Monday, August 30, 2010

Late in the season

It is getting late in the season but I wanted to try some things out for next year. The first thing I tried was how do I want to feed the bees if I have to. I tested three ways. The top hive feeder, open feeding, and the front entrance feeder or boardmen feeder.

Boardman (Entrance) Feeder
This feeder fits in the entrance of the hive.  It is simple to use without disturbing the bees much, but care should be taken so as not to cause robbing because of it's proximity to the entrance.  It is also not good for cold weather feeding as the bees won't break the cluster to access the feeder.   One other good use of this feeder is to supply water to the bees when the weather is hot and dry. Not my favorite feeder bees are everywhere and until the feeder is empty you can not get near it. This could of been because at this time of year 8/30/2010 in SC there is very little of anything around for the bees other then pollen.

The second feeder I tried is the open feeder. don't try this feeder unless you are in an area with very little traffic. Not a good feeder for the home bee hive. It was like putting out the old spot light to get people to come to your store bees came from everywhere all day even when the feeders were dry the bees still came. I was like I was an air traffic controller at a very busy airport  like Chicago. Neighbors stood in wounder staring at the sky filled with bees every were bees. if you walked in the yard they would just bounce off you.
These bees are alive some where under all those females there is a wooden doughnut and a screen and every type of bee that likes sugar water.

The third one was the top hive feeder from brushy mountain. This one was the hardest to maintain but worked the best for our purpose. We have three hives on a 1/2 acre with a built in pool and a small wild flower nature area and we love to be and work out side the top hive feeder gave us that. It is hard to fill because you need to lift the top off each time to check it and fill it. But after you do it a few times you get the hang of it and spill less and lees all over the bees but they do clean it up. We had very little bees gone wild and no robbing for the most part, other then the crazy things the beekeeper did everything went well. I will add some pictures.

The hive in the bottom Right is very very hot. I will be changing the queen out this weekend. The other two Hives you can work them some with out any protective clothing . This one I was walking over to it the other day took the lid off for just a peak and pop 18 stings before I had if lifted an inch. 4 days latter was about 15 feet away and 18 more stings. This is the crazy hive. Hopefully the new queen will fix that.
This is the top hive feeder which we think worked great for what we have
Friends Paula and Ed looking at all the bees in the air

1 comment:

  1. thanks for sharing your experiment! I tried the boardman feeder this spring - nightmare. I purchased a top feeder from Brushy, looks much more promising. great photos too! hope you will post about your requeening adventure.