantastic setup. Ingenious design.

    Wisnewbee
    Thank you. For the record I didn't come up with the idea. I got it from a video on French Bee Farm site. I adapted it to my budget, needs & wants. I tried contacting them a while back but didn't get e return email. I wanted to ask what pump they used.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    Looks good.

    How thick is the syrup you use?
    Can you fill frames and transport? Do they leak a lot once full?
    The syrup is 2:1 but I get mine from a place in Charlotte, NC already mixed and it is a saturated solution with 66% sugar solids. They sell it in bulk to all sorts of industries and my son in at school there so I've hit him & his friends up for shuttling buckets. It is $7.00 for 5 gallons which is 1/3 the price I've been able to get the cheapest sugar for. Mixing the syrup is a huge hassle and is always messy. The 2:1 is especially so IMO because of the hot water required and the constant stirring. This ready made stuff is the ultimate. They also sell bulk HFCS but it is more $ and I'd rather feed sugar even if it was more $.
    I filled frames and transported 12 in a tote to a friends apiary. The frames drain off in the tote and the excess syrup at the bottom is poured into a container and reused. The tote gets a bit sticky so a wet rag is always handy. This goes for me anytime I mess with syrup because a tiny bit on my hand gets transmitted to anything I touch so I just try and keep this at zero.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    One similar.

    That is my prototype-see the black totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I'm just wondering if the syrup pressure may be a bit too high, seems like it would fill the combs alright, but then wash it back out somewhat leading to many partially filled cells. John
    When I did the first wet test I used water and I was really disappointed because the spraying water was sending droplets outside the tub. I thought I'd just spent a great deal of time creating another messy way to feed. The water was also doing as you mentioned to a small degree. I honestly was going to bag the idea but a friend wanted to see it and I decided to run syrup which was the ticket. It is heavier and flows slower & this combination makes for literally no mess coming out of the spray bars plus it goes in the cells and doesn't come out except for excess. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Good job Howard. It appears to work fairly well.
    The goal is to remove the air from the cells and replace it with syrup.
    Did you try or anyone else during your R&D putting the sprayers closer together (just about a frame width) and submerged like a whirl pool bath? The jets should drive out the air and replace it with syrup without splashing more air back into the cells. This is just a hunch. I could be wrong.
    I didn't consider this method of underwater jetting but I would think that a much higher pressure would be required to create streams with enough velocity to bridge a gap of syrup & still displace the air in the cells. This ability of the cells to hold on to what is in them, weather it be honey or air, is a huge stumbling block in any comb filling method. I am not an engineer but I spoke with more than a few while building this. I thought I could find a way to calculate the required flow, pressure, velocity etc. by crunching some numbers using formulas popular in the pumping industry but that was not the case-far from it in fact. One thing that several engineers told me is that figuring this and that for a specific application gets you in the ball park. From there it is trial & error. I am sure there are other ways to pump streams into comb but I chose this one and I am glad I didn't go another route after the initial water test failure. Thanks

    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???
    A vacuum! I played with that idea 2 years ago and I am still convinced it would work perfectly. My vacuum chamber was inadequate and leaked vacuum. I was able to get the frames that I placed in it 1/2 full but no more. I made a crappy chamber out of a 10- frame deep wrapped in rubber membrane then another mayer of 3/4" wood and wrapped again with plastic. I used a clear plexiglass lid with a grate under it for support. I had fittings, gauges, a really good HVAC vacuum etc and after several attempts to stop the thing from leaking I took it outside and threw it as far as I could. I was steaming mad and it went maybe 20 yards smashed on the ground and didn't suffer a single ding. It was stout but not air tight. I put it in the dumpster. After using this system I am not looking back at the vacuum. I think filling & emptying a vacuum chamber would make more of a mess than this thing. I am using a basic propane burner with a large pot to heat up the syrup. Thanks

