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Feeding stingless bees

 
D. Klaer
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Location: Queensland Australia
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Hi all. I have just made a run of stingless bee feeders. I am using them to build up colonies quickly for ensured survival and division. I am running side by side trials to find out if feeding stingless bees does have a similar effect on population build up to feeding honeybees (initial observations strongly suggest it does). As you can see from the pic the feeder is very different to those we use for honeybees and I thought I would make a post for any other meliponists that might want to give it a go (or maybe share their experiences and tips with me).



To make the feeder you basically get a 100mm length of pic pipe and glue a end cap on one end. Get another end cap that is kept unglued to be the lid. Then glue an irrigation T piece in near the top. You will need to drill a hole where you glue/silicone in the entry pipe and may need to cut the pipe short depending on the piece. This is the entry pipe to both the outside world and the feeder (from inside the hive). This keeps the hive and feed safe from robbing and prevents having to open up the hive. I think the pics explain the design easily. What you can't see though is a disc float on the inside for use with liquid feeds (sugar water etc). The float prevents drownings.



To attach the feeder simply secure it inside the hive entrance using some propolis/wax.



I think that explains most of it but if you want more I for I did a write up on how to make the stingless bee feeder at http://gondwanabees.com/diy/stingless-bee-feeder/
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Congratulations on your bees very impressive . I have tried asking my girls to stop stinging me to no avail
Fair play to you for using your native bees .
If I lived in Auz I would have some like a shot .

David
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 41
Location: Queensland Australia
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Thank you for the reply David.

They are certainly good fun! Honeybees are much more productive and I keep them also. I fear the day that varroa gets here though and am learning all I can from those overseas (such as yourself) for when that day comes. The honeybees give me some pocket money but the stingless bees are my true passion
 
David Livingston
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Is Verroa a threat to the stingless bees ?
Very very sad if so .
My Girls have verroa and DWV but seem to be coping treatment free .

David
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 41
Location: Queensland Australia
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Good to hear about your treatment free bees David. Sounds like you have some good genetics.

It will take us quite a while to breed up resistant bees when it happens here but that is the path I will be taking. On the plus side the stingless bees at least are resistant to varroa so I will only have the honeybees to worry about.

We have hive beetle here already and while my honeybees don't have issues with them anyway (tough bees) the stingless bees actually kill them by cocooning them in propolis if they make the mistake of entering their hive.
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 41
Location: Queensland Australia
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Update:
So the feeders work perfectly well as expected. I advocate their use for those with only a few hives. For my situation though keeping the feeders topped up is time consuming and fiddly so I am now working on a communal feeder that will only be accessible to stingless bees. This will have a large volume and help me with hive management at the scale I am looking for. Details to come.
 
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