Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cochise County, AZ, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Syrup drained into hive, twice

    I installed 2 packages a week ago. One hive seems to be doing very well and I am feeding them 1:1 syrup in jars with holes poked in the lid on top of the inner cover, then a shallow super, then the outer cover. In my second hive, for some reason the syrup has dripped out of the jars and gone all over the cover and into the hive. (I am using a screened bottom board so a good deal of it is on the ground, but the cover and the entrance and the hive stand are obviously covered in sugar syrup. This happened yesterday and today... I guess the jar wasn't exactly level???? Even though I sat and watched the syrup and made sure it wasn't leaking... then I went back a few hours later and it was all drained out all over the place.

    Anyway, my biggest question is... have I damaged the entire hive? Will they just lick up the sugar and look elsewhere for food (since the jar has now been empty a good part of two days?

    I have successfully added a new jar and have checked that it isn't leaking (new wood sticks that I guess are more level).

    Also, the bees numbers seem to be down. Maybe they are out looking for food, but the other hive seems to have lots more bees and lots more comb. I don't want to open the hive again to check everyone out since i think this would be counter productive.

    Should I just keep on feeding them successfully and hope they recover? or take some other action at this time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Summerville Ga. USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    It sounds like you have a leak but sometimes a large temp swing will cause this. The syrup gets cold at night and as it warms during the day it expands and loses vacuum and the bees can't keep up with the flow. Also if the hive is full of syrup the bees will bail on you. You might want to take the bottom board off and wash it off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    I switched from jars to baggies last year because of similar problems. I just lay the baggie on top of the inner cover and put an empty medium on top of that, with the outer cover on top of the empty medium. No leaks, no mess, bees use every drop and then I just replace with a fresh full baggie. 1 gallon size works for me.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,105

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    Watch out for Ants

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cochise County, AZ, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    Thanks for the replies. The temp. change could be it, but more likely I think the wooden support may have been in contact with a few of the holes I punched in the lid and possibly wicked the solution right out of the jar??? So I have replaced the lid with one with fewer holes, washed the exterior of the bottom board (the interior is a screen and I am hedging my bets that it isn't too bad in there), don't want to dislodge the hive and check since the bees seem better today... more activity. I have also placed a bigger jar on the outside of the hive hoping they have enough food. It went down to freezing here last night and I know they need it.

    I am watching for ants and figure they will soon discover the sugar... if they infest the area I'll be back on teh boards asking for solutions...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    I read on here that bees will not take cold syrup. They like the warm syrup better. So if the outside temp is very cold at night
    time then the sun has to warm them up before the bees will take them I supposed. I tried the wick method but it seems the
    syrup will spoil before the bees can finish them. I don't like changing syrup every few days. So I switched to the wicked
    baggie inside feeder to control the amount of syrup I gave them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,761

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    I use gallon paint cans with holes punched into the lid. The surface of the lid is slightly recessed so that when I set it upside down on sticks the holes don't make contact. Every once in a while I do get a "run" but very seldom. My biggest concern when that happens is the weather and the cluster. If it happens right after I hive a package, it can be a problem since you typically dump a package into the middle of a hive and also place the feed container over the middle. I especially worry about the queen who might be hanging in the middle as well although probably in a cage. When it happens after the colony is established, I usually just pop the cover off, spread the frames and look to see how wet things are. Then, I'm concerned with the brood. If the frames are wet (surprisingly enough, they often are not bad at all depending on how far out the comb has been built), I'll move drier frames towards the center and let the bees clean up the mess I've made. If they're not, I just refill the feeder and go. I rarely feed past the early part of spring so I'm most concerned about chilling the bees. I'm not a big fan of constant feeding once the flowers start to bloom so for me, the risk is somewhat less.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    If you made the lid, the holes might be to large also. I get the smallest nail I can and punch into the jar. If you punch out, then the metal edges might hurt their tongues when they are feeding. This will also make sure it doesn't touch the boards. If you looked at the holes in the jar with the package, you saw that the holes there were almost nonexistent. I have done it a lot where I punched a little to big and it drains a bunch.

    You said the jar is inside the hive so the temp shouldn't change to much, but I don't know what the changes are there. Inside usually fixes the problem of the temp change.

    With the screened BB I wouldn't worry much as most of the syrup drained all the way through and shouldn't be a problem.

    I would ask local beekeepers if there is a flow on right now, and that will let you know just how much you have to worry about if there is syrup for them. If there is nectar, then the syrup will help them build, but is really not needed since they can collect it themselves.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Floyd County Kentucky
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Syrup drained into hive, twice

    This post has made me nervous with my feeding considering I done it the same way with my packages. However I put my feeder to the far left side so it wouldnt be over the cluster just in case. How are your bees doing? I hope ants will not become a problem. How long does someone project a quart of syrup to last with a new package?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads