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First off, I have never used a hive top feeder so you may get much better advise from others. I do know that the longer you leave it, the more disruptive it will be when you do go into it.
"Let them and the others rob it." Rob is a bad word if there is not a flow on. I know that some don't have a problem with a community feeder. I depends on your bees and the "ferals" around you. If I leave anything like that out, the robbers are trying every hive and stored supers I have. Italians have the worst reputation for it.
If the super is being filled, they are going to need it for winter. To me, leaving them their honey for the winter, is better for them and cheaper for me.
And don't include me with the experts, please.
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