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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to try this one more time. I hope I do not get knee-jerk insults. Just discuss the merits and negatives of the idea.

I have seen one video of a guy using porous hoses to feed sugar syrup to his bees.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR-DwOMmHPk

My idea is to hang this hose on a tree limb or branch and pump it with sugar syrup to have outside feeding for the entire apiary yard. The motivation for hanging is to avoid ants. I will be hanging this porous hose using .28mm nylon monofilament fishing twine. I have read that ants have trouble climbing thin nylon threads.

I may still have unwelcomed feeders from other nectar drinking insects, but hopefully, only the bees would drink most of my sugar syrup.

Of course, this only makes sense if you are feeding hundreds or even thousands of colonies.

I have 2 questions that some here may be able to answer.

1. How long do bees take to drink a full crop? In other words, once they start drinking, nectar or syrup, how long does it take for them to be full? I have searched the Internet for this answer without success. Does anyone with an outside feeder know this answer?

2. How many times in a 12-hour foraging period does a bee visit the same spot to drink. I've read that they come back to the same spot (i.e. flower) multiple times. I am trying to figure out the aggregate amount of time in a 12-hour period to allocate to one bee.

The intent of the above questions is to try to figure out the length of the hose needed for a certain number of bees, much like how cattle, goat and chicken growers try to figure out the number of feeding stalls or feeding spaces to provide to avoid fighting and crowding as they feed their livestock.

Does anyone have experience with this?

I am aware of some of the problems with outside feeding but I think I can mitigate them. I hope this thread does not devolve into a discussion of the merits and negatives of outside feeding. That topic is for a different thread.

Once again, someone will suggest I measure this myself. Alas, like I said, I have Apis cerana. I would like to figure this out for Apis mellifera.
 

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Wow, what a terrible idea in that video. Its a bad idea made even worse by placing the hose right in front of the hives. He may as well put up a flshing billboard that says "I've got lots of stuff, please come and rob my unsecured house." Another big problem with the hose is it going to leak all night long, and if the bees find a nectar source they like better it is still going to run syrup and let it drip onto the ground. Did you read the comments below the video, the person who made the video only uses it for 1:1 feeding, and it has to be constantly monitored.

I suggest you direct your effort towards ant proofing your hive stands and then using hive top feeders. This has the added advantage of (at the risk being pedantic and stating the obvious) keeping the ants out of your hives. You can track how much syrup the hive is actually using, and you feed only the hives that need it, keeping sugar syrup from ending up in honey supers.

If you want to open feed there are better, and much easier, ways than using a soaker hose, including ant proof ways. Ways that don't have to be monitored all day long and then require a person to come and shut if off at night.

A summer sized healthy apis mellifera colony will store up to 5kg of 2:1 sugar syrup in a 24 hour period using a hive top feeder. A spring time hive will store less, and that will depend on the colony strength. In a hive top feeder the bees can continue to store syrup at night time, where as in open feeding they do not fly at night. Your local weather report will give you your local sunrise and sunset times, you can figure put the proportion of a day the bees can work and multiply that by 5kg to get a storage rate. 2:1 sugar syrup has a density of 1.3kg/l. A soaker hose label should indicate the flow rate. That should be all of the information you need to do the math and figure out what you need to make a prototype.

You scoffed in advance at people making a suggestion you measure this yourself. If you want to be an inventor then be an inventor. If you want to engineer something then do the engineering. Prototype, measure and observe, calculate your results, make refinements, build a second improved prototype, repeat the refinement process. You offered the excuse that you cant measure because you have apis cerena and want apis mellifera data, but can you even answer your own questions for apis cerena?
 

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I would not get farther than thinking about mold inside the hose before going back to conventional thinking. It is not that hard to feed inside. or open feed in trough feeder.
 

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Been known to feed a stray cat too, but those go to the shelter.
 

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I have a cat. It isn't a stray. I got it from a lady with a box of kittens out front of Walmart. I see it once or twice a week. It meows at the door until I let it in. It eats, sleeps for a while, nuzzles up for some neck scratches, it might spend the night. Then it meows at the door until I let it out. I won't see it again for a few days. Once it came home with a collar. I took it off and put a different collar on it. It came back with no collar. I think it has at least three different homes, probably more. It thinks it is the owner of the humans. I still feed it. It likes to sit on the beehives. The birds know bees live there. The cat knows the birds know bees live there. The birds risk the cat anyways. Sometimes they pay for taking that risk. That may or may not have something to do with the discussion, but I'm not sure exactly what that would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Wow, what a terrible idea in that video. Its a bad idea made even worse by placing the hose right in front of the hives. He may as well put up a flshing billboard that says "I've got lots of stuff, please come and rob my unsecured house." Another big problem with the hose is it going to leak all night long, and if the bees find a nectar source they like better it is still going to run syrup and let it drip onto the ground. Did you read the comments below the video, the person who made the video only uses it for 1:1 feeding, and it has to be constantly monitored.
Some of your objections can be mitigated. You can hang the hoses higher up the trees further away from the hives. This should minimize the robbing impulse. You do not have to monitor it all day long. Just use a small dosing pump with a timer to turn it on at dawn and turn it off at dusk.

