Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meanwhile, Back at the Bee Ranch...

...things are not going quite according to plan. This year I decided to go all out and buy my bees a couple of super fancy top feeders. It was promised that these would make feeding my girls practically effortless. The bees are contained inside the wire mesh. This is to prevent them falling into the syrup and drowning. It is also supposed to keep them behind the mesh so you can easily refill the feeder without having to open the hive. This sounded good and in theory it should work. Just one little problem. The bees have no regard for theories or what they are supposed to do. If there is a flaw in the plan they will most certainly find and exploit it. This screen is lightweight and is only anchored at the top. It is then bent into place. But guess what? The crafty bees can push against it and enter the reservoir. Making it necessary to remove the feeder (defeating the purpose of not opening the hive) to remove the bees in order to refill. And of course they can only push the mesh in one direction, meaning they can enter the reservoir and then are trapped until I let them out. I'm sure it is quite uncomfortable for them being stuck in there. Kind of like how I feel wearing my bee suit. You know another word for bee suit? OVEN. These feeders cost $20 each and the design is seriously flawed. While I decide how to anchor the mesh down and keep the bees out, I am having to revert back to the old "inverted jar with holes in the lid" style of feeding. If I wanted to do that I would've kept my $40. Here is what I am complaining about.

Bees on the wrong side of the screen, in both feeders.

The new hives feeder.

And the raging party happening in the old hive's feeder.

Both hives now fitted with a super containing a jar feeder.

I'm waiting for the bees to lose interest in those empty top feeders so I can put them inside the garage and decide how I'm going to fix the problem. I've got a couple of ideas. Just haven't decided which one is best. Tomorrow I'll phone Mann Lake, the seller of this awful product, and see what they suggest.

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