    Yup-this was my inspiration. Check out the gasoline engine? I don't know what pump they used but the "light duty" gear pump I run has a maximum of 1725 RPM. With the thick syrup it needs to run between 6-900 depending on temperature. If I had to guess I would say they are using an entirely different pump & are pumping 1:1 syrup which a lot of pumps can handle. I chose a gear pump because they handle super thick material. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by dixiebooks View Post
    Just wondering...How do you keep from making a big mess with syrup dripping everywhere? -js
    It doesn't drip everywhere. If it did I would put it in the round file with many of my other "projects" The spray bars are inside the tub and are pointing slightly downward in the manner that the cells are tilted 15*. Take a dry frame from the left side, dip in between the spray bars a couple of times, lift it out, do a couple of up & down motions to get rid of most of the run off and end with a down motion moving to the right where the tote is. A little timing of the movement and zero drips. If I get a few drips it lands on the stretch wrap that is covering the spray bar inlet plumbing. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    ideally, I would envision bigger sink so u could hang the frames for a few minutes to drip dry.
    Maybe but for me having a drain rack is a good place for me to bump a frame of syrup and have it tumble on to the floor=mess & bad words. It is just so easy to move a filled frame to the tote on the right side. I like the simplicity because.........well.........I AM simple. Sure you can make all kinds of "extras" but I ant to take it down & store it when I am done. More stuff=more space & my shop looks like a crazy person works in it as it is. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    walter kelly had this system back in the 70's. never was very popular because of robbing problems that it caused.
    Great point! Robbing would be a very large problem. So far I've filled during cold or rainy weather. I can roll down my shop door to keep the bees from getting a taste if need be. I can imagine the number of bees that would be around if it took a long time to do this or one was careless. being able to get the frames filled quickly and placed into a tote with a lid plus cleaning up right away is a must. When I am done filling I drain the excess syrup into a bucket using the drain valve I put on the supply side, fill the tub with warm water, watch the drain hose to see water coming out instead of syrup and when this happens I just take the drain house from outside and bring it to the tub and rinse the whole system out. I'll just run & recycle the warm water to rinse the inside of the tub & spray bars off so no bees come calling. Then I take off the shrink wrap & throw it away. Final thing is emptying the rinse water-done. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    This looks like a good idea.

    You might add some kind of frame holder/hangers in the sink or even above the sink on the opposite side you will be working from. Fill your frame let it hang and drip to dry while you fill the next one. That way you don’t spend time/energy shaking off the excess drops. Also will leave more sugar water in the sink instead of the floor.
    No syrup on the floor. Well maybe 5 drops with 20 frames. I don't shake off the frames-that would get messy. Just up & down & into the tote. Honestly if this was a messy operation I wouldn't have posted it. There is a guy in the youtube video who brought the frames I was filling. He also brought another friend who is starting this year keeping bees (sucker-I tried to talk him out of it) and both will attest to how this sytem is nearly drip free. It is by far the least messy method of filling frames that I've tried and it fills them super fast and nearly full if the comb is in good shape.

    I am not trying to sell this system or idea. Just thought I would show anyone that might find it interesting. I have no plans to sell or dreams of marketing this thing.

    Another thing that I found as a side benefit was using my home made HBH with this system. The HBH formula, home made or store bought, uses essential oils & I've found them difficult to keep emulsified in the syrup. If it separates out any bees that come into contact with some of these oils are going to die. Mixing it with the spraying action guarantees there won't be a concentration in the syrup that would harm the bees.
    Another thing is medication. It would be super easy to include any water soluble medication in the syrup and give the bees the medication in a frame(s) of syrup. I've never used these so I don't know if it is a great way to administer medication such as Terramycin but I've heard there are some meds that are difficult to mix?