To minimize dripping and wastage, ensure that the length of the hose is correct such that it is always full of bees. That way, the bees will lap up the syrup before it has a chance to drip. Hence, it was critical for me to calculate and correctly estimate the length of the hose.

I suggest you direct your effort towards ant proofing your hive stands and then using hive top feeders. This has the added advantage of (at the risk being pedantic and stating the obvious) keeping the ants out of your hives. You can track how much syrup the hive is actually using, and you feed only the hives that need it, keeping sugar syrup from ending up in honey supers.
Yes, my hives will be ant-proof. It will stand on 4 PVC pipes that will be coated with either grease, veg-oil or some other anti-ant substance.

If you want to open feed there are better, and much easier, ways than using a soaker hose, including ant proof ways. Ways that don't have to be monitored all day long and then require a person to come and shut if off at night.
Yes, there are other ways, but all of these other ways are very labor intensive. They're good for a couple dozen colonies but if you have thousands, individual bucket feeding is simply too labor intensive and quite contrary to the bees natural behaviour. At least for a hanging hose, you are promoting the bees' natural instinct for foraging. I suspect that a hanging hose will appear to them as a flower. They won't know the difference especially if the hose is brightly colored like a flower. (though I am not sure if they can manufacture these soaker hoses in different colors other than black)

A summer sized healthy apis mellifera colony will store up to 5kg of 2:1 sugar syrup in a 24 hour period using a hive top feeder. A spring time hive will store less, and that will depend on the colony strength. In a hive top feeder the bees can continue to store syrup at night time, where as in open feeding they do not fly at night. Your local weather report will give you your local sunrise and sunset times, you can figure put the proportion of a day the bees can work and multiply that by 5kg to get a storage rate. 2:1 sugar syrup has a density of 1.3kg/l. A soaker hose label should indicate the flow rate. That should be all of the information you need to do the math and figure out what you need to make a prototype.
This is great, this is a good start. In your estimate, how big is the colony that is able to collect 5kg of syrup in a day. 30,000? 60,000? My cerana colonies will never drink that much. In your 24 hour period, are you considering whether the bees are drinking at night? If so, what proportion are drinking at night, cause I believe some of them will be sleeping?

You scoffed in advance at people making a suggestion you measure this yourself. If you want to be an inventor then be an inventor. If you want to engineer something then do the engineering. Prototype, measure and observe, calculate your results, make refinements, build a second improved prototype, repeat the refinement process. You offered the excuse that you cant measure because you have apis cerena and want apis mellifera data, but can you even answer your own questions for apis cerena?
Absolutely. My cerana girls make a cluster around the hoses at a density of about 6-8 bees per inch. I could not estimate the number of times or the total aggregate time for them drinking in a day. I allocated an hour of time each day for each forager. The hose appear packed with bees just like in the video but I don't know if that is optimal. Mellifera of course is bigger so I don't know if my density figures will hold up. In fact, I don't think it will hold up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would not get farther than thinking about mold inside the hose before going back to conventional thinking. It is not that hard to feed inside. or open feed in trough feeder.
Yes, I've thought about the mold problem and I think it can be mitigated. I could feed syrup one day and run pure water the next. By alternating, I could wash out the residual sugar inside the hose to minimize mold issues.

Like I said, open feeding is too labor intensive. Trough feeding is too expensive. I am thinking for a setup with thousands of colonies, not a few dozen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stop feeding the troll folks, this troll is incessant and will not go away if you dont stop feeding.
Go away please. I am not Trolling you or this forum. You are not worthy enough for me to troll or to waste my time with.

These are legitimate issues we are discussing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Been known to feed a stray cat too, but those go to the shelter.
Yes, I have thought about wild critters feeding off my hoses. Like I say, I plan to hang them on thin nylon twine to prevent ants. I don't think any other land critters can reach them.

The only remaining critters would be the insects or maybe small birds. I don't know how to mitigate those other than making sure the hoses are always packed with lapping bees.
 
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