Frequently Asked Questions
I just got emails from individuals from Canada and Australia about shipping Bee Barrels outside the U.S. I will be able to accommodate Canadian orders quite easily but it looks like Australia is going to be a challenge during this campaign. Before I say anything else I want to express my sincerest appreciation to EVERYONE WORLDWIDE that has taken the time to reach out support my project.
For now I would like to ask those outside the United States and Canada to consider purchasing the alternative plaque as their initial pledge. If I can get the shipping rates down to a reasonable price by the end of the campaign (based in part by the number of pledges to a specific region) I will contact those contributors and give them the option of converting the plaque to a beehive purchase. This is all contingent on our ability to ship to the larger package to your location.
A gentleman in Australia suggested filling a shipping container which I am looking into in the event that enough orders are placed and/or interest is expressed.
I am also excited by the prospects of regional distribution. I have already been approached by individuals in Australia regarding a distributor opportunity and have begun drawing up plans in preparation of manufacturing locally around the world.
I thank you for your support and patience. If anyone has additional information that they think would help do not hesitate to contact me!Last updated:
We have a short answer to that on our FAQ page at http://www.beescientific.net/kickstarter
"We have prototype extractors that we are finalizing and will be making them available shortly after the initial barrel production phase. The patents for these extraction designs and methods have not been filed yet so we are not able to reveal too many of their details..."
This is a topic we are excited to talk about and are anxious to share and discuss. We will be releasing additional information about our plans on our website as soon as we can - hopefully during the Christmas Holiday.Last updated:
In the first prototype the queen cage was hung from the upper foundation slot in the first ring behind the entrance. I carefully tipped the barrel on its end so the feeder located in the back was facing up and removed it. I placed a piece of stiff card board along the circumference of the inside of the ring to form a ring-wall about 5 inches tall. Then I gently shook the bees in and covered it. They made their way down towards the queen in about 5 minutes and I was able to remove the cardboard and but the feeder back in. Then I carefully righted the barrel to its proper position.
Another approach is using a transparent cage that will be available that you can transfer the queen into and introduce her into the side of the barrel through a ring port. That way the queen can be positioned where the beekeeper wants her in the barrel - front, middle or back.
The colony is introduced as described above but the difference is that the beekeeper can observe from the outside of the barrel when the queen has exited the cage. Once that happens the cage can be replaced with a port block. That way the colony is not disturbed just to get the empty cage out.
Note: The preceding answer was originally posted as a reply to a similar question on a public forum. It has been added here and modified for continuity.Last updated:
Our feeder works on basic vacuum principals similar to what you see with the feeder cans that come with colony package containers. Once the feeder is filled with liquid its lid is replaced and a vacuum condition is created that prevents the free flow of liquid.
The feeder has a flat bottom with tiny holes drilled into so the bees can crawl underneath the feeder to access the liquid.
You can view a photo of an early prototype of the feeder here: http://www.beescientific.net/images/kickstarter/feeder.011.jpg
On some early feeder designs we used a tight weave cotton cloth that covers the holes and allows the liquid to weep just enough for the bees to get to it but not drip. We haven't formed an opinion yet as to whether or not the cloth improved anything.
What I wanted to achieve is a feeder that gave the bees easy access but didn't required me have to get into the hive or modify the hive body structure to fill it. I don't like disturbing the colony at all unless I need to inspect it and I feed more than I inspect. By putting the feeder in the back it allows the bees easy access and robber bees are less prone to know about the feeder. And since the bees get to the liquid from underneath they can't fall in and drown like we see a lot of times in frame feeders. When it's empty it provides the dead air space in the back end for insulation and you don't have to store it anywhere else when you're not using it.Last updated:
A barrel system contains all the components that make up one bee barrel. This includes the entrance end cap, the feeder end cap, locking rods, ten rings with port and slot blocks and a stabilizing stand. The entrance end cap can be fitted with an optional gate to control the size of the entrance from fully open to completely closed (for transportation). Port blocks can be replaced with monitoring devices (as they come available) or a temporary queen cage when introducing new queens into a colony. Slot blocks are used to close slot pathways on the top of each ring to prevent bees from entering the barrel from the top and to keep out rain and snow.Last updated:
The foundation shown in the video is a full plastic plate with a wax coating. A lot of people have asked for a foundation-less ring so yes, we will be able to offer that option as well. We will also be able to offer a ring that will allow beekeepers to add their own wax foundation with wires to keep it in place. Not much has changed in this regard except for the shape and size of the foundation but the basic concepts of foundation management remain the same. You will be able to purchase the wax foundation from us or one of our distributors and I'm hoping to eventually provide beekeepers with a template so they will be able to press their own wax foundation if so desired. I'm a big can of self-sufficiency and bringing affordable options to our industry.Last updated:
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