Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I havn't built this system yet, but I am considering a feeding system with tubing run to individual hives so that I can feed from a common bucket/tank and avoid opening the hive and disrupting my bees or using an entrance feeder that requires frequent refilling and encourages hive robbing. This way I can keep syrup in new hives without having to disturb bees by opening their home every few days, especially when installing a new package on undrawn foundation.

Each hive would have a custom top feeder with a small float valve in it, like a miniature cattle stock tank. I have tried to attach a drawing which I think will describe a little more clearly what I am thinking. I am sure there are some modifications that would improve the design and effectiveness.

Bee Feeder System.jpg

Pros: -constant food supply
-no need to open hives for filling
-only have to fill one main feeder bucket instead of visiting each hive

Cons: -single float valve failure dumps entire bucket
-overflow potentially drenches bee hive

What do you think? Anyone have experience with any setup like this? Do the Pros of a system like this outweigh the Cons? What other Pros/Cons did I miss?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Something to consider : you are creating a system that will attract critters and that you will need to work around. There are feeders that sit on top of the brood boxes yet underneath the inner cover. Check out thefatbeeman 's design. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
Ben, interesting idea. Try it out and see, it doesn't look like it would be an expensive trial. At first look the only drawback i see is that you are unlikely to be able to tell the individual rates of consumption.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,186 Posts
I am from the FUTURE! I see a great puddle of syrup around one hive where something broke a capillary line! Masses of dead bees drowning in that syrup and robbing everywhere! Lord it is an ugly thing! Too many balls in the air to juggle this and just not worth the trouble. If it is an interesting challenge and you have the time and money, go for it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,324 Posts
I like it.
I think it may have a bunch of benifits.

I've got a chemical pump that runs on a timer I have similar plans for if I ever take the time to fool with it.

Instead of a float why no figure out a way to dispense a bit each day ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help. Sounds like this system might work better as an individual feeder located at each hive. As in remove the common header, and use individual buckets so that I can tell what each hive is consuming. Sounds like someone else had tried the individual feeder mounted in a comb and it worked well enough to sell! Thanks again for everyone's help, I'll let you know how it works out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds like an individual feeder might be the way to go, thank you for your insight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Ben, I see the float valves as the problem. The theory works fine with water in a stock tank, but using sugar syrup makes everything a bit more sticky. Plus, if there is any crystallization at all on the valve, it could freeze the valve open or closed. Boysnbees top feeder sounds like something that would accomplish what you want to do. Search the Mann Lake web page for top feeder to see how the one that they have looks. A few small wooden sticks floating in the area accessed by the bees would be a help too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Plus, if there is any crystallization at all on the valve, it could freeze the valve open or closed.
Yeah, I haven't ever tried handling sugar water with a valve like this. That does seem like a big problem to me if deposits start to build up. I am hoping that if I can keep it submerged that there will be less buildup. We'll have to see how the trial run goes. I'll just have to set it up on a single hive first so that my casualties are minimized. Worth a try at least, I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
If the float valve sticks open, it's robbing time! Not to mention all your syrup ends up on the ground. The valve would have to be pretty robust for the sticky syrup environment.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
I agree, the float system is a problem. If it were me I would put a pet **** or simple plastic ball valve at each feeder and run a tube outside the box as a sight glass to see the level. Heck you can use a clamp valve that they use in hospitals for IV drip if your feed line is Tygon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
A solution looking for a problem . . .
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top