Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, thankfully we got our hives ready to go well in advance to package delivery day. Just got word this morning that we'll be getting our bees on Saturday morning (4/5) instead of the original date of 4/26. The hives are ready to go with the exception of finishing up the follower board (just need to screw it to a top bar) and to make the decision of exactly how to feed them.

My original plan was to use an old entrance feeder and cut a notch in the bottom of the follower board with the jar/jug sitting behind it with bee access from the opposite side. Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a better idea to find a small trash basket or small bucket and do a bucket feeder with floats for them. That would enable me to be able to get the bucket right into/touching the cluster to help them through the first week of still having relatively cool nights. Should I be making sugar bricks or some sort of feed they'll be more readily able to take in the cold as a backup?

This will be an entirely new TBH install.
Here's the next week of weather here for reference: High/Low/Conditions
Apr 5
53°/33°/Sunny

Apr 6
59°/37°/Mostly Cloudy

Apr 7
53°/35°/Few Showers

April 8
54°/31°/Mostly Cloudy

April 9
56°/40°/Mostly Sunny

Apr 10
68°/41°/Partly Cloudy

Apr 11
62°/39°/Mostly Sunny

Apr 12
57°/40°/Mostly Sunny
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,271 Posts
If you do notch the follower board, that would enable you to refill the feeder jar without actually getting into the hive and disturbing the new packages. By doing so you could replace the feeder jar with 'warmed-up' syrup on cold mornings.
 

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
That was another "bright side" to that particular feeding approach. What can I expect a three pound package to eat per day roughly? Ball park estimate... are we talking a pint, a quart, or a gallon... most likely?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,271 Posts
The packages I installed in spring 2012 took less than a quart a day. We had an early spring that year and my packages (raised about 60 miles away) were picked up two weeks earlier than the original date. In 10 days or less they weren't much interested in syrup anymore and I quit offering it. Syrup consumption by new packages is quite variable IMO and dependent on local nectar availability.
 

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We certainly don't have any nectar going on right now. I think we're started to get some pollen in the last few days, however. My honeyberries have started to bud out, but my apple tree and blueberries haven't even started to swell.

Maple and elm pollen right now according to pollen.com.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
We certainly don't have any nectar going on right now. I think we're started to get some pollen in the last few days, however. My honeyberries have started to bud out, but my apple tree and blueberries haven't even started to swell.

Maple and elm pollen right now according to pollen.com.
What Rader said I "second". Last year I did an Inside through-follower-board feeder first 2 weeks. Mine took less that quart a day/ 3 lb package. Syrup easy to refill due to divider. The bees happily ate syrup and built comb Fast for me during that time and our weather last year sounds Very Much like yours .I was a little worried about how cold the nights were at first but my package did fine on syrup. My notes say they flew on days as cold as 52 degrees as long as it wasn't windy or rainy and found pollen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,747 Posts
JW: Consider yourself fortunate to be getting early April packages. As someone who has installed lots of them in Iowa at that time of year, the additional brood rearing time is truly "money in the bank" as compared to several weeks later. Your forecast is ideal. If you have the equipment I would recommend an inverted jar or pail directly on the cluster. However you choose to do it, make it a priority to minimize robbing danger and be neat and avoid syrup dripping out of any entrances.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,271 Posts
Jim always offers knowledgeable advice, but he may not realize that this is the TBH forum. :) Placing feeders directly above a cluster is not easy with most TBH designs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,747 Posts
Jim always offers knowledgeable advice, but he may not realize that this is the TBH forum. :) Placing feeders directly above a cluster is not easy with most TBH designs.
Oops:eek:
 

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all, a rough idea of how much they should be eating will keep me from worrying too much since I don't really know how much they should be. I'm thinking I may keep the initial number of bars offered pretty small to begin with so that the cluster almost can't be out of contact with the feeder.

I'm also planning on having a top entrance about 1/2" gap on one end instead of covering with top bars. I'm guessing I should probably not leave the entire 19" or so open? I was planning on making a skinny spacer with a few notches or holes in it to help reduce the entrance size initially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Jim always offers knowledgeable advice, but he may not realize that this is the TBH forum. :) Placing feeders directly above a cluster is not easy with most TBH designs.
True, that's why I love my system of feeding through a hole in the bottom board. With enough of them at strategic spots, I can usually place a jar of syrup directly below the cluster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
I'm gonna guess you are getting these from Eberts? If so are you really getting them with all the rain in NorCal this week? Did the confirm they were on the truck already? Feed from above!!!! With the weather in much of Iowa pretty cold right now I bet there are going to be a lot of sad beeks who fed their packages improperly and will open them up next week to find a shredded hundred dollar bill on the floor board....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Hi, I know it's kind of late but I thought you would like to see the feeder I used last spring on my new package install on my tbh. It worked great and you didn't have to open hive to feed. Monty Room Stairs Wood Floor Plywood

Well, thankfully we got our hives ready to go well in advance to package delivery day. Just got word this morning that we'll be getting our bees on Saturday morning (4/5) instead of the original date of 4/26. The hives are ready to go with the exception of finishing up the follower board (just need to screw it to a top bar) and to make the decision of exactly how to feed them.

My original plan was to use an old entrance feeder and cut a notch in the bottom of the follower board with the jar/jug sitting behind it with bee access from the opposite side. Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a better idea to find a small trash basket or small bucket and do a bucket feeder with floats for them. That would enable me to be able to get the bucket right into/touching the cluster to help them through the first week of still having relatively cool nights. Should I be making sugar bricks or some sort of feed they'll be more readily able to take in the cold as a backup?

This will be an entirely new TBH install.
Here's the next week of weather here for reference: High/Low/Conditions
Apr 5
53°/33°/Sunny

Apr 6
59°/37°/Mostly Cloudy

Apr 7
53°/35°/Few Showers

April 8
54°/31°/Mostly Cloudy

April 9
56°/40°/Mostly Sunny

Apr 10
68°/41°/Partly Cloudy

Apr 11
62°/39°/Mostly Sunny

Apr 12
57°/40°/Mostly Sunny
 

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got them installed yesterday afternoon, it went well... at least as far as I could tell. It was cool enough that the bees seemed pretty lathargic and dumped well out of the package. Queen looked good and lively. They clustered up pretty good before dark. They clustered towards the feeder side (went with jars behind the follower board with notch). Which is near where I hanged the queen cage. They piled up on her immediately. I'm going to go check them i a few hours when its warmer to see if anything is flying and to peak in the window to see if they have taken any syrup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
In my lang hives in the fall I feed with a ziplock bag with a small slit cut it in. Is it possible to simply put one of these on the floor of the top bar for feeding? Also, if I want to feed pollen sub, how do you best feed that in a top bar?
 

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Checked on them today, look through the window for a few seconds, noticed they took about half of each of two pint jars we had in there. And I also noticed the cluster had moved away from the queen cage overnight with only a few bees clinging to the cage. So I popped open the bar she was hanging on to remove what I figured was an empty cage. The queen was still inside. I made the call to release her, she walked out and I put her near the bottom of the cluster and closed it all back up. I was not planning on doing anything other than filling syrup but seeing her cage outside of the cluster worried me. Hopefully she wasn't the odd queen out if another was loose in the package. This afternoon I headed back up to see if they were flying and there was a lot of activity, got closer and noticed a few bees wrestling on top of the hive roof. Robbing? I dont really know what to look for in that regard. There wasn't much activity at the entrance. Lots of poop all over the roof and front from bees that had been cooped up in a cage for a few days. There looked like they were trying to sting each other, but didn't see any actual stinging occur I don't think.

Should I be concerned about "robbing"?
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top