Paynes poly nuc - how to fill the feeder when full of bees

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Etton 

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Another question re my captured swarm!
I placed it in a Paynes poly nuc with the built in feeder and omitted to tape off the feeder so it will have a lot of bees in the empty feeder. Any suggestions on how to do this without killing the bees that are in there? My only thoughts are to brush out or use a spatula of some kind and make sure the wooden float works.
 

Jimmy 

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As you note, making sure the wooden float is free to rise up is important. I find copious smoke gets the bees to vacate the feeder but I struggle to get it bee free.
If there are a *lot* of bees in the feeder, make sure the queen is with the frames.
 
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This should be in the BEGINNERS SECTION...

1. Prepare 1:1 sugar feed ( I kilo white granulated sugar to I liter water)
2. Remove nuc lid
3. Gently move back the clear perspex cover to expose feeder, a hive tol may help.
4. Slowly pour the sugar feed solution into the feeder, bees will move out of the way as feeder compartment fills and float rises to top.
5. Slide back cover.
6. Replace lid

Chons da
 

enrico 

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This should be in the BEGINNERS SECTION...

1. Prepare 1:1 sugar feed ( I kilo white granulated sugar to I liter water)
2. Remove nuc lid
3. Gently move back the clear perspex cover to expose feeder, a hive tol may help.
4. Slowly pour the sugar feed solution into the feeder, bees will move out of the way as feeder compartment fills and float rises to top.
5. Slide back cover.
6. Replace lid

Chons da
The original ones I bought have no perspex cover. It is a pain in the proverbial. Just getting the roof off is a nightmare. Must get some modern ones!
E
 

TryingToLetThemBee 

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Buy a top feeder: just pay the p+p. do it now. The side feeder needs TWO of those float sticks they ship in the nuc and still bees drown. no floater and it is a massacre. As chons da says, you can float the bees up but your problems are only beginning.

https://www.paynesbeefarm.co.uk/nuc-mating-hives/top-style-feeder-for-poly-nuc/

NB: this needs two kebab sticks a side to prevent drowning too, but at least that works.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Leave them to it and feed from the top.
 

Levitt53 

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Another question re my captured swarm!
I placed it in a Paynes poly nuc with the built in feeder and omitted to tape off the feeder so it will have a lot of bees in the empty feeder. Any suggestions on how to do this without killing the bees that are in there? My only thoughts are to brush out or use a spatula of some kind and make sure the wooden float works.
They are a nightmare. I will never buy one of those again. I just moved a colony out of one of these and wasn't sure how to get the bees out without spilling the remaining feed everywhere. Ended up leaving the thing in situ (out apiary) for the bees to clean it out and I'll hopefully take it home next time I go.
 

Erichalfbee 

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They are a nightmare. I will never buy one of those again. I just moved a colony out of one of these and wasn't sure how to get the bees out without spilling the remaining feed everywhere. Ended up leaving the thing in situ (out apiary) for the bees to clean it out and I'll hopefully take it home next time I go.
What I did was make sure the queen was in the rest of the box, put a strip of QX over the feeder and leave them alone till I moved them into a bigger box.
Those Payne’s are useful though when you take the feeder out and make them 8 frame.
 

madasafish 

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The original ones I bought have no perspex cover. It is a pain in the proverbial. Just getting the roof off is a nightmare. Must get some modern ones!
E
cover made of polythene works - clear plastic is best, but any colour will do.

I use it on mini nucs and our Association uses it instead of CBs,,
 

understanding_bees 

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(I hope that this letter, about feeding syrup to bees, and about DIY projects, is appropriate for this discussion thread. I am using Langstroth style hives).



This year many beekeepers in Australia have found the season has been worse than last year, when the bees did well in their honey-making exploits. Some beekeepers here have started to feed their bees to help prepare them for our coming winter.

I have been a DIY kind of person for many years, and have contemplated what kind of feeding method might be most effective. The type of feeder which has appealed most to me is a hive-top syrup feeder, which sits on the crown board, and is covered by an additional hive box.

For those who may need to work within a tight budget, or who enjoy “Doing It Yourself”, I would like to share information about a feeder I have made from items which I had in the home, or which were left over from some other projects. I am happy to report that it is working very well, as the bees have accepted it eagerly.

Actually, I have made some clear crown boards (with Perspex inserts, rather than plywood), and have been able to watch the bees in the hive when they were not exposed directly to the outside atmosphere. I have found it absolutely fascinating to see bees methodically working their way along the top surface of a honey frame, wiping their front legs across the surface of the wooden bars, presumably to keep it up to their standards of cleanliness. Their movement was very much like that of a person who was on their hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor!

