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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    2,070

    Default Automated trickle feeding pump

    I have chemical pump similar to this one

    http://metrosupplyco.com/Merchant2/m...roduct_Count=4

    It's battery powered and programmable to pump different amounts at set times.
    I've worked with them before and the batteries last a while and you can split the line after it comes out of the pump.

    I was thinking maybe it would be handy to feed a bunch of smaller Nucs , smaller amounts to keep them rolling with the bare minimum of syrup and less robbing stress.

    Has anyone tried anything like this?
    If I feed an ounce or two once or twice during the night to a small Nuc will they respond as if there is a flow?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Have not tried that, seems like a neat idea. I use pumps like that , and they make a prolonged dispensing process easy. Minor and rare issues that I have encountered are: a) longevity of the pump and tubing when exposed to varying conditions (in this case: heating, cooling, wet/dry cycles, UV). b) determining the rate at which the pump should supply solution before turning it on (will bees feed at a constant rate?) c) precipitation of solids within in the exit line, which can lead to rupture.

    These are rare occurrences for me but keeping them in mind helps me to troubleshoot and to be on the lookout. I'm not trying to rain on your parade. Like I said, it is a neat idea.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,061

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Automation has its advantages and disadvantages. My main concern is what happens if the bees don't take the feed or it doesn't shut off properly. Sounds like a good idea though, I always think of automation but access to power around the bees is an issue and I'd rather not set equipment up around them anyways since it could walk off fairly easily.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,194

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    I was thinking maybe it would be handy to feed a bunch of smaller Nucs , smaller amounts to keep them rolling with the bare minimum of syrup and less robbing stress.
    Off the top of my head it appears it would be something that is not needed and would increase your workload not decrease it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,648

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    I like putting an empty box onto and feeding with jars internally or hivetop feeder. I wouldn't do an automated system unless I had alot of boxes. Even then it has its problems. Somekind of feedback to the controller would be nice instead of using open loop control.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    There are times it would be nice to give smaller Nucs a couple squirts of syrup every night so it would be cleaned up by daybreak. Having syrup on them all day can create problems. (Says the guy that spilled 1 1/2 gallons of syrup over his cell builder this week when the lid popped off)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,822

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    I can see the advantages of night feeding. The pump seem sprivy for a "proof of concept" application. Do you have a n "American science and Surplus" store by you. That would be an item they might carry for cheap.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    I don't thing they have that store around here. I was going to check out a medical supply place or hardware store for more tubing ,splitting connectors and plugs. My first thought is to run a line directly in each nuc and let the syrup run directly onto floor.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,730

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    One potential problem with one pump feeding many [unregulated] outlets is that you may end up with uneven amounts of syrup going to different hives, and possibly overfilling the feeder.

    Putting some kind of float valve (similar to a carburetor float or toilet tank valve) might work, but I didn't find any affordable examples that were suitable for the limited space in a nuc. However, pressure compensating drippers used in drip irrigation might be a reasonable alternative:

    http://www.irrigationdirect.com/irri.../drip-emitters
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    If the reservoir of material to be pumped is lower than the hive top, you could have a tube overflow that flows back into the reservoir. Then it doesn't matter how fast or slow the bees drink. If the feeder got full, the overflow tube would take any liquid above the fill line back into your reservoir.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,372

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    I have chemical pump similar to this one

    http://metrosupplyco.com/Merchant2/m...roduct_Count=4

    It's battery powered and programmable to pump different amounts at set times.
    I've worked with them before and the batteries last a while and you can split the line after it comes out of the pump.

    I was thinking maybe it would be handy to feed a bunch of smaller Nucs , smaller amounts to keep them rolling with the bare minimum of syrup and less robbing stress.

    Has anyone tried anything like this?
    If I feed an ounce or two once or twice during the night to a small Nuc will they respond as if there is a flow?
    Wouldn't a bucket feeder set on top of a hive where bees can get to it work better? Just depending on gravity and surface tension. No need for electricity or a pump. Usable anywhere.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,372

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    I don't thing they have that store around here. I was going to check out a medical supply place or hardware store for more tubing ,splitting connectors and plugs. My first thought is to run a line directly in each nuc and let the syrup run directly onto floor.
    Onto the floor? That'll get robbing going.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    10,194

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Onto the floor? That'll get robbing going.
    Even at night?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Buckets and jars work. The problem is that smaller Nucs used to raise queens take it too fast, grow too much, are prone to robbing and SHB love a moist hive with a constant feed source.

    Maybe an example of my thoughts:

    A Nuc that will normally drink one quart (32 oz)a week of syrup fed from a jar with one tiny hole is instead fed.....
    1/2 oz four different times each night (2 oz per night 14 oz a week) first feeding after dark and last one 3-4 hours before dawn.

    * Not really a smaller Nuc but you get the idea.

    I guess I just need to experiment with it

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,822

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Check out the Masterflex pump made by Cole-Parmer. They are stackable, so one motor can drive multiple pumps.

    I agree with your logic. This project has merit. Let me know if you have any fabrication issues.

    Crazy Roland

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    This is a very interesting concept and worth pursuing.

    Couple of ideas for hardware sources - some of the nozzles used for drip or lawn irrigation and hydroponics dispense a pre-calibrated amount based on pump pressure. In this way a simple timer would allow you to dispense the appropriate amount. You can get those from any Home Depot or Lowes type store.

    Also, you are pretty close to SARE proposal time (deadline is beginning of December). You might want to submit a farmer/rancher proposal and see if they will give you some money for the parts. The site is sare.org

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,194

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    The pump that was mention was a tube roller pump usually used in metering applications. I don't believe it will work well in a back pressure situation.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,003

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Wouldn't a bucket feeder set on top of a hive where bees can get to it work better? Just depending on gravity and surface tension. No need for electricity or a pump. Usable anywhere.
    Simple and effective - where's the fun in that? :-)
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,521

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    Somebody has W A Y too much time on their hands!
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,372

    Default Re: Automated trickle feeding pump

    I have heard of commercial operations who have feed lines going into in hive feeders from a bulk tank of syrup. But not pumped in.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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