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Thread: Caught out!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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    Default Caught out!!

    So far my bees in the backyard have been doing REALLY well but when I checked them on Thursday they were breaking open their honey stores! Its been really warm and dry here for the past month when it should be cooling down and wetter but its not normal.......

    Anyway, any flow we had before is well and truely gone but the bees are super active with the warm temperatures and as a consequence they are chewing up their winter supplies at a great rate.

    Started feeding them on Saturday morning with a baggie feeder and its brilliant. Not a bee drowned or lost so far and they have chewed through 5kg of sugar. With the baggie feeder I have found its important to watch when they are finished so you can get the bees out of the bag or they will surely die in there if left - easy in a backyard hive. Other than that they are fantastic compared to the other types I have used previously.

    Anyway, they are off and running again and pulling in lots of pollen so things are on the up and up.

    Glad to see no beetles at all in the hive this time
    Cheers
    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,258

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    The baggies do seem miraculous after watching bees drown by the cup full in a lot of feeders. The price is right too. Occaisionally I have bees get in when the bag is dry. If you make the slits shorter, they can't get in so easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    52

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    I always wondered how bees could completely empty a baggie so I did a little experiment on my patio. There were 3 slits in the baggie and after it was nearly empty, they went inside to finish up. You can see them lined up inside where a little syrup remains.

    Feeding.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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    142

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    I think that is when they are most at risk. On a hot day they will soon die in the bag if it is left in the hive for any period. Other than that its a simple, brilliant feeder.
    Cheers
    Rob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,056

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Yep, I like baggie too. Last time a gallon baggie drowned 40 bees inside with a single
    cut that I think made the wrong cut. An improved no drowning version inside feeder all
    lined up with baggies on the top too. Bees can walk on top of the baggie if they want to.
    Honey and syrup mixture enough to feed one day or 2.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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    142

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    What's the white stuff in the photos Beepro?
    Cheers
    Rob

  7. #7
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Pic one show the 2 wicks spreading opposite direction at the bottom under the plastic baggie.
    Pic two show the white area of the wick. The white stuff is just a cotton ball all unrolled and put
    on top of the wick with its tail dipped into the water. Its purpose is to draw more water up to the
    top so the bees can take a sip. Without this cotton top cover the wick cannot draw as much
    water faster than the bees can take them. They will suck too fast with too many bees leaving
    the wick dry up very fast. With the cotton on top they can suck as much as they want without
    drying up at the top of the wick/cotton combo. Both methods had been tested out so the white
    cotton way is better for this purpose.
    Because honey and syrup mixture not last too long, so I heard. This method can feed them better
    without any spoiling. Easy to make. It works too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Just poke a bunch of hole with a nail. Never had a bee drown in the bag with nail holes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
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    246

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Hi Beepro,
    I am studying your pictures but I am still confused. Do you make two slits in the baggie and feed the two joined wicks through the baggie? Do the two joined wicks form a "u" with the bottom of the "u" inside the baggie? Do you dip the rolled cotton guaze into water so that the cotton guaze is completely wet before dipping the end of the guaze into the syrup. It looks like you wrap the cotton guaze around both ends of the "u" and then across to form a bridge so that the "u" forms a somewhat flattened "o." I like your idea. I am always using the baggie method but I also have drowned bees inside the baggie. Last year some hornets got into my hive and the poor bees were stuck inside the baggie at the mercy of those miserable hornets. The feeder rim moved just a bit and the hornets got inside. It was just a tiny opening. Are you using quart size baggies instead of gallon size baggies?
    Last edited by linn; 03-25-2013 at 09:39 AM. Reason: size of baggie

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Hi, Linn. There are many variation with my methods. I just copy from here using the zip loc gallon size bag. The sponge inside the hive is for the easy of cutting instead of using an electric saw I use a scissor. The sponge is to hold the gallon size with the syrup. I use gallon size easy to work with.
    The wick and cotton is to draw water up next to the frame so the bees not drown inside the baggie. There is no purpose to go down when water drawing upward. The cotton wrap around the wick to provide bigger surface area to draw the water upward. Without the cotton wrap around the wick too small that the bees suck too fast ended up drying the wick. Once the cotton covered they can suck all they want without drying at the tip. It does not matter if U or whatever shape as long as big enough surface to draw water up. The U shape just formed naturally at the bottom.
    Here is my next improvement: If you not want to make the sponge holder then use the regular gallon size zip loc bag. This time only wick it in a tiny hole at the middle of the bag toward the top a little. Then cover the edge of the hole with bee wax along with the wick already inside the bag sticking out. This will not affect the water drawing capability of the wick once waxed in. Since there is no hole or opening, no bees will get drown until all the syrup are taken up by the bees. Can you picture them?


    Do you make two slits in the baggie and feed the two joined wicks through the baggie?
    Only one round hole to put the wick thru with one long wick twisting together to form a double wick.

    Do the two joined wicks form a "u" with the bottom of the "u" inside the baggie? Yes, one wick twisted together to make it thicker to draw up the water. The U shape just naturally form because it hits the bottom of the sponge.

