Entrance feeder vs. top feeder
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10

    Default Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    My bees readily drain the entrance feeder, but when i switched to a top feeder, they ignored it for more than a week. I cleaned out the feeder, and replaced the syrup with a richer sugar mixture, but still no interest. Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Fargo, North Dakota
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    Beekeeping is local, but my experience is that once flowers emerge, syrup intake stops.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    Ed, my bees are producing real honey already here just south of you in Richmond. I only have feeders on my splits and weak hives.

    To your question though, add a tsp. or two of annis extract to a gallon of syrup. They will find it soon enough. For me, bees that are not used to a top feeder tend to take several days to get the memo. Once they do, you will find bees in the feeders for a week after you let them run out.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    Other thing that may help is running a few drops of syrup down the ladder/bee tube from the feeder into the hive. I suspect doing this may guide some bees in with the logic of they are following the sugar trail.

    What have the temperatures in your area been? Is it possible that the top feeder is to cold, and the entrance feeder was getting warmed by the sun?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Jasper, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    @elmer_fud Exactly what I did a week ago. Brought home a nuc and per advice of the seller transferred it to a ten frame the same day. New, never used rapid feeder and noticed the bees had not found it four or five hours later. Seemed the most logical thing to do was dip my finger in and dribble a few drops down the side of the center tube. By the next day they were busy as bees working the 1 to 1. Hope they turn every drop to wax! Just starting out so need that drawn comb.

    Assuming they are also bringing in nectar since there almost always seem to be more bees with out pollen than with. Is there any way to tell what the other foragers are doing? Nectar, water, scouting... My guess is the clumsy ones that do not know how the entrance works are young bees on their orientation flight. Pollen gathers and a good portion of the unknowns fly straight to the center of the Guardian entrance.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by William Bagwell View Post
    @elmer_fud Exactly what I did a week ago. Brought home a nuc and per advice of the seller transferred it to a ten frame the same day. New, never used rapid feeder and noticed the bees had not found it four or five hours later. Seemed the most logical thing to do was dip my finger in and dribble a few drops down the side of the center tube. By the next day they were busy as bees working the 1 to 1. Hope they turn every drop to wax! Just starting out so need that drawn comb.

    Assuming they are also bringing in nectar since there almost always seem to be more bees with out pollen than with. Is there any way to tell what the other foragers are doing? Nectar, water, scouting... My guess is the clumsy ones that do not know how the entrance works are young bees on their orientation flight. Pollen gathers and a good portion of the unknowns fly straight to the center of the Guardian entrance.
    I am not sure there is a good way to tell what the hive is bringing in beyond the pollen on back legs. I see my bees at my water source, so I know some (a few %) are bringing in water and a lot are bringing in pollen. I sort of assume that if they are bringing in pollen they are probably also bringing in nectar unless, this is probally also true for you unless you are in an area with nectar poor plants.

    I dye the sugar syrup that I feed my hives green so I know what is sugar and what is nectar when I am pulling frames to extract. This probably does not work very well though when you are feeding because it will probably all get mixed together in the hive.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by elmer_fud View Post
    Other thing that may help is running a few drops of syrup down the ladder/bee tube from the feeder into the hive. I suspect doing this may guide some bees in with the logic of they are following the sugar trail.

    What have the temperatures in your area been? Is it possible that the top feeder is to cold, and the entrance feeder was getting warmed by the sun?
    Good theory on the temperature of the syrup! Daytime highs have been approaching 70, but overnight lows have been in the mid to upper 40's. Temps are on the rise though.

    I'll try leaving a trail of syrup to guide them up to the feeder.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    The colony in question a new package on foundation only (no comb), so I'm trying to keep them supplied to draw it out.

    Do you know what nectar sources are available for you now? Red Bud is starting to bloom here.

    I'll try the annise. Didn't know there was such a thing. I'll let you know it works out. thanks!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Entrance feeder vs. top feeder

    Dandilions, redbuds, henbit, wisteria, apple and cherry trees, all are blooming in my yard right now. I am sure there are several other sources. I can't imagine that Fairfax Co. is much different than the Richmond area.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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