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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    http://youtu.be/i6QXG9kCOpQ

    My wife, Anne, and I made this video today, March 30. I am getting ready for three three-pound packages with queens to arrive Monday, April 1, with the weather forecasted to be cold for three days. Sure hope my bees will be able to use the sugar water that I'll be offering them.
    This is a feeder that will sit on top of the top bars allowing the bees to access and get gallons of sugar water from one end or pollen and/or dry sugar from the other end.

    You will notice that my hands shake quite a bit in this video and my other two Youtube videos (installing bees in hive) from last year. The neurologist said it's caused by old age; all my doctors blame anything/everything that goes wrong with me on "old age". When I was younger and smoked, they blamed anything/everything on the fact that I was a smoker. Can't wait to read my cause of death on my death certificate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Good thinking on re-purposing the brushy mountain feeder.

    I also liked you method of creating an upper entrance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Thanks, Shannon, it saved three pounds of bees this evening. if you noticed, my name is down below the video screen, and beside my name it shows my other two videos of my installing bees into the two hives last year. Today post office called to tell us that three boxes of bees with queens had FINALLY arrived about 5:30 P.M., and I was there within ten minutes to pick them up. The temperature was about 35 degrees, i.e., much too cold to be installing bees. I only had time to install bees into ONE hive before dark. It was a regular Murphy's Law, EVERYTHING went wrong, but I did get them in, gave them sugar water in the feeder, and when I checked after dark, they were clustered under that white entry bar, passing the sugar water down to everyone.
    The feeder saved the bees, BUT I am typing with SWOLLEN hands; they stung me about a dozen times on the hands when I was trying to release the queen into where a big pile of bees werre. Tomorrow, I'm agonna wear my gloves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    I want someone to knock me in the head if I EVER attempt to install bees in cold weather again, especially more that one hive. Today I wanted to install the last two of the three packages I ordered. I FINALLY got one "installed"; they're going NUTS and doing everything wrong... going to the wrong hives, landing anywhere/everywhere. I've been stung three times while trying to get them to go to their hive's entrance. So far, the bees inside either of the two hives I've done so far are doing the bare minimum of staying in the entrance fanning outward to "call them in". WHAT A MESS, and I still have one hive to go... #$%^

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    There is a great video on hiving a package in cold weather at the following link: http://alaskabeeproducts.net/hiving-...e-of-bees.html.
    It is not for a TBH but it might give you some ideas going forward. The video is in Quicktime and I could not get it to play with MS Internet Explorer 9 or 10. works fine in Google Chrome or Firefox. Probably works fine on a Mac.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    There is a great video on hiving a package in cold weather at the following link: http://alaskabeeproducts.net/hiving-...e-of-bees.html.
    It is not for a TBH but it might give you some ideas going forward. The video is in Quicktime and I could not get it to play with MS Internet Explorer 9 or 10. works fine in Google Chrome or Firefox. Probably works fine on a Mac.

    Thanks, Dudelt. Honestly, I had considered doing that, but I wasn't sure that it would work. I'll know now that it will, and from now on if I ever have to hive bees in cold weather, that's the way that it will be done. I lost a lot of bees today that I wouldn't have if I had done it the way it was done in the video. Hope I never have another cold-weather hiving experience again though.

    BTW It's 9:17 P.M., and I was out there about 20 minutes ago. All three hives are clustered under the entrance to the feeder. The clusters are so large that I can't see for sure what they're doing other than feeding, but I'm pretty sure that they've making comb(s) while they're hanging there. I'll be able to see and know for sure Thursday because it'll be 60 F, and a lot of them will be out looking for nectar and pollen.

    BTW#2 It just occurred to me that if I had done it that way, I wouldn't have all the dead bees from shipping on the bottom of my hive. I could have removed them when I removed the cages because they would still be in the screened shipping box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Hoosier, you are welcome. I used a similar method last year for my Langs and it worked great. I believe I will try it for the the couple of extra TB hives I am expanding to this year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Thank you for your youtubes and stories of your experiences on this forum. I Really am enjoying them! HB

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Winchester, VA USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    I got two packages March 24, it was starting to snow and going to 30 F that night and the next couple days. I didn't know what to do!

    I electrically heated an enclosed outbuilding to 53 F and shook the bees into two hives inside the building where I fed them with sugar bags for 3 days before carrying them outside.

    Seems to have worked well. Oh yes, the hives were sealed while inside.

    Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    HappyBeing, thanks.
    mrutkaus, good thinking. If I had known then what I know now, and if my hives weren't fixed in place permanently, I would have moved them into the barn and done what you did.
    Ah aint'a never no more EVER installing no bees in freezing weather no how ever!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    North Wales, PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Like your video on feeding. I also like the color coded top bars. How many bars of honey do you expect to take from your hive. I am a new beek in SE Penna. just starting with a top bar hive. Since March 30 they have drawn 4 bars of comb. Guess I will try to take some remaining honey next spring.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Quote Originally Posted by Loup View Post
    Like your video on feeding. I also like the color coded top bars. How many bars of honey do you expect to take from your hive. I am a new beek in SE Penna. just starting with a top bar hive. Since March 30 they have drawn 4 bars of comb. Guess I will try to take some remaining honey next spring.
    Thanks, Loup, your bees' having drawn four bars of honey already is really good. Sounds like you're off and running for a good year. Glad that you liked the video. I have (I think) 31 or 32 bars per hive; 16-18 of those bars are for the brood chambers. This is my second year with with one of my four hives and I just installed bees in the other three. I plan to take at least five bars of honey from the back of the older hive this year, and probably five from the others each a year from now on. I might be forced to take more, but I really don't want to. I get all the honey that my wife and I want from our son and daughter-in-law; they have bees also. My main purpose of having bees is to keep pollinators in the area because year before last we did not see ONE honeybee in our vegetable and/or flower garden, i.e., none were in the area. I will not take any honey at all unless they have every bar in the hive full before mid-summer. I really don't want to mess with it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Quote Originally Posted by Loup View Post
    Since March 30 they have drawn 4 bars of comb.
    Loup, are you feeding? I would think they would have a little more comb than 4 bars.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    North Wales, PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    Yes I am feeding, although I see lots of dead bees in the bottom of the hive. I saw the queen yesterday. I guess all is going well.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    I assume you have capped over brood, if so you are probably ok. You are a bit north of me, so you are probably a week or two behind us. This week has been a great week to have bees. Everything down here started blooming overnight. And some bees build up slower than others. I put in a package last Sunday and they are on the 6th bar, although only 4 of them are almost all the way drawn out.

    One thing I did do besides feed them sugar was I had some fondant I made last fall on a follower board. Not sure how much was there, but I would say it was at least 3 pounds. Anyway, they have been going to town on that. They do take the thin syrup, but they have just about finished the fondant and only had about a quart of syrup. I was thinking about not putting that fondant in because normally you want thin syrup to encourage growth, but I guess, when they have nothing they know they need to grow. They have been foraging like crazy this week. Lots of pollen coming in.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: My most favorite top bar hive FEEDER

    UPDATE...
    My wife and I just now came in from moving the three top-bar feeders back on the top to the 15th bar near the end of the brood chamber.
    After we moved each feeder back about seven bars, we looked for capped brood, and, lo and behold, all three hives have lots of brood, i.e., too, a QUEEN.
    "The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry," but "All's well that ends well."

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