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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
After 10 years of Langstroths, I bought Dr. Sharashkin's horizontal hive. I installed a package of bees two weeks ago, using 6 frames of wax foundation, and a raised division board. There is no comb, since this is my first Layens type hive.
So the bees need to quickly make some.
My problem is that I can't get them to take food. I placed a top feeder with syrup over on the unpopulated side of the box, thinking they would go under the division board and fly up to the opening in the feeder. But they show no interest in it. Then I placed a brick of sugar, and a pollen patty under the division board protruding into the brood chamber side. But no takers.
They are busily building comb, but where they are getting nutrition from, I don't know.
Why do they not got to the syrup? All the Langstroth hives are slurping it down.
How long is the queen able to wait for enough comb to be built? Should I worry?

Area: Mountain Valley near Whistler, BC
 

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You really want to be feeding from the top of the frames at this time - and that is an immediate problem with Sharashkin hives by design.
Solve that somehow.
This issue has been discussed to the death in this forum - touching top bars are a PITA in the conditions when you want to efficiently feed in cool/cold conditions (like in spring in northern regions).

But you never said if your bees are flying or not - regarding "where they get their nutrition".
Maybe they are getting the nutrition naturally by foraging?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You really want to be feeding from the top of the frames at this time - and that is an immediate problem with Sharashkin hives by design.
Solve that somehow.
This issue has been discussed to the death in this forum - touching top bars are a PITA in the conditions when you want to efficiently feed in cool/cold conditions (like in spring in northern regions).

But you never said if your bees are flying or not - regarding "where they get their nutrition".
Maybe they are getting the nutrition naturally by foraging?
You really want to be feeding from the top of the frames at this time - and that is an immediate problem with Sharashkin hives by design.
Solve that somehow.
This issue has been discussed to the death in this forum - touching top bars are a PITA in the conditions when you want to efficiently feed in cool/cold conditions (like in spring in northern regions).

But you never said if your bees are flying or not - regarding "where they get their nutrition".
Maybe they are getting the nutrition naturally by foraging?
Thanks for your reply.
I'm surprised that the bees don't navigate under the division board to the top feeder on the other side. Normally, they go crazy when syrup is anywhere in the vicinity. Is this a feature of horizontal hives, or just an anomaly in my case?

Yes, they are flying, and building comb.

Can you direct me to the discussions on this topic you say has been "discussed to death? My search was not too productive.

Maybe I'm just not smart enough, but I can't se how to install a top feeder over the brood chamber without removing at least 2 frames and leaving a large gap between frames.

Thanks
 

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Maybe I'm just not smart enough, but I can't se how to install a top feeder over the brood chamber without removing at least 2 frames and leaving a large gap between frames.
The issue is that Sharashkin has this idea that the bees need NOT be fed.
However, whatever works for him at the Missouri Ozarks, does not by default work for everyone else (especially North).
His touching top bars are more hassle than help - this is the exact issue you are just experiencing.

Your bees are flying and foraging and so then you don't have an issue anyway.
Why don't you post a picture of how are you are trying to feed?
I don't want to comment much without understanding the problem.

Taking the feed from around the follower board (NOT division board) is a common technique I use all the time in my long hives.
It will not work if it too cold, but at the moment at your location it should not be an issue.

Just review what people are talking about in the Horizontal hive sub-forum.

Even by looking at the topics names, you'll find plenty of material before too long.
Your issue is nothing new.
Here one recent talk:
 

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OK, I suspect the issue is this - and a raised division board.

It maybe still too cold at your location for the bees to go UNDER the board.
At the moment they bees avoid cold and stick around the warm places (like the upper parts of your hive).
You should instead be using the "go-around"/"go-through" follower board (not division board) so bees can cross it without going under.

See here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right. I read some of the posts, thanks, and it seems lack of access for top feeding is not a bug but a feature of Sharashkin's hives. I emailed him, and he suggested using a Layens frame feeder.
 

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Right. I read some of the posts, thanks, and it seems lack of access for top feeding is not a bug but a feature of Sharashkin's hives. I emailed him, and he suggested using a Layens frame feeder.
Right, it is a bug-feature and so now he can sell you the very special "Layens frame feeder". :)
Going forward, modify existing frames/make new frames that are "pass through" and use them with a soft cover.
All it is to it.

While touching top bars are a true feature of the classic TBH, any framed hive has no real dependency whatsoever on the touching top bars.
As well, those touching top bars have no real practical value in any other context (but the classic TBH) - but they do create many unnecessary hassles in practice.

Here is a quick hack:
  • drill few holes using 1/2" bit in the adjacent frames (hold them tight together somehow)
  • do it so to just make the hole thru
  • 3-4 holes is enough to feed the bees through them in any way you wish
  • if not willing to bother with this, just make 1/4" hole between two frame by moving them apart and feed (later in season you will close it back)

62919
 
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