beginner questions

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Camcom
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beginner questions

Unread post by Camcom » May 12th, 2016, 10:25 am

First timer at this. Very excited. Hived my first bees on 4/21. I have been feeding them using a hive top feeder. When I went to check and add more syrup this morning, the little sweeties are building comb in the feeder. Is this normal? Can't seem to find this addressed in anything I have been reading.
Thanks.

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Jiminycric
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Re: beginner questions

Unread post by Jiminycric » May 14th, 2016, 8:36 pm

Hi Camcom, new beekeeper here as well (04/22). I have a top feeder as well, but nothing as far as building comb in there. Is yours painted on the inside? I don't think it is normal to have that being built up in that feeder.

Jiminycric
- Jiminycric
Strathmore, Alberta

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BadBeeKeeper
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Re: beginner questions

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » May 15th, 2016, 7:31 am

I hate to see your question going unanswered, but since I've never used one of those feeders I have no experience to draw from on the subject.

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Countryboy
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Re: beginner questions

Unread post by Countryboy » May 15th, 2016, 9:55 am

You don't say what type of top feeder you are using. I am assuming (correct me if I am wrong) you are using the top feeder with the wooden floats. The bees climb up through the center of the feeder, and the syrup is on the sides.

You also are so vague that it is almost impossible to understand what you are describing. You leave out so much information that it isn't funny. (BTW, I have a blue truck - what size tires does it need?)
Hived my first bees on 4/21.
Was it a nuc, or a swarm or a package of bees? On foundationless frames, foundation, or on drawn comb. It makes a difference in understanding your situation.
the little sweeties are building comb in the feeder. Is this normal?
It's natural, but not what a beekeeper desires.
Is this normal? Can't seem to find this addressed in anything I have been reading.
Nope, it's not normal. But it happens.

Now, I am going to go out on a limb, and make a wild guess as to what is actually happening.
My guess is that a swarm or package was hived on foundation, and the OP immediately put a hive top feeder on the hive...one of the feeders which are not covered to prevent this situation.
The bees climbed to the highest point in the hive and started to festoon and draw comb there. In the OP's case, that would be the bottom of the inner cover which is above the feeder.
My guess is the bees aren't drawing comb in the feeder. They are drawing comb on the bottom of the inner cover which is above the feeder.

I bet it looks like this. http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Thumbna ... small1.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/CombSpacingWhole.JPG

If that is the case, then you need to do these things:
Smoke the bees.
Remove the hive top feeder. (Go bury it in the storage shed where you will not find it for a few years.)
Go buy a top feeder which is covered with screen or designed so that the bees can only get to the syrup without being able to get to the inner cover. (Or feed with a frame feeder, or a jar above the inner cover hole.)
Knock all the bees off the inner cover into the hive. Forcefully shake the inner cover to remove the bees from the comb. You may need to stand the inner cover on end and slam the edge of the inner cover onto the top bars. There is no doing this gently.
Scrape the comb from the bottom of the inner cover. This comb is trash.
If you have a frame feeder, put it in the hive body and fill it. Or put on a top feeder that is covered.
Then put on your inner cover. If you do not have a feeder for the hive, use a mason jar of syrup with holes in the lid and place that over the inner cover hole. Place an empty hive body (no frames) on top of the mason jar, and then put your telescoping lid on it.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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cgybees
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Re: beginner questions

Unread post by cgybees » May 16th, 2016, 4:50 pm

Sounds like a good introduction to 'Bee Space'... any space they have access to that's bigger than 3/8" will inevitably get combed. Otherwise you have WASTED SPACE, which is the cardinal sin of the tiny bee mind, next to ticking off the queen...

:D

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Jiminycric
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Re: beginner questions

Unread post by Jiminycric » May 19th, 2016, 4:18 pm

[quote="Countryboy"]You don't say what type of top feeder you are using. I am assuming (correct me if I am wrong) you are using the top feeder with the wooden floats. The bees climb up through the center of the feeder, and the syrup is on the sides.

Go buy a top feeder which is covered with screen or designed so that the bees can only get to the syrup without being able to get to the inner cover. "]


That makes sense, Countryboy. That is the top feeder I have. It has a screen limiting the bees to only being able to go down to the syrup and not allowing them access to the cover. It's worked extremely well for me so far.
- Jiminycric
Strathmore, Alberta

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Charlie
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Re: beginner questions

Unread post by Charlie » May 23rd, 2016, 7:17 pm

When I was first starting out I was foolish and I bought a bit of everything including the top feeders. Fortunately I bought frame feeders that take the place of two frames and hold about 3 gallons of syrup. The hive top feeders never got used because I needed to make something to actually house the hive top feeders. Being lazy and not wanting to have a bunch of different equipment for different purposes I just use the frame feeder and ignored the top feeders which are still brand-new and have never used. They still clutter up a shelf or two in my storeroom because I cannot bring myself to inflict these on anyone else in the hoarder in me refuses to throw them out. I am not saying frame feeders are the best, I am saying I have had good luck with frame feeders and do not wish to try anything else.

My suggestion to you quite simply is, it the top feeders are not working as you expect try a frame feeder and do comparison and make up your own mind.

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