It feels like a real bonus to me that I can remove the outer cover of the hive to access the syrup feeder, and I can observe the bees feeding through the clear inner cover, or replenish the syrup, with the bees remaining completely enclosed in the hive

The items I have used were:
(1) A small plastic bucket with a close fitting lid, which can be completely contained within a hive body which sits over the crown board. The bucket which I have used was a two-litre container for Greek-style yoghurt. The lid of this container can be firmly closed to make it ant-proof, if ants should happen to enter the top of the hive.
(2) A short length of PVC-U pipe, with a length about the same as the height of the bucket. This type of hard PVC plastic is rated as being suitable for contact with food. The pipe which I have used is 40mm outside diameter, but is dependent on what is available in your location.
(3) A clear glass jar which is nearly as tall as the bucket, and which will sit upside-down in the completed syrup feeder. The mouth of this jar must be a little larger than the diameter of the PVC pipe. The inside diameter of the jar must also be large enough to allow space for the bees to climb between the jar and the pipe.
(3) A small quantity of fiberglass insect screen mesh, which is used to create “bee-ladders”, to enable the bees to climb down to the syrup, and to grab hold of if they fall into the syrup.
(4) Some thin nylon fishing line which can be used as “sewing thread” in the construction of the bee-ladders.

The tools needed were:
- A saw for cutting the PVC pipe to the required length.
- A hole-saw for use in an electric drill, to cut a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the PVC pipe which you use.
- A hot-air blower, to soften the plastic base of the bucket, to stretch the hole a little, so that the PVC pipe can be pushed through the hole.
- A sewing needle which can be used with the thin nylon fishing line.

I found that if the diameter of the hole in the bottom of the bucket is about 1 or2 mm smaller than the outside diameter of the pipe, then it was not difficult to stretch the hole after the bucket bottom had been softened with the hot air blower. If the hole is too small, the plastic may split from being stretched too much. If the hole is too large, then the pipe may not provide a leak-proof seal where it passes through the bottom of the bucket. Using this method, my bucket feeder does not leak at all.

It is very helpful to chamfer the edge of the end of the pipe, to enable the pipe to be pushed more easily through the hole in the bottom of the bucket. The pipe should extend through the bottom of the bucket, and also through the hole in the crown board, so that the bottom of the pipe is within a “bee space” of the top of the honey frames. I have made the hole in the crown board just slightly larger (about 1 to 2 mm) than the diameter of the PVC pipe.

When the glass jar is inverted over the PVC pipe, there needs to be sufficient clearance between the top of the pipe and the bottom of the jar, so that bees are able easily to negotiate their way up through the inside of the pipe from the hive, and down the outside of the pipe to the syrup.

I have made two sleeves from the fiberglass screen mesh – one which tightly surrounds the outside of the PVC pipe, and the other which fits snugly against the wall of the inside of the jar. These sleeves provide a surface which the bees are able to climb easily. The nylon fishing line is used to stitch the ends of the pieces of mesh to make the cylindrical shapes of these two bee-ladders.
 

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Erichalfbee 

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(I hope that this letter, about feeding syrup to bees, and about DIY projects, is appropriate for this discussion thread. I am using Langstroth style hives).



This year many beekeepers in Australia have found the season has been worse than last year, when the bees did well in their honey-making exploits. Some beekeepers here have started to feed their bees to help prepare them for our coming winter.

I have been a DIY kind of person for many years, and have contemplated what kind of feeding method might be most effective. The type of feeder which has appealed most to me is a hive-top syrup feeder, which sits on the crown board, and is covered by an additional hive box.

For those who may need to work within a tight budget, or who enjoy “Doing It Yourself”, I would like to share information about a feeder I have made from items which I had in the home, or which were left over from some other projects. I am happy to report that it is working very well, as the bees have accepted it eagerly.

Actually, I have made some clear crown boards (with Perspex inserts, rather than plywood), and have been able to watch the bees in the hive when they were not exposed directly to the outside atmosphere. I have found it absolutely fascinating to see bees methodically working their way along the top surface of a honey frame, wiping their front legs across the surface of the wooden bars, presumably to keep it up to their standards of cleanliness. Their movement was very much like that of a person who was on their hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor!

It feels like a real bonus to me that I can remove the outer cover of the hive to access the syrup feeder, and I can observe the bees feeding through the clear inner cover, or replenish the syrup, with the bees remaining completely enclosed in the hive

The items I have used were:
(1) A small plastic bucket with a close fitting lid, which can be completely contained within a hive body which sits over the crown board. The bucket which I have used was a two-litre container for Greek-style yoghurt. The lid of this container can be firmly closed to make it ant-proof, if ants should happen to enter the top of the hive.
(2) A short length of PVC-U pipe, with a length about the same as the height of the bucket. This type of hard PVC plastic is rated as being suitable for contact with food. The pipe which I have used is 40mm outside diameter, but is dependent on what is available in your location.
(3) A clear glass jar which is nearly as tall as the bucket, and which will sit upside-down in the completed syrup feeder. The mouth of this jar must be a little larger than the diameter of the PVC pipe. The inside diameter of the jar must also be large enough to allow space for the bees to climb between the jar and the pipe.
(3) A small quantity of fiberglass insect screen mesh, which is used to create “bee-ladders”, to enable the bees to climb down to the syrup, and to grab hold of if they fall into the syrup.
(4) Some thin nylon fishing line which can be used as “sewing thread” in the construction of the bee-ladders.

The tools needed were:
- A saw for cutting the PVC pipe to the required length.
- A hole-saw for use in an electric drill, to cut a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the PVC pipe which you use.
- A hot-air blower, to soften the plastic base of the bucket, to stretch the hole a little, so that the PVC pipe can be pushed through the hole.
- A sewing needle which can be used with the thin nylon fishing line.

