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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone my name is Derek and I just installed three packages into three brand new hives last week.
I checked them yesterday to see if they were out of the sugar water I gave them at the time and they pretty much were.
I used something called a BeeSmart Ultimate Hive Feeder and Waterer.
I started each hive with two deep supers, and added on a empty medium super, putting the hive feeder on top of some of
the topmost deep super frames in one corner. Each feeder holds about a gallon of sugar water.
When I checked them yesterday two of the three had built ALOT of burr comb attached to the underside of the outer cover.
And although I won't be doing a full inspection of the hives until Saturday, I did not notice any drawn comb on the frames foundation
in the two hives that built the irregular burr combs attached to the underside of the outer covers.
The third SEEMS to be doing what they are supposed to, but the first two do not seem to be.
My queens are all marked and clipped so they cannot fly, and removing the burr combs from the hives might remove them
from the hives also.
Should I remove the burr combs that they have made in the empty medium supers that have the feeder in it?
Should I stop using these feeders, and go with something more basic like a perforated can, so I can put the inner cover
in and place the can over the hole, thus keeping the bees out of that empty medium super?
I am sorry to be asking all these questions, but I really need your help, and soon.
I will be inspecting and manipulating the hives tomorrow, in the afternoon or early evening.

l)erek
 

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What kind of foundation are you using in the two deep supers?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think that they are plasticell, made out of plastic.
This is the link to the hive kits I ordered if that is any help.

http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=90&products_id=829

One of the three hives is using the frames, but the other two so far have not, but I was wondering if
it might be because of how I have the feeding arranged.

All three packages of bees came from Draper's Bees, they are "All American" bees.

l)erek
 

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When I start a new package, I put it in one deep. Then I add a screened inner cover on which I sit a feeder jar. I cover that with a completely empty deep, and finally I add the telescoping lid. That way, the only place the bees can build any comb is down on the frames and the feeder is protected from robbers. A standard inner cover will work just as well as my screened inner cover.

Personally I suspect you have given your packages too much space too soon and they just don't know what to do with it, so they are building from the roof.

JMO

Rusty
 

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Typically when I've seen feeders used like the one you describe, they put on the deep(s) and then an inner cover and then an empty super on top of that, with the feeder resting on the inner cover. This is because bees don't consider that part of their hive and bring it down.

But I would remove that burr comb before you end up with a bee gum, personally.
 

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Sometimes bees will be hesitant to build on the plasticell unless there is a strong flow on. I help this along by adding hot beeswax to the plasticell with a paintbrush or roller before placing in my hives. Starting with the two deep supers is also too much room for a standard package IMHO. I would start with one deep initially and add on after they start drawing comb and laying brood and filling with pollen, nectar and honey. That type of feeder will tend to promote burr com in the empty super especially if they don't find the plasticell attractive.
xxx.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That was kinda what I was thinking dynemd.
I am going to abandon those feeders and go back to the metal cans
the bees fed on during their trip here in the package.
I do have a question about those metal cans.
Neither the top or bottom end seems loose, in fact
I cannot remove either one by hand, with a butter knife, or even a standard
screwdriver.
So I am wondering about HOW to fill them up with sugar water again.
How did the bee shippers do it in the first place?
I was thinking that I could use a 5cc syringe with a needle small enough to fit
inside those little tiny holes, but that will take forever and the day after that too.
Any ideas about that???

l)erek
 

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Go buy three empty, new (clean) gallon paint cans at the hardware or paint store. Use those...with an half-dozen or dozen holes in the lid to match the hole in your inner covers. You can line up the ellipse of holes with the bails of the paint cans so you know how to orient the paint can when you're placing it upside down on the inner cover.
 

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Derek-
Personally I would go with a 1 gallon pail feeder place over your hand hole in the inner cover. Click Link
XX.jpg
 

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We just bought those feeders also. But we installed into 1 deep and sprayed the plasticel with the sugar water before installing the bees. I have not seen any trouble with this feeder as of yet. We put the feeder on top of the inner cover with a deep around it. Then the top cover. I believe you gave them way to much room as was stated already. shake them into one deep and remove the other one until they have filled out about 8 frames or so Then add another deep for them.
 

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The first thing I would do is take the cover off the hive and set it on the ground. Then take the medium super and set it onto that. Then remove the deep super and set it on top of the medium. Then I would shake all the bees from the 2 removed supers 1 frame at a time into the bottom deep. Then I would put a lid on the hive. Then I would do this for the other 2 hives.
Next I would drill 1/16" holes around the top of a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Then I would mix up 5 gallons of 1:1 syrup and put it into the bucket. Then put a lid onto the bucket. Then I would place the bucket upside down on a couple of cinder blocks. Then I would feed until they drew out 8 of 10 frames at which point I would add another deep super.

Meanwhile you might try to find a mentor to help you along or watch some fatbeeman videos on YouTube.
 

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Lauri's pix

This is how I feed. I add an empty deep onto this arrangement and then the cover. Notice how easily the bees get to the feed. (Thanks for the use of your photo, Lauri. It is posted on BS in the thread "Season is Early in Western Washington State" and is perfect to illustrate this feeding method.) You won't go wrong following Lauri's methods.

HTH

Rusty
 

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I think you started off with too much space. Also, bees tend to start at the top and work down in a new hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would like to thank everyone who took their own time to try and help me with my bee problems.
I will take into consideration many of the proposed long term feeding solutions provided.
Though artificial feeding should soon be over here until late fall in southwest Missouri.
As many of you have said that open empty space is a problem, and I will deal with that tomorrow.
Those ultimate hive feeders, will be used to provide a water source from now on instead of being
used to feed the bees.
Once again I thank you all for trying to help me, and please feel free to add any new thoughts you
might have to this thread, both for me and anyone else who might have similar problems.

l)erek
 

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The bees have too much available space. New packages installed onto foundation are typically given 1 box and the second box is added when the first box is full. Along with that, put on your inner cover with the fancy feeder over that inside your medium super.

These are very basic ideas - find someone local that will work with you (I'm growing to dislike the term Mentor) - join a club - read an introductory book on beekeeping or sign up for a beekeeping course.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I actually have read some bee keeping books during this past winter, and even did refresher reading recently.
I have read "The Hive and the Honey Bee", "First Lessons in Beekeeping", and "The BeeKeepers Bible"
The problem is that for every book you read they have a different way of doing things, and each one believes
that their way is the only way on some things.
Look through this thread and you see much the same thing. We all agree that the bees have too much space
and that empty space where the feeders are has got to go, but beyond that there does not seem to be any
standard to apply.
Again I thank you all for your assistance, you have confirmed my own thoughts on some things, while
also giving me some things to consider which I had not yet thought of.

l)erek
 

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NEVER give bees in the spring access to empty space they can build comb in. Fill the space with something (rags will do) or limit their access (#8 hardware cloth). They will build a lot of combs in their and they may even move the brood nest there...

http://bushfarms.com/images/BroodNestInFeeder.JPG
 
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