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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I gave a couple of my light hives some 1:1 syrup about four weeks ago. I checked a couple of times and they were not taking any of it in either hive that I could see. I poured about 1/2 gallon into each feeder, resulting in them not being anywhere near full, but still with around 3/8" of fluid height at the screen that they could get to.

I took them off today and poured the syrup out and left the feeders out in the yard. Later, the bees were all in it trying to clean them up. Why did they possibly not take it in the feeder on the hive? It was fresh syrup initially.

While there are some cold days and nights here in Houston, there are still plenty of days in the 60s and 70s and they are definitely getting out and around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sure the answer is me just not knowing any better. Regardless, why would they not be taking it in the feeder?
 

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Lots of possibilities, they don't need it, it takes to long to warm up to utilize, they are further down in the boxes clustering, etc. If they are taking it outside the hive (along with neighboring bees), just put it outside away from the hives, if that's what you are in to:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lots of possibilities, they don't need it, it takes to long to warm up to utilize, they are further down in the boxes clustering, etc. If they are taking it outside the hive (along with neighboring bees), just put it outside away from the hives, if that's what you are in to:)
I don't mind feeding outside, but the ones that need it most might not be the ones getting it. Plus, I've not yet found a way to do that without mass bee death. The in-hive feeders have the screens keeping them safe.
 

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Usually we feed 2:1 late in the season. Maybe the bees know that they wont have time to cure the light syrup? Are top boxes filled and capped? they might not go past those boxes because they are filling in the lower boxes? Try putting in one empty frame of comb so they walk up that way.
Possible that your bees are content with what they have and it is neighbor bees robbing the feeder outside the hives?
Things like this always raise more questions than answers. If you figure it out I would be interested.
 

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Usually we feed 2:1 late in the season. Maybe the bees know that they wont have time to cure the light syrup? Are top boxes filled and capped? they might not go past those boxes because they are filling in the lower boxes? Try putting in one empty frame of comb so they walk up that way.
Possible that your bees are content with what they have and it is neighbor bees robbing the feeder outside the hives?
Things like this always raise more questions than answers. If you figure it out I would be interested.
 

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IF the syrup gets much below 50F the bees cannot take it! If the cold nights take the syrup below that level, the short days probably do not give the syrup time to warm up to where the bees can take it.
 

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I think Vance has a point there. Try sticking a thermometer into the syrup while its in the in-hive feeder. If it's 50 degrees F or less, its probably not going to get taken. You could try heating up the syrup (on a daily basis) to see if that changes the bees' interest.
 

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Put in smaller amounts (only what they can take in a day) I usually do it just before dark. Make sure it's hot when u put it in that way it stays warm longer hopefully ensuring they can put it into the combs where it's needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Put in smaller amounts (only what they can take in a day) I usually do it just before dark. Make sure it's hot when u put it in that way it stays warm longer hopefully ensuring they can put it into the combs where it's needed.
I had a relatively small amount in there. It was only about 1/4 - 3/8" deep. I was planning on filling it some more once I saw the level drop, but it never did. Actually, I've never had luck getting them to drink the syrup. The last time it was during spring, and I just figured that they had other feed that they preferred. I don't think that's the case this time.

The average temperatures (ambient) have been above 50 in general around here over the last month, and should have been warmer than that in the hive. They've had many warmer periods over that time in which to take it if temperature was the issue.

Thanks for all of the responses. I appreciate it, and am not just trying to be argumentative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If the syrup sours as light syrup does easily, the bees don't like it much even if warm enough.
I've had it sour in a few days is warmer weather, which is why I didn't want to put too much in initially. I didn't see any of the floating stuff I saw previously, so don't know if it was sour or not. They sure were into the same syrup when I had it sitting out in the yard after pulling it off, though.
 

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Is the syrup on the outside of the hive? If so maybe putting it right on the frames with a box around it to keep it warmer. Maybe 2:1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is the syrup on the outside of the hive? If so maybe putting it right on the frames with a box around it to keep it warmer. Maybe 2:1.
It originally was inside the hive. It is one of those feeders that sits in an empty super on top of the stack, under the top cover. Sometimes I leave it above the inner cover, thinking that the bees should be able to find it.
 

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Have you ever tried putting syrup in gallon zip lock bags and laying them (warm) on the top bars? If you are competent enough to just cut a couple slits in the top of the bag and completely seal the bag, the bees take the syrup down in about four days if they need it. The cluster helps keep it warm enough. I have cut 2 1/2" feeder rims from old boxes and put epe insulation on top of that so Mine stay warm in pretty cold temperatures. I have begun feeding that way at colder spring temperatures than you probably get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have you ever tried putting syrup in gallon zip lock bags and laying them (warm) on the top bars? If you are competent enough to just cut a couple slits in the top of the bag and completely seal the bag, the bees take the syrup down in about four days if they need it. The cluster helps keep it warm enough. I have cut 2 1/2" feeder rims from old boxes and put epe insulation on top of that so Mine stay warm in pretty cold temperatures. I have begun feeding that way at colder spring temperatures than you probably get.
I haven't tried the bag method. I read about it, so I know what you're talking about. We barely dip below 50F over the next 10 days around here. I could try it now. 2:1 recommended?
 

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I don't mind feeding outside, but the ones that need it most might not be the ones getting it. Plus, I've not yet found a way to do that without mass bee death. The in-hive feeders have the screens keeping them safe.
If/when I'm feeding before winter, I've made it a habit to steal frames of honey/nectar from strong/stronger hives to put into weaker ones ( as long as weak ones are not weak as a result of disease ) and feed the strong ones. They usually have the resources available to quickly take the syrup and store it in frames.
 
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