    Do you dip the rolled cotton guaze into water so that the cotton guaze is completely wet before dipping the end of the guaze into the syrup? No, once you dip into water the cotton ball is hard to unroll because it is already wet. Unroll when it is still dry. I unroll the cotton first at the thinner end and then wet it in syrup afterward. Then transfer it to cover the wick and tuck the end of the cotton with a scissor point into the syrup at the bottom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
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    246

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Hi Beepro,
    I am not sure I can see the sponge holder clearly. I remember that you make rigid foam inner covers with plexiglass from a previous post. I see now that the sponge holder is used as a rim feeder outside the baggie?
    Here is a problem I have. Hives that I manage in an outyard are tilted forward to allow rain to run out. When I feed with the baggie method, syrup will sometimes run out the front of the hive. This syrup attracts hornets. There are so many hornets in this outyard. I think your method will stop syrup from running out the front of the hive.
    P.S. I see now that the baggies sit on top of the frames inside of the pink sponge rim feeder. It looks like you have divided your sponge rim feeder/holder in half to allow for two gallon size baggies.
    Last edited by linn; 03-25-2013 at 08:03 PM. Reason: for P.s.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    So far so good. You are at 90% now. In the pic what you see is the outer big bag touching the side of the bee frame. I want to leave more room in case I pour too much to overflow. The entire inner bag sit inside the foam to hold the syrup.
    My previous flexible easy to cut with a knife foam inner cover made from food grade plastic film instead of plexiglass. The red foam is non toxic and environmental friendly. The thin film sold by the roll to cover left over foods for the frig. It is lighter to make and bee safe too. Very durable to use. I can patch it up if there is any hole but so far they are holding up. Plexiglass cost too much here compare to food film. Only 2 sheets to cover the entire inner cover.
    Yes, I use 4 foams altogether for the inside feeder. The outer 2 are for the rims. The inner 2 are for holding the syrup. And yes, to prevent the syrup from leaking outside, I use 2 plastic bags. The bigger bag to fold and cover the 4 foams. Then put a tape around the foams at 360o. This way the bag will hold everything together.
    Then cut a slit on the plastic where the syrup hole is at the top. Fold the plastic inside the hole. You can tape the plastic if you want to. But I find it not needed.
    Now you have a hole big enough to put in the gallon inner feeding zip loc bag. If you are concern about leaking then use 2 bags. The thin 100, 1 gallon size bag is good to use for the inner lining before putting in the zip loc bag. Finally, wick as normal to feed the bees. You can also fold the zip close to the wick and cotton but have to tape both sides so the hole is shut otherwise the bees will get inside the bag. They can pry open if they want to. Bees are very strong when working together to get foods.

    None got drown so far. The bees are actually on top of the syrup on the outside of the plastic baggie:

    Whatever you do make sure there is no hole for them to get inside the bag to drown themselves.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Well, now I understand. The first baggie acts almost like a pool liner/pool cover combination. The second baggie slips between the "pool liner" and "pool cover" through a small rip. The cotton guaze sets on top of the "pool cover."
    Last edited by linn; 03-25-2013 at 09:19 PM. Reason: just adding one thing

  14. #14
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Yep, you got it!
    Easy to make and no more leaky syrup.
    Now I am playing with the idea that one corner of the zip loc bag is the wick and cotton to the top frame.
    The other side of the zip loc bag is all sealed up. Then put a staple to hold the wick and cotton in place toward
    the corner end. Just pour the syrup and rezip the bag closed. Any way to better improve on this?

  15. #15
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Ohh, forgot to say. When the cotton is dry out the fibers will become fuzzy. So the bees will shred them
    into small pieces. But if the syrup is high enough to the top of the wick then you don't need the cotton just
    the wick in o.k. Maybe a shallow 1/2 gallon baggie will work better since I am feeding honey/syrup mixture anyway.

  16. #16
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    Nov 2010
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    cumberland me
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Hi Beepro,
    Are you using your sponge holder like a very small frame feeder? I looked at your photos again and it looks like the wick is coming up between the frames. The ziplock baggie is inside the other baggie. The inner bag must separate from the outer bag as the syrup is being used up. I am probably not understanding everything. It just seems like you would end up with a gap between the inner and outer bag.
    Last edited by linn; 03-26-2013 at 08:05 PM. Reason: just another question

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Windham, PA
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    14

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    I just poke a few holes in the bag with a tooth pick, no need to make wicks or special cuts with this method.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bayfield, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Caught out!!

    Hey wonder if you could put some of those marbles in the baggy to help it not collapse, when it is emptied? I have never tried baggies, but I think I will now, what a cool idea
    "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." year 3, 14 langs and 2 top bars
    www.4cornersbeekeepers.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Bayfield, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    great idea!!
    "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." year 3, 14 langs and 2 top bars
    www.4cornersbeekeepers.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Caught out!!

    The whole idea is to not let the bees get inside to drown them. At the same
    time let them have enough they want to.
    Toothpick holes will work but too small for the number of bees I have.
    One slight imbalance the syrup will leak out.
    Here is an updated version that really works. No spilling and the bees
    love it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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