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Was going to make a road trip today to get my hives. Good thing I called first they were closed. Normally open but they said they were in Mississippi working hives. When I was up to see them I was going to ask if I need to feed my bees and for how long. What type of feeder works the best. Any help?
 

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If you only have 1 hive and there are no other beekeeps in the area, you can get away with a boardman feeder (front entrance feeder). But if you have more than 1 hive or other bees in the area, you will likely have robbing. I personally like top hive feeders the best, the kind you put on top of the hole on the inner cover and then cover with a deep and then telescoping cover. No robbing, no spoilage due to sunlight, no drowning and you can feed larger quantities at one time to the hive. But you do have to open the top of the hive to check feeder levels and refill, which you wouldn't have to do with a boardman feeder. There's many options out there for you...
 

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I would not recommend a boardman feeder to my worst enemy <prima facia evidence that some folks do like to play long running jokes on the unsuspecting. I do have jar feeders built into my migratory lids that work quite well. does kind of show you how even the same thing used in a slightly different fashion or simply moved a short distance can (and does) make a lot of differences.

an empty shell (hive body) with a pail and a few holes drilled in the lid and then inverted over the top of the cluster is an excellent and cheap feeding device. feed is delivered 24 hours a day right at the point of contact with the cluster. you can make these of various sizes depending on how often you wish (or can) refill. a fellow in our bee club played around with the 3 gallon plastic pails and found 3 one thirty-second inch holes drilled in the top works just right.
 

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You say "to get my hives" so I take it you'll have more than 1. Forget the entrance feeder on each hive, place them on top of the inner cover(if you use one)with an empty body around it or set up the feeders 10-15 ft. from the hives and open feed. Jim
 

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I read the post as being, you have NO HIVES now and you are going to buy and pick up hives. As all of your previous post are asking the questions that we all ask when just getting started. Me TOO !

When I got my hive body and suppers, I purchased a hive top feeder. It holds 2 gallons of feed and sits on top of the body. Bees enter up the middle and crawl over onto floating slats and do not drown. This looks like a very small body on top of the hive, then the top.
You do not have to open the hive very often and refill as often as with entrance feeders. Not as likely to have robbers, as the bees have to go through the hive to get to the feed.

For the young hive you would not have an upper entrance open for them to enter the feeder. Thus not being robbed. If no other bees around not much to worry about the robbing.

But yes, all package bee starting hives(as well as most nucs) should be fed to get them going. Many more articles regarding this are available.

Hope this helps or answers the question that, I thought was posed. Tim
 

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crazy8days said:
I have several 1 gal. pickle jars I use for sun tea. I'll use one for a feeder. What size holes?
Not critical, some simply use a small nail. Nails leave a barbed edge which can be a pain when trying to clean. 1/16" drill bit does a fine job.
 

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most time when I am putting holes in lids I use a 'framing nail'.. don't know the diameter but they are very thin. for me 3 to 5 holes in a quart (mason) jar lid is just about right. if using just a jar in an empty shell you do need to lift the jar slight above the top bars <this first off allow the bees access to the holes but also prevents the fluid from running out and creating other problems.
 
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