    Thanks all,
    Howard
    Hampstead, NC

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,329

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    I have such a frame filler. As pointed out earlier W. Kelley had such a unit for sale in the 70's. Beemaid (Canadian beekeeping co-operative) also sold those for awhile. I believe I have one of those models. They are ok on an emergency feeding system. The nice thing about Howardès is he is using an electric motor vrsus the gas powered one I have on my machine. The noise from that machine is irritating. Warm syrup is way better. I do not have a system where I can warm a large quantity of syrup. I find this type of system requires a lot of cleaning to keep the manifold clean. A lot of wax particles tend to accumulate and partially block the holes then next thing you know the syrup is spraying you or is ending up on the floor.

    For commercial guys it is just easier to fill a frame feeder. This system is ok for hives that are not especially strong and would have trouble taking syrup because they are sorta weak and temperatures are cool yet they need feed.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,500

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    I didn't consider this method of underwater jetting but I would think that a much higher pressure would be required to create streams with enough velocity to bridge a gap of syrup & still displace the air in the cells.
    Think about a light bulb where the light on a surface is the square of the distance. If you move the two nozzles to where you can just fit the frame between you will not need as much pressure as you think. Secondly you will control the distance so it is more symmetrical and then you can skip flipping the frame around like was shown in the video. Thirdly, there should be no splash so the tank can be hugely smaller. What do they call that a oxymoron?

    It might seem silly but the shorter you can make the repetitive motion the better unless you are only going to do ten frames.

    You can hirer an operator for less then 10 bucks an hour but a workman's comp case bumps that up to about 50. I built a lot of machinery based on those numbers.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Good point about the particles. Filling frames of comb dislodges debry in/on the frame. I spent a whole day trying to figure out how to prevent the holes from clogging. Then I just took a kitchen screen style strainer and placed it over the drain of the tub and no problem. Almost all the debry floats anyway so it is not a problem for my system except for the particles that can & will sink.
    I put caps on the end of my spray bars so it will be easy to uncap them & run a bottle brush through.
    I noticed today that some holes were spraying odd so when I was done filling I boiled 3 gallons of water and let that cycle through the machine as I used the drain hose to clean the tub. It cleared out the few spray holes that started acting up but I think I'll clean the bars out before using it again.
    A bad spray pattern could easily lead to syrup leaving the tub.
    What type of pump is on that machine? I wonder if an electrical conversion is an easy switch. Normally you can trade an electric motor at 2/3 the size of a gas motor. Just need to get the 3450 RPM electric motor.
    Thanks
    Howard

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Cool Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Howard,
    Do you have a filter on it to reuse the over spray? Looks like a nice setup.
    We sprayed over 6000 frame this winter for packages and splits for this year. Been doing the frame spraying for over 10 years now. Just wish the bees could fill the frames that FAST, that way I wouldn't have to.
    Good luck,
    Ron

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    Howard,
    Do you have a filter on it to reuse the over spray? Looks like a nice setup.
    We sprayed over 6000 frame this winter for packages and splits for this year. Been doing the frame spraying for over 10 years now. Just wish the bees could fill the frames that FAST, that way I wouldn't have to.
    Good luck,
    Ron

    The only filter I have is a large stainless mesh kitchen type strainer that I placed over the tub drain. It does a great job & being large it doesn't keep particles from choking off the pump.
    The pump needs a good supply or it will start putting air into the syrup.
    When I reuse the excess syrup from a previous session I strain it going into the tub as well. It is just a little precaution but is too easy to not do.
    Thanks

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,500

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    It would help if you didn't suck the syrup directly off the bottom. If you put a pipe in the drain to raise the inlet 1 or 2 inches off the bottom. The light debris floats to the top surface and the heavy debris sinks to the bottom. This would be typical for any hydraulic application.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #40
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,644

    Default Re: Frame filling "machine" update

    Well I love it! going to build one with a jacket for running HFCS. Mocking it up this weekend with a Diaghapram pump I use to feed HFCS anyway (truck mounted hose reel)
    One question I have you mentioned a syrup your buying thats surcrose and cheaper than HFCS?? what and where?

    Charlie

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