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Any reason, with an insulated box on top and a jar feeder, that one couldn't just leave syrup on all winter and periodically check it? My thought is that by lifting the box to check stores I'll un-caulk the cracks, disturb the bees etc. Checking the jar is a simple peek under the cover. Any harm in feeding, "need-it-or-not", overwinter?
 

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you cook up sugar water till it is hard it is stored in boards like hive tops you can look them up there are places on the web you can find how they are made
 

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I use a mixture of sugar and corn syrup in the microwave for about 10 minutes stirring ever 2 mintues. I can't remember the exact ratio since I haven't done it in almost a year but like George said look on the net and you will find it. Then I pour it out into a wooden mold lined with newspaper that is the same dimensions as the interior of the hive body. Let it cool and pop it out and palce in the hive newspaper and all. You could also use a small cookie sheet or pan but make sure it is coated good becasue it is VERY sticky. My wife prefers I keep my beekeeping as far away from her kitchen utensils as possible.
 

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There have been a number of discussions concerning this topic, but here is a short over view of what I do.
Our winters have minimum temperatures that ranges to about -30F.
I prepare my hives for winter with the intensions of feeding syrup into early winter and starting again in late winter. I feed syrup into mid December and start again in February.
I feed a light syrup in the fall to boost the winter population and again in the mid February to jump start the hive for spring.
I have left jars on all winter without them breaking.
During the middle of winter I place granulated sugar on paper on the top bars.
I set my hives up with an empty box on top and wrap them with roofing paper. I place the inner cover on top of the empty box.
There are pictures of some of this on my website.
 

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Some of the feeding techniques I see involving inverted jars over the inner cover look like they would cut off the small amount of ventilation you would ordinarily get through the hole in the inner cover.
is this considered acceptable or is some other ventilation provided?
the old timer nearby put's the jars on two 3/8" shims over the inner cover hole to give the bee's a beespace and presumably allow this ventilation

Dave
 

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I really like to make my own inner covers (at least I did before I went to top entrances and quit using them). I'd put two screened holes the size of a jar (like the double feeder from Walter T. Kelley above except in the inner cover) and only put one jar on. The other screened hole would serve for ventilation. This worked well.
 

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I place the jars on the top bars and put the inner cover on top of the empty box.
This allows you to place syrup where the cluster is, as opposed to the cluster trying to move to the syrup.
Many times in the winter when the cluster moves up they are to the side of the hole in the inner cover and have trouble using the feeders.
 

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Last winter I fed one of my hives all winter with syrup and granulated sugar(it was my best
producing hive) with the hopes of a super crop.
By early spring the hive was fit to be tied and guess what, they swarmed and I got nothing this year from that hive. The other hives I did not feed did great. Moral to this story... If you feed watch them close.
 

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What about top feeders? I live in south Texas and our winters are relatively mild, maybe reaching freezing a few days a year.
 

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No harm feeding all winter. The weaker the hive the closer the carbs need to be to the cluster. I like using frame feeders. If I have a concern about cooling the hive off too much I just mark the hive top to indicate what side the feeder is on and crack just that end.

The guy in Canada (HoneyBeeWorld) fed in snow so I don't think efficient feeding would be detrimental to your hive.
 

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I have not found popping the covers to take a look at a colony or to add more feed to cause any harm.
I use the empty box to minimize the disturbance of the cluster.
I have opened tops with temperatures in the teens, if not colder.
With the black wrap and solar gain. Then with the syrup or other feed added you are putting more energy into the system then you are losing by opening the hive.
 

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>>I place the jars on the top bars and put the inner cover on top of the empty box

Are the bees not coming out when opening hive
in this kind of set up when filling syrup?

I have a hole in the inner cover [not screened], where I feed them and sometimes the bees want to come out when active. :mad:
Can I put a metal screen on and feeding them over the screen?
My empty box sits on top of the inner cover, insulated, it helps keep the syrup warm and the bees can feed longer into the Winter.

Konrad
 

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You can put #8 hardare colth on top of the inner cover hole and put the jar on top of that and the bees CAN'T fly out. Or ou can use a hole saw to make holes the size of mason jar lid and put the #8 on the bottom and push the jar down into the hole onto the hardware cloth. Or you can buy or make one of these:

http://go.netgrab.com/secure/kelleystore/asp/product.asp?product=219

and accomplish the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I made a Tarheit-style ventilation/feeding box/upper entrance with a couple changes: the feeding/vent hole has a screened insert for doing just that: http://img337.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cagingqueen95050098rf.jpg

http://img345.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cagingqueen95050114nj.jpg

The insert has beespace on the sides that are occluded in the picture by the crosswise braces. Rotating it 90 degrees opens those up. When not feeding it's removed altogether to allow the bees to easily patrol and clean out the box. I feed with a half-gallon Mason jar except for really heavy feeding when I've used a Miller feeder. My plan is to fill around the jar with insulation (a second shallow is required to accomodate the jar).
 

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Are the bees not coming out when opening hive in this kind of set up when filling syrup?

-During weather when they can fly they will at times fly out of the open box - Not a problem.
When it is too cold to fly - they don’t.

I have a hole in the inner cover [not screened], where I feed them and sometimes the bees want to come out when active.
Can I put a metal screen on and feeding them over the screen?

-The problem that I have found with feeding over the inner is that if the cluster is not centered, then they don’t get to use the feeders continuously. Feeding on the top bars allows you to place as more feeders and place them where the cluster is located. The cluster does not have to climb above the top bar and can feed as a cluster / group. Also, with the inner cover in place to access the food stores situation, you have to pop it. If the cluster is up against the inner cover, you have now just disturbed them.

My empty box sits on top of the inner cover, insulated, it helps keep the syrup warm and the bees can feed longer into the Winter.

-With an empty box and jars on the top bars, I can feed well into winter. They still use the feeds with temps in the 20’s with the hives wrapped. I also start feeding mid February when temps can still be in the sub 0F range at night and single digits during the day.
The solar gain from the wrap and the heat generated by the cluster keep the syrup from freezing.
 

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Ive done basicly the same thing as MountainCamp I'll take 1 or 2...5 pound bags of sugar and set it just above the brood nest and make a slit in the top of the bag and pour some water through the slit so the sugar will set up some.The bees start working the top of the bag and after awhile work through the bottom of the bag.
 
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