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Author Topic: Feeder Question  (Read 328 times)

Offline UrbisAgricola

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Feeder Question
« on: November 22, 2017, 12:59:41 pm »
I have done this before with success but forgot an important detail.  Help me if you can:  I have drilled a hole in the top of a nuc cover and put a plastic coke bottle in it with sugar-water.  If you drill a very small hole in the cap, they can eat the syrup but it does not drip. The part I can't recall is the size drill bit to drill the hole.  Can you help me?  I have seen a gazillion YouTube videos of people rigging up all kinds of PVC pipes to a coke bottle, bit this is just simply drilling a hole in the bottle cap and inverting it into the hole.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 01:46:47 pm »
1/16 inch or less.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 07:56:58 pm »
X2
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Offline UrbisAgricola

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 10:27:24 am »
Thanks, folks.  I have been tied up with holidays or would have thanked you sooner.  So Jim, you drill multiple holes?  How many usually?
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 02:25:59 pm »
2 holes in a canning lid. I want to induce the queen to lay but not fever the bees enough to back fill the brood nest. If I am trying to get the bees to fill the hive with sugar water for winter, I add a lot more.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline UrbisAgricola

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 02:42:34 pm »
oh, so you are not doing the coke bottle thing?
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Offline texanbelchers

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 03:13:25 pm »
Inverted coke bottle, mason jar, paint can, or 3 gallon bucket are all the same concept.  The vacuum inside keeps the liquid from completely running out.  What you use is determined by cost, availability, volume, and need.

As SAW pointed out, a slow feed with a couple of small holes will reduce back-filling and help induce brood-rearing.  More holes, or unrestricted access like a frame or top feeder, will tend to cause the syrup to be stored and less room for the queen to lay in.

Offline little john

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 04:43:54 pm »
Within reason, the number and size(*) of holes is irrelevant - it's the area immediately around the holes which counts.  That's where the hanging drop of syrup is held suspended beneath the feeder (by it's own surface tension), and from where it is scoffed by the bees.  They don't suck syrup out of the holes !

Ideally, the area thus supporting the syrup needs to be as flat as possible - so any holes punched, rather than drilled - should be punched into the jar, so that the sharp edges remain inside the jar afterwards.  Any sharp edges sticking outwards only encourages the formation of droplets - which is exactly what you don't want.

(*) I made a jar feeder for demonstration with a 1.5" diameter hole to prove this point.  It does have a fine mesh epoxied across the hole to assist in the maintenance of the integrity of the surface tension - but it's still a whacking great hole in the jar lid !  Even with just tap water in the jar, it can be tilted a good 15 degrees from the vertical without any dripping taking place.
One of these days I really must make a YouTube video of this demonstration.
LJ
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Offline UrbisAgricola

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 05:31:43 pm »
Very helpful information, folks, thanks.
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Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 09:21:04 pm »
Hi Urbis. I am located due North of you in N Arkansas.  So consider my climate can be very different for yours, colder.  I will feed me bees 2X sugar (prosweet) tomorrow, Tuesday only.  Just one day.  The temps are very warm 70?s so my bees are active.  I DO NOT want my queens to start laying, that is why I am feeding one day only.

Two weeks from this day, the temps COULD be single digits (I don?t know) and I don?t want brood chill. My concern with daily supply of prosweet and temp in the 70?s; I can assure you my queens would go on a laying frenzy.  So I feed 2X sugar maybe once a week if the weather is warm.  The point is NOT to have a constant supply of sugar coming into the hive this time of year.

You may be on or close to the coast and desire your queens laying now.  No problem with that.  Correct me if I am wrong but I thought you are in Louisiana.  My iPhone has limits and I cannot view your location in ?reply? mode.

The feeders I use are very well described by my buddies as noted in above text.  I like the vacuum method.  A trick I learned is, if you drill a hole to big, no worries, just put a toothpick in it.
Blessings

Offline little john

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 07:03:11 am »
I feed 2X sugar maybe once a week if the weather is warm.  The point is NOT to have a constant supply of sugar coming into the hive this time of year.

Good advice.  Over here's it's bl##dy freezing - winter has come early this year: low single digits during the day and overnight frosts.  All of my colonies gave up drinking syrup weeks ago - except two.  These colonies were observed tucking into damp-set crystalline sugar with a vengeance, and so - out of curiosity I gave them each a small jar of heavy syrup (around 3:1 - as thick as back-axle oil), which they scoffed overnight, despite temperatures hovering around zero.
Just as Van does, I'm restricting their intake to one small jar of syrup a week - and no more than that.  For some strange reason these two (fairly small) colonies are obsessed with taking down syrup, whereas the others aren't.  I don't mind humouring them - but cautiously ...

LJ
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Offline little john

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 07:07:00 am »
Thought I might expand upon my post about the area around the feeder hole being so important - as perhaps some of the 'experimenters' on the forum might be interested in this one ?

A few years ago I had a crazy(?) idea to solve the problem of starvation, when a cluster dies even with stores available within a few inches - this being due to them being too cold to break cluster to move onto those fresh stores.  My idea being to 'inject' a permanently available supply of sugar syrup directly into the cluster, so that they could draw upon it as needed, without having to move during extremely cold weather.
 
The device I dreamt-up was an inverted jar feeder fitted with a tube extending downwards several inches into to a centralised area between combs where the winter cluster was likely to form.  Here's a photograph of the device I made (ignore the shrink-wrap for now):



But - when the jar was inverted, water (being used for trials) came pouring out of the tube without any hesitation.  Hmmm.  My 'knee-jerk reaction' to this was to assume that the hole was too big, and so shrink-wrapped a short length of capillary tube to the end of the wide-bore tube.  But - even now - with a hole of some 0.5mm diameter, the water still kept jetting out.  Then it would stop, bubbles could then be seen rising inside the jar, and again a fine jet of water was produced.  This sequence continued until the jar was empty.

At this point, I stopped 'shooting from the hip', and sat down to figure out the principle involved.  Having established that a 'suspended drop' was fundamental to the mechanism, I added a small washer to the end of the capillary tube in order to provide a flat surface around the hole, in order that the drop could become suspended there:



Mystery solved - this then worked like a charm.  But - whether supplying syrup like this to a winter cluster is in reality a practicable idea ... well, I'll leave that to others to play with.  British winters really aren't severe enough to give this idea a reasonable trial.

LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline UrbisAgricola

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 11:15:29 am »
Yeah, pretty warm here.  With the mild winters we have had a few years in a row, I think queens slow down but never really stop laying.  For what it's worth, my hives have sufficient honey stores.  These feeders are for nucs.
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Offline UrbisAgricola

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Re: Feeder Question
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 11:37:23 am »
...lows in the upper 40's, highs in the lower 70's. 
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