BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Feeding, Spilling, Cleaning up Syrup

  • Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
 #4726  by Japey Edge
 03 Sep 2019, 22:07
Hi everyone!

I'd like to pick your brains on how you feed syrup without spilling it! Also, what do you do once you have spilled it?

Yesterday I realised a little too late that my nuc is slightly off-level and so syrup was slightly splashing over and onto the frames - likely trickling down to the mesh... I took some back out so it wouldn't keep going.
I also noticed the Pyrex jug I'm using doesn't give a perfect pour. I use my 25L bucket lid to catch drips and then pour with the jug completely over the feeder.

If I get any drips I have a damp rag that I wipe up with. If I see any sticky hand prints on the hives when they're closed up I get a bucket of water filled from the water butt and give them a good wet down.

It would be useful to see what everyone does - so if you're reading this please just reply with how you skillfully execute your syrup feeding with zero mess! :D
 #4728  by Chrisbarlow
 03 Sep 2019, 22:22
Try and minimise or eliminate any drips. Drips attract wasps

On Payne's nucs, I use a large funnel and a 10l bucket to fill it. The funnel is perfect at avoiding drips

With maisemores nucs , I just use a 10l bucket and pour it in as the feeder is an Ashford type feeder.

All other rapid feeders I own including the thornes English feeder, the maisemores rapid feeder and the lyson Ashford feeder, I just pour in from a 10l bucket. Simplz.
 #4730  by Patrick
 03 Sep 2019, 22:48
My ability to make a sticky mess with either honey or syrup is a recurring joy and bringer of happiness to those around me.

A watering can is used by some and makes sense. I mix up syrup in beer fermenting barrels in 5 gallon batches with a mains drill and plaster mixing paddle.

I decant at the apiary and prefer the plastic English feeders. Miller and Ashworth feeders have a bee feeding rim lower than the height of the surrounding feeder and it is possible to overfill and flood the hive if it is not level. They can also have a seeping leak which attracts bees from all around.
 #4732  by Japey Edge
 04 Sep 2019, 08:31
Chrisbarlow wrote:
03 Sep 2019, 22:22
Try and minimise or eliminate any drips. Drips attract wasps

On Payne's nucs, I use a large funnel and a 10l bucket to fill it. The funnel is perfect at avoiding drips

With maisemores nucs , I just use a 10l bucket and pour it in as the feeder is an Ashford type feeder.

All other rapid feeders I own including the thornes English feeder, the maisemores rapid feeder and the lyson Ashford feeder, I just pour in from a 10l bucket. Simplz.
Minimising drips feels like a fine art. Funnels may be a good shout, they're cheap enough to take a punt on.
Patrick wrote:
03 Sep 2019, 22:48
My ability to make a sticky mess with either honey or syrup is a recurring joy and bringer of happiness to those around me.
Ah, good to see I'm keeping up with the experienced beekeepers in some way! Ha! :lol
Patrick wrote:
03 Sep 2019, 22:48
Miller and Ashworth feeders have a bee feeding rim lower than the height of the surrounding feeder and it is possible to overfill and flood the hive if it is not level. They can also have a seeping leak which attracts bees from all around.
Yeah that's what nearly happened in my nuc. I saw a few wasps around this nuc the day after I overspilled so I'm guessing it went through the mesh floor and on the stand/grass.
Tried cleaning it with water from the water butt.

So far I think I'll get a couple different sizes of funnels and watering cans
 #4734  by AdamD
 04 Sep 2019, 09:24
I often take syrup to my out apiary in Innocence 1.5 litre fruit juice bottles. They have a large cap which his easily undone if the threads are gummed up with sugar crystals and they pour OK too - they don't 'glug' like larger containers can. And if there's a little sugar in the bottom, they can be shaken to disperse the sugar before it's poured into the feeder.
However I cannot guarantee that I don't make a mess - see Patrick's reply!