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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen the posts on the OA treatment with the flint glass tubing and test tube method. Then I've read the posts on the various feeders and how the bees drown in the syrup etc. I got to wondering (might be my mistake)!
I usually have a vent hole in the rear of my top supers that I pull the wine cork out of in the summer when it's really hot out. Now I know the black tapered rubber stoppers I see in the Materials Lab at work come in all sizes, with and without holes. I know there is also clear tubing that I've seen in the lab and also at Lowe's.
So if one were to take a clean plastic vinegar jug with a hole in the side towards the bottom, insert a black tapered rubber stopper in with a hole in it. Run the clear tubing from the jub, through another stopper with a hole in it which has now replaced the wine cork in the vent hole in the top super, and lay it across the frame tops. Now the end of the tubing inside the hive is stopped with a solid stopper. The tubing can be pricked with numerous small holes making it like those garden soaker hoses. The bees would be able to suck out the syrup from the tubing,not drown, and you'd be able to monitor the amount of syrup used just by looking at the jug sitting on top of the hive. It could be filled without even having to open the hive up.
Okay MB, I know you like to experiment with things,go ahead and pick this apart! It was just a thought and it didn't cost me anything yet!
 

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I'd try the setup outside the hive first and make sure the syrup doesn't just trickle out on it's own. But if it doesn't it might work. I don't know how you're going to make the holes. What kind of tubing is on top of the frames? Glass? The important thing is that the syrup doesn't just run out and drown the bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, the tubing is of the clear plastic (acrylic) type. Check out Lowe's,lab supplies,etc. I don't think finding it is a problem. As for holes,a hot needle should work great! 50 pin prick holes along the 18 inches of tubing lying inside the hive on the frames should do it! I think with everthing closed up,the jug, tight stopper in the jug,the bees sucking action would probably put a vacuum on the jug. I don't think the syrup would just run out all over as if the top were off the jug.
Plastic tubing....wine makers supplies?????
My reference to the OA pipe and glass tube was an example only of how it was passed through the stopper with the hole in it, and on into the hive. The stopper also acted as a seal when pushed into the hole in the super. We'd be doing the same only with flexible plastic tubing.
 

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I use the same method in all my topbars I just took it one step further, Lay a tray in the bottom, mount the tube on the inside of the tray tight to one side and about 1/8 inch from the bottom. the syrup will flow into the tray untill it covers the hose as soon as the level drops and air is introduced it will refill. the bigger the tray the more bees can feed. I use a container that has a valve so it can be refilled without worrying about the syrup running thru when you open it. In your case the tray can rest on top of the frames. The same system can be used for open feeding or water. Works great and you don't need to open the hive. The container comes from a wine making supplier and the hose can be found at ant hardware or pet store (fish tank supplies). My first experiments were with thin diameter hose and failed because the vacume created was too great a larger diameter hose solved this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MIKI,
As I was just taking the trash out for my wife,it dawned on me why couldn't one use the styrofoam top from an egg carton for a tray?
Styrofoam doesn't seem to be of a slippery material like plastic or glass. It may present itself as having a gripping type of characteristic due to its nature and being formed into the lid that the bees wouldn't find it a problem to crawl in or out of. Egg cartion lids are cheap,plentiful and easily replaced.
A hole at top edge to pass the tubing through.
You say that in your set-up the syrup flows into the tray. Interesting, how fast is the flow? Picture if you would a 2 liter pop bottle with a plastic tube coming from the bottom. The bottle is positioned above the hive on a steel stake. Just like an I.V. bottle would be positioned above a hospital bed with the hose running into the vent hole of the hive and on into the egg carton top which is sitting on the frame topbars.
The reason I ask about flow speed is that what I've described seems to be a closed system which would act like when you empty a gas can. The gas trickles out very slowly until you pop the vent, then it pours out through the spout without resistance.
 

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You can use anything that will hold syrup, keep in mind it should be shallow enough to prevent drowning and heavy enough to be stable, and/or secured.
Flow rate initially is very fast untill the tray is full then as the srrup level goes down it is replaced. The same as a water bottle cooler works. You may want to use a 3 to 5 liter container. I use a 5 liter s I don't have to change as often. Keep in mind; if the hive is in full sun cover the continer.
If you are careful and don't spill any you can also minimize robbing problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can't speak for the hamster waterer.My thought on the tubing was that many little pricks the length of that which lies in the egg carton top would be more surface area for the bees to feed off. As for a hamster waterer, doesn't that have just the one tube with the ball in the end? How would the bees move the ball in order to get the syrup to flow?
 
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