Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Hummingbird Feeders to the Rescue
I been wracking my brain trying to come up with a decent outside feeder design for my apiaries. I really should have put something up a couple of days ago that the bees can work on the rare warm periods we get instead of them flying aimlessly around.
The problems are that anything I have tried before end up becoming a midnight snack for raccoons or fill up with water when it rains. Therefore I needed something I could hang up on a thin pole to keep the varmints out of and was totally contained yet still allowed bee access.
I couldn't come up with any design I liked. Then I got to thinking what do my bees do in the middle of the Summer when things dry up and they have no blooms to hit? Well they start hitting the hummingbird feeders so why not try putting a hummingbird feeder at each apiary filled with a slightly thicker solution than than normal? It still seems to be liquid enough to flow into the opening and I only used those feeders that were shallow enough for the bees to get into.
If this works then the girls will have some syrup nearby to work on those surprising warm days and I can also keep the dry sugar stocked inside the hives for when they cannot get out.
The only danger I can see is if the liquid freezes and cracks a feeder or something. I left enough room for expansion in each feeder so hopefully that won't be an issue. Also if the solution freezes the clear plastic should allow the sugar part to thaw relatively quickly and allow the bees to get something out of it weather permitting.
Today should be a good test. The fog and clouds are suppose to clear out by afternoon and then warm up into the mid to upper 60's which should allow the bees some nice flying temperatures. After today the temps are suppose to drop once again into a colder period and the next warm snap we get I will open the hives up and add some more dry sugar.
Getting these hives through Winter is my top concern right now. Spring is a long way off.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!