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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok,

I started feeding the girlz a few days ago. 1 hive took to it right away, the other it took a couple of days but are now sucking it down. With the chicken waterers, they hold about a gallon, and they are going through that very fast. Like a day or 36 hours. I'm wondering the following here....

1. How long will they actually feed realistically? I'm in southern maine.

2. Should I order hive top feeders if I can receive them in a week to 10 days and use them or by that time will it be too late to use them?

Also, how do people make the sugar water mixture in larger quantities easily? The wife is becoming weary of me boiling gallons of water on the stove with the sticky stuff dripping hear and there. :(

What do you think?

Thanks,
Bill

[ October 06, 2006, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: Bill Warren ]
 

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Do your mixing in the bottles themselves.

Weigh a full container. Take it's weight times .66. This is how much sugar you want to put into the container. Actually assume the container weight isn't negligable and round it down a bit.

Get a tea kettle and boil water. Fill the container so it is full, then stir or shake.

If you have more than a tea kettles worth then get two until you have enough that a hose at the hot water heater makes sense.

At least the sticky mess will be contained to your work area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is a great suggestion. A tap right at the exit of the furnace for extra hot h2o. hmm..seems easy enough.

Thanks John.
 

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I bought one of those Turkey cookers with a 5 or 6 gallon pot. I use the propane tank from my grill. I put 1 1/2 gal. water and 3 gal. sugar. I stir as it heats until it dissolves completely. All done outside.
 

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That's all I need. But then my hot is hot. Enough to clean honey equip and rinse lanolin out of the sheep fleeces.
Peace
 

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Turkey fryer.

That's a great idea too! A turkey fryer, a big ladle (so you can carry one containers worth of water), and your containers already loaded with sugar. Should be able to make 12-15 gallons at one time this way.

I added the ladle because I figure the you won't want to try and move the huge kettle of hot water or the hot containers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yup the turkey fryer with a spicket at the bottom to load gallon milk jugs would be great. I can be happy with toting around gallon jugs with sugar water to feed. No mess!
 

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I use the chicken waterers and hive tops. The hive tops are so much easier to refill and the bees will quickly move up into them if the weather is warm, but when it cools off I've found the bees are very reluctant to move up into the feeder. That's when the chick waterers come in handy. I'll set the waterer right on top of the frames and they continue to feed even in the cooler temps.

I make my syrup as concentrated as I can this time of year and they empty the containers slower. I use about 154 oz water with 20 lbs sugar.... makes about 3 gallons. By "weight" thats about 2:1
 

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>The wife is becoming weary of me boiling gallons of water on the stove with the sticky stuff dripping hear and there.

Join the club.

I bought a turker fryer last week. I love it. The spigot is great. It holds about eight gallons of syrup. I put 24 pints of water and 48 pounds of sugar in and it fills the container.

To make 2:1, I have to boil the water, add the sugar and heat for some time to get it to clear. Otherwise it all crystalizes in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yup. All the ones I've seen on amazon are around 30 qts. I'm making a list and checking it twice for next spring let me tell you.
 

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I use hot tap water and mix in gallon jugs. I make three jugs at a time, and my sugar comes in 4# bags, so 1-1/2 bags (6#) per jug filled a little less than full is approximately 2:1. My routine goes something like this:

1. Fill 3 jugs with sugar, vanilla drops, hottest tap water and cap
2. Shake to mix
3. Fill a little more water to get the jugs to the "2:1" line I drew on them
4. Shake to mix
5. Carry to the truck
6. Shake ALL JUGS IN THE TRUCK to mix
7. Repeat steps 1-7 for 3 new jugs (till done)

I've found I have to shake each jug well 4 or 5 times to get all the sugar dissolved. I now keep 12 jugs on hand so I always have some ready and fully dissolved. This system works well for me, and no boiling hassles.
 

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PA Pete,
I mix mine right in the gallon jugs with hot tap water also. When I mix heavy syrup it takes a little more stirring but works well for me without the hassle of heating.
I'm curious what the vanilla drops are for though, can you fill me in?
 

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Ok, I had a chance to try the method I suggested.

I use quart jars, so this was done at the quart jar scale. I had a couple of jars that put together would make one quart and a few empties. Here's what I did.

First I put a quart jar on my electronic scale and tared it. Next, I poured the left overs into the jar on the scale until I had the jar filled just below the top. Weight of syrup - 42 oz.

2:1 by weight means 28oz sugar to 14oz water.

Again with a tared empty jar on the scale. Poured dry sugar into the jar until 28oz. Pour boiling water from tea kettle untils full. It worked great.

Some observations:

The amount of sugar will fill the jar to just below the neck - top of the shoulder. Pretty full. Pour the hot water slowly and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon. (Ok, use whatever you want, but I fully encourage the use of wooden spoons.
) Once all of the sugar is wetted, fill the jar to the top, put on a lid, and shake it.

To test I made 3 quarts with this method (using the volume measure for the sugar as described above) and it worked great. No sugar syrup mess in the kitchen. Small dry sugar mess because a pixie flew through and caused me to loose my grip on the sugar bag. Really, it wasn't my fault.

Next time I will try it with hot tap water. I suspect success may be related to how hot we keep our hot water heaters.
 

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I went from 2 gallon container to 5 gallon bucket.. using the hotest tap water to initially disolve most of the sugar.. then add a pot of boiling water. I need a bigger/longer spoon.. had to get my hand wet/sticky to get the sugar on the bottom moving. Sealable lid is a must.
 
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