Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One More Try

I have been trying to figure out a solution to keeping my bees out of the top feeders. A beekeeping friend told me she has these same feeders and hasn't had a problem. Which leaves me to conclude that I am too slow, my bees eat unusually fast, or a combination of the two. I need to make these work for my particular situation. I considered using silicone, the kind they use in aquariums, but it is messy and would be a pain to undo if I decided I didn't like it. I thought about using aquarium gravel but I am not fond of the stuff. It's so tiny and gets everywhere. I want something that's easily removed, easily washed, and something that won't harm the bees. I remembered seeing those flat glass rocks at the Dollar Tree. You know, the kind they use in Betta bowls and clear flower vases. I paid them a visit and yes, they had some of those. But they also had these polished river rocks.

Even better. And I got more weight per package buying the rocks as apposed to the glass. I bought 8 bags, 2 for each side of the feeders. Yes, I paid $8 for some bags full of rocks. They're already cleaned and I didn't have to crawl around on the ground looking for enough rocks of a uniform size. I actually purchased these 2 days ago but the weather has been too cold and windy for me to reopen the hives. If there's a baby queen in there, getting ready to hatch, I don't want to risk chilling her. Today it's finally in the mid-70's. The perfect weather to do some hive manipulation. The feeders have been out in the weather since they were removed. I wiped them down with some Star San solution. Then I rinsed the rocks in some Star San.

And divided them between the feeders.

I heaped them up against the wire. I then opened the hives, removed the jar feeders and inner covers, placed the top feeders, filled them with my prepared syrup, shook the bees off the bottom of the inner covers, placed those on the feeders and and added the lids. Here are the containers of syrup heating up on the porch. 

I had forgotten to take them out of the fridge this morning. I don't want the bees getting a brain freeze. If those bees still get inside the reservoirs, I give up. When I removed the jar feeders, the one on the new hive was empty but the one on the old hive still contained some syrup. That's odd. Maybe they were having trouble drinking from my jar feeder? Not to worry, I know for a fact they have no trouble draining these top feeders. While I was tending the bees I noticed I need to pick some raspberries. I see some delicious wine and jam in my future.

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