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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I bought enough equipment for two hives. Then these swarms came along and I'm fudging hives together until I can make a trip to Kelley's in a couple of weeks. So now I'm FORCED to temporarily use entrance feeders actually OUTSIDE on the entrances of the hives.

The #$%&* things are leaking like sieves. THere is sugar water running down the hives. Lids are on tight. I've even tried putting a little wood shim under the back ends to tilt the feeders up a little, which worked for a bit, but now is NOT working. This mess is what's attracting herds and herds of ants to the hives.

I have entrance reducers on all hives so I don't think the ants are attacking the hives--yet.
I see other people with entrance feeders and no leakage problems. What am I doing wrong? I have to go a couple more weeks like this. Help!

KyBee
 

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Entrance feeders.....like Boardman feeders?
What could be happening is the sun will warm and expand the syrup, pushing it out faster than the bees can take it up. Unless your loosing lots and lots of syup, this really isn't a huge issue. If the bees are not taking the syrup at all, then perhaps you don't need feeders of any kind.
As for the ants, they are not going to have much incentive to rob the hives if there is a free lunch outside. I have a small dish on honey in my basement office for the ants. They know where it is, its a never ending source, and they don't go all over the house looking for any other source.
So when you STOP feeding, you my have an issue. If your hives are strong, the bees may be able to deal with it. If not, putting the hives on elevated stands with pine tar on the posts works, as well as dones placing the posts in 100 oz tin cans filled with water.

Hope this helps....

J.R
 

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Caps not on tight or hole to big or too many holes. The holes just need to be big enough for a pin point to pass thru. These are just my guesses. My entrance feeders leak a little but the bees work the leaks. Also are they the older wooden type or the new plastic ones??? Mine are the wooden type, I have both types but prefer the wood ones the best.
Look at the others feeders and check out what the difference may be.
another option would be using a 1-gallon zip-lock baggie lay it across the top bars and cut 3-4 slits in it across the frames they cut down on robbing and almost no leaks. they do require additional space tho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks y'all. Mine are the plastic Boardman feeders--came with the caps already hole-punched from the supplier. I was using them inside the hives--just sitting the feeders on the top bars with an empty deep around them before--it's been this way since I hived the packages. But I'm running low on equipment as I said, the packages are getting ready to start their second deep brood boxes, and I don't have extra hive bodies or supers to feed with on top.

John, the leaks are not huge, just enough to make a mess, and the bees are taking the syrup, and I plan to feed until they stop because they're new and building a lot of wax. I want to help all I can. I bet you're right. The sun is heating up the jars now that they're on the outside and the temps have warmed WAY up this past week here. Our first truly summer-like weather. I guess inside the hives either the temps were moderated some, the sun didn't hit the jar, and the bees could more easily clean it up.

Silverfox I have not seen the wood boardman feeders. Maybe I just missed them in the Kelley catalog.

Unfortunately the hive stand cup idea won't work for me because I use concrete blocks for hive stands. :0/ Maybe I'll try some baking soda around the blocks to reduce the ant numbers.

KyBee
 

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I just used 2 to 1 mix that fixed my problem... if you need to add some sugar and let it plug up the holes a little... the bees will work it out.
 

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I've never used my entrance/Boardman feeders for anything but plain water. They make a good water source for each hive. It seems that most people (based on what I've read) think that the entrance feeders promote robbing, especially in the fall. I've had good success with using ziploc baggies on top of the inner cover with 2 small slits on the top side. Put an empty super on top of the inner cover then outer cover. Bees like it and I do too. Its not quite as easy as replacing that jar in front with a full one because you still have to open the top to take out the empties and put in more, but I don't mind. With only a few hives it works fine for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi kenpkr:
I agree that entrance feeders probably promote robbing.
But I tried the baggie method and drowned a bunch of my bees. I was using the boardman feeders as inside feeders--inside an empty deep hive body, and sitting on the top bars. They work great that way and no robbing. I am feeding outside now as a last resort because when I said in my post that I'm out of equipment, I mean I'm OUT of equipment--no more hive bodies to use as shelters for the top feeders. I won't do the baggie method again because I drowned so many bees. If I had empty boxes of any kind--supers or other-- available I would use that of course, but I don't. It'll be a couple of weeks before I get more probably. Right now it's entrance feeding or no feeding. I just don't think they're supposed to leak and let syrup run down the hives and onto the concrete blocks and the ground.
 

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Kybee; There is some sort of white paint they put on trees to keep ants off don't know what kind it is,find out and paint the cinder blocks, the wooden feeders are old style and prob. not available thru a catalog.
 

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i just started two new hives (i'm a beginner) and the entrance feeders that came with my hive were trash! i threw them in the woods out of aggrivation when installing my packages. they leaked all over the bottom board and wouldn't stop leeking. I set out cans of sugar syrup about 2 feet from each hive and they have been feeding off of that no problem so far.
 
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