I found that if the diameter of the hole in the bottom of the bucket is about 1 or2 mm smaller than the outside diameter of the pipe, then it was not difficult to stretch the hole after the bucket bottom had been softened with the hot air blower. If the hole is too small, the plastic may split from being stretched too much. If the hole is too large, then the pipe may not provide a leak-proof seal where it passes through the bottom of the bucket. Using this method, my bucket feeder does not leak at all.

It is very helpful to chamfer the edge of the end of the pipe, to enable the pipe to be pushed more easily through the hole in the bottom of the bucket. The pipe should extend through the bottom of the bucket, and also through the hole in the crown board, so that the bottom of the pipe is within a “bee space” of the top of the honey frames. I have made the hole in the crown board just slightly larger (about 1 to 2 mm) than the diameter of the PVC pipe.

When the glass jar is inverted over the PVC pipe, there needs to be sufficient clearance between the top of the pipe and the bottom of the jar, so that bees are able easily to negotiate their way up through the inside of the pipe from the hive, and down the outside of the pipe to the syrup.

I have made two sleeves from the fiberglass screen mesh – one which tightly surrounds the outside of the PVC pipe, and the other which fits snugly against the wall of the inside of the jar. These sleeves provide a surface which the bees are able to climb easily. The nylon fishing line is used to stitch the ends of the pieces of mesh to make the cylindrical shapes of these two bee-ladders.
Yes....much better fed from the top
One of these cheap 2 litre feeders fits on top of a nuc
Screenshot 2021-03-07 at 08.00.52.png
 

pargyle 

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What I did was make sure the queen was in the rest of the box, put a strip of QX over the feeder and leave them alone till I moved them into a bigger box.
Those Payne’s are useful though when you take the feeder out and make them 8 frame.
That's the best advice ... I think everyone who has done this conversion have found that it's a useful box - I have a late season split overwintering in one and they have done very nicely. The conversion has been shown before on here but it bears repetition:

There's a thread here:


and here are the photos:

 

madasafish 

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The original ones I bought have no perspex cover. It is a pain in the proverbial. Just getting the roof off is a nightmare. Must get some modern ones!
E

I use clear plastic sheets.(as in freezer bags). Far easier to open up the feeder and leave the bees in peace...
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Just take that resealable yoghurt tub, punch a load of small holes in the lid with a sharp nail, fill tub with syrup, replace lid, invert, give a shake or two, some syrup will drip out then stop as it is held up by the vacuum in the tub. Put diretly onto top bars or over the feeder hole in the crown board. Job done - home made contact feeder.
 

understanding_bees 

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Just take that resealable yoghurt tub, punch a load of small holes in the lid with a sharp nail, fill tub with syrup, replace lid, invert, give a shake or two, some syrup will drip out then stop as it is held up by the vacuum in the tub. Put diretly onto top bars or over the feeder hole in the crown board. Job done - home made contact feeder.
Yes, syrup feeding can be done in the way that you suggest.

However, observation cannot easily be done of how actively bees are feeding, when your type of feeder (with holes in the lid) is used. If a large plastic container is used to hold the syrup, it will probably be of non-transparent plastic so that it is not possible to see how much syrup remains in the container. You could of course pick up the container to check its contents, and you would also need to pick it up to replenish its contents. Either of these actions will create at least some disturbance to the bees.

On the other hand, a feeder such as I have described does not have these disadvantages. With my feeder I am able to see at a glance how much syrup remains, or has been consumed. I am able to see very easily how actively the bees are feeding. I am able to replenish the syrup without having to move (or remove) the feeder from its position on the crown board. The bonus is that all this is possible without any disturbance to the bees.
 

Boston Bees 

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Yes, syrup feeding can be done in the way that you suggest.

However, observation cannot easily be done of how actively bees are feeding, when your type of feeder (with holes in the lid) is used. If a large plastic container is used to hold the syrup, it will probably be of non-transparent plastic so that it is not possible to see how much syrup remains in the container. You could of course pick up the container to check its contents, and you would also need to pick it up to replenish its contents. Either of these actions will create at least some disturbance to the bees.

On the other hand, a feeder such as I have described does not have these disadvantages. With my feeder I am able to see at a glance how much syrup remains, or has been consumed. I am able to see very easily how actively the bees are feeding. I am able to replenish the syrup without having to move (or remove) the feeder from its position on the crown board. The bonus is that all this is possible without any disturbance to the bees.
I think we are genuinely confused, as you seem to have gone to a lot of trouble to invent something which already existed, and was available for just a few pounds, as Erichalfbee has already pointed out? The rapid feeder she provided a photo of does indeed allow you to see how much syrup is left, and how actively the bees are feeding. Don't they have these in Australia? Here is a link again in case it helps to explain our confusion:

RAPID FEEDER - Paynes Bee Farm - Beekeeping Equipment

EDIT: Here's one on Austalia's version of eBay, for example:

Beekeeping 2L (4 Pint) Rapid Bee Feeder | eBay
 

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