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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hives
  • 10 frame foundationless mediums
  • average frames of drawn comb per box: 9.3
  • boxes per hive: 3, 3, 2, 2, 2
  • weights (includes screened bottom board + inner cover): I weighed my most and least active hives.
    - most active (3 boxes): 45 lbs
    - least active (2 boxes): 50 lbs
Weights for calculations
  • from people's posts here
    - honey in a medium: 32 lbs
    - empty medium: 13 lbs
  • my inner cover + bottom board: 7 lbs
Last year I open fed 33 lbs/hive with no robbing.

I made a tiny test feeder out of a pill bottle to test open feeding. Its ignored. I can't find any advice on how to feed without them ignoring it. Any suggestions for getting them to eat open feed would help.

I don't like closed feeding syrup, but I plan on trying it. I asked for closed feeder advice. People suggested inversion feeders. They wouldn't explain the benefit and whether the feeders will be ignored.

I plan on making a hybrid feeder. Most syrup will be in a large container with dry wood and grass. There will be a tiny inversion feeder (in case there's a benefit to inversion feeding). This will be infinitely cheaper and easier to make than a pure inversion feeder, and have >100x the feeding surface area. I'm not ready to invest in 4 paint cans. Each hive will be fed once (no refills).

Should the amount to feed be based on having a certain amount of comb that's not filled with 2:1 syrup immediately after feeding? After feeding, I want to equalize, and add 1 or 2 boxes (total) to the 5 hives. The goal is to have 2 frames that are empty enough to fit 4-8 lbs of sugar bricks in.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
In his video, Michael Palmer defined the hive weight as that of the inner cover, solid bottom, and boxes. I estimate his cover + bottom is 10 lbs, and mine are 3 lbs lighter. He feeds 2:1 to get to a high end of 160 lbs is for a 2 deep 1 medium hive. Converting that to a 4 medium hive and subtracting the cover/bottom weight, that's 37.5 lbs per medium. If I had solid bottoms, that's 122.5 lbs for a 3 medium hive.

The average weight of a medium box I weighed is 16.2 lbs. 38 lbs/box seems like a good target. It's similar to other sources, a little more than Palmer feeds, and doesn't include sugar bricks. I'm in a warmer place, but don't have frugal bees. That's 21.8 lbs 2:1 syrup. Subtracting water weight, that's 14.53 lbs/box. The plan is to feed 174.4 lbs sugar (261.6 lbs 2:1).
 

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I am in the same boat but I won't weigh my hives as I just can't.

I did inside feeding and open feeding. While Open feeding I can put out much more, it was all taken, 2 almost full 5 gallon buckets, but I had a TON of dead bees. I am guessing this is due to the drought and they just piled on one another till they drown the bottom bees :(
I won't do that again.... course I now have 2 buckets with holes drilled in them :waiting:

I will be going with how they look on the frames. I too use Foundationless frames. While there was rain and nectar earlier I put on the 2nd deep to get them to build out more for Winter. That didn't work out well as it stopped raining and the high heat started :(

When were you last in the hives? Is your "boxes per hive: 3, 3, 2, 2, 2" mean you have 5 hives and 2 have 3 medium boxes, etc?

I see that you posted this last week on a Thursday, have you been back in them since then ?

FYI, when I open fed I colored the syrup Green. I am sure someone around here has Green 'honey' right about now :lpf:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes (2.4 med/hive average).

I froze a nectar frame from 2 weeks earlier. I triggered feeding next to the hives with that and a small feeder. Once full of bees, I moved these to the big feeders. They will finish today (day 4). They're slow. Entrances are ~2 cm^2. Lots of bees died outside the feeders. I want to try rye floats. I think it will be better than marsh hay.

feeding.jpg
day 2

I might make small versions of these feeders to put in hives.
 

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