I'm a Noob, help me please.

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New Bee
Aug 12, 2009
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I'm a Noob, help me please.

Hi there, new to beekeeping, and hope to fit in here, this site saved me time effort and costly mistakes already by just mooching the threads!!
Now the thing is, I've been using the thorne rapid feeder on my hive, it was quick and convenient to set my intiall hive up with, but I seem to have a small number of dead in it (about 4 or 5) when I check the hive and top up the syrup, really annoying and upseting to see that, so I'm thinking I should make miller feeder, any input guys?
Also there seems to be a large amount of those that are dead are younger bees, not sure if that has some relevance.
Finaly the ammount of wasps that have picked up on my hive and are loitering either in the space of the crown board and roof, and under the varroamite mesh, so far not seen in the hive frames.
I know this is something that one of you more experienced guys would have dealt with, and I just hope you don't mind me picking your brains!
Thanks again,
hi frederick
if your worried about the wasps first thing to do is reduce your entrace so it only has about a 2 bee hole,much easier for the guards to deal with any intruders,as for the drowning bees try putting some old pieces of sponge or wood in it so it floats and the bees can climb on and off safely.
hope that helps:)
Making Miller Feeder

Several of us have been debating this and there is a thread in the building section on Miller feeder construction. Gingernut and myself are / have built. Pics on this forum and plans available elsewhere. Not sure i would link a rapid feeder to deaths? - are you using the feeder with the central cone attached? If you are re-filling in situ are you filling slowly to allow the bees escape time?

either in the space of the crown board and roof,

Do you mean inside the roof? This should not be able to happen, unless the wasps have gained access through the front door! The roof should fit properly and any ventilation holes should be covered with a mesh screen.

Regards, RAB
I've looked at the feeder and I am baffled as to how and why they get in there!!!!
Manic depressive bees? can't see how it happens, but thank you for the help, this forum is a definite boon to the novice such as I!
Thank you! I missed the mesh vent of the roof, seems it has a small opening, thus wasps entré, I'm still new to this, and the brood box I've just bought, with the bees, is best discribed as ropey, but I guess I should of known I wouldn't get top stock equipment from a dealer, the bees are beautifully healthy mind you!
Thank you!!
I've looked at the feeder and I am baffled as to how and why they get in there!!!!
Manic depressive bees? can't see how it happens, but thank you for the help, this forum is a definite boon to the novice such as I!

They come up through the slot in the bottom.

The big side spaces are filled with syrup.

There is a gap under the outer baffles which allows the syrup to be between the baffles.

Bees go over top of inner baffles and feed between the two baffles, they are close enough together to stop the bees drowning.

The outer baffles are sealed against the top so the bees can't get into the large spaces.

Yours Roy
Very helpfull!!!! I'm having my mind swayed to this even more now I see you guys handiworks! thank you very much!
You are now my new best friend!!!
LOL! thank you!
Its my fault, I stood and looked at them going into it, seems there is slight ill fit to this feeder, and the excitement of setting myself up I missed it, imagine the centre cone off at a fraction of a angle, the gap is minutely larger than intended, and the syrup, thicker than water, has a higher surface retention, seems innocuous? not at all, I watched as the bees get drawn into the feeder syrup like it was quiksand!!! vacuum drowned bees is not something I foresaw as one of my first problems but there you are!
needless to say, rectifyed quick smarts!
Thanks for the pointers again!
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If its the round rapid feeder are you letting the syrup get really low? I have found out that if the level goes really low the bees get right down to the bottom and some manage to drown themselves in the very shallow layer of liquid at the bottom. If I never let it get it down to that level then it does not seem to happen.
strange isn't it? I'm taking to make a miller feeder, I find the "drowned bee" thing a little disturbing (I've got quite attached to the little beauties) Been bouncing though the threads on hive DIY, and seeing as I'm a quailfied carpenter, I'm going to make my own out! So I'll post pics after I've made them, basicly stick to the design of a national, but in ply, ready for spring. but back to the feeder, EXACTLY the same problem, if you watch, they actualy get sucked in to the feeder, of mine. Horrible, Thanks again, you guys have eased my learning curve so much!
Fredrick, I would suggest that you dont use ply for the external verticals, although you dont say what thickness of ply you are using. Two reasons

1. (Assuming you are on bottom bee space) You'll need bee space built in under the 'floor' of the feeder which means you won't have a 'flat' base to pearch on top of your brood box / QE / Crown or what ever your current top story is. As such a thicker wall allows for some movement without toppling over

2. Unlikley to get freezing in your feeder given you've got close to a saturated sugar solution but the warmer the syrup the better for the bees (upto the 20'C-25'C mark that is. Heat rises from the hive, warms the sugar in winter, you want that heat retained as long as you can (even if its only a couple of degrees difference the girls will thank you for it) and counter frosts if using the feeder for an early spring pep-me-up.

A 21mm soft wood outer wall with some nice trapped air within it deals with both the above issues adequately. Good luck with the build
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Ah, just realised ...... you're living in gods back garden with that nice balmy climate of yours, you could make your feeder out of PVA treated tissue paper if you wanted to! Up here we get real 'man' weather with snow and stuff - being close to York we still share the Emmets with you though. Yours a frustrated migratory west countryman.
warms the sugar in winter

Are these not autumn feeders you are talking about? About two weeks use and removed? Put away ready for next year? In winter the bees need as little heat loss upward as can be arranged, with adequate ventilation to prevent condensation. Thats why I use mesh floors and no top ventilation at all. A sheet of expanded polystyrene goes under the roof. Minimum heat loss equates to minimum food consumed.

Feeders on in/over winter. I would suggest you forget that idea, if I am reading the last posts of this thread correctly. Asking for trouble. Any leaks and disaster for the colony.

Too late to feed if the weather is freezing, apart from a light frost, perhaps. Sugar solution is likely to ferment.

The autumn feeding idea is to get enough stores into the hive to keep the colony going for the whole of the winter, without disturbance or intervention. Intervention means candy or other similar feed. If they need a feed for a spring boost, I would recommend a thinner syrup and probably best supplied via a frame feeder.

The reason for a large capacity feeder is to maximise take-down rate (or minimise time to store, reduce the moisture and cap the cells). That is apart from saving time and effort for the beekeeper, especially if the bees are in an out-apiary.

Regards, RAB
I just put half a block of bakers fondant on the frames and leave them to it,job done,no mixing no messing.

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