Top feeder question - auto refill?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by dejswa, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. dejswa

    dejswa New Member

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    I have a standard top feeder for an 8 frame hive. It has the two chambers on either side of the bee access and has wood floats in each chamber for bee access. Has anyone experimented with adding any kind of automatic filling device for this type of feeder. I am using it on a hive that I have constant access to so it is not too difficult just to open it up and fill it. However, I may consider using this on a hive that I have on a farm where I might not access it but every two weeks or so.

    [​IMG]

    I notice that my bees in the city can empty the feeder in one week. And I have discovered that an empty feeder is just asking for all sorts of unwanted guests (beetles, moths, ants). The bees cannot protect the area below the float once the feeder runs dry and it makes an excellent SHB breeding ground.

    My idea would be possibly to attach a siphon system from a large container of some sort to provide a continuous level of syrup in the feeder.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sounds like a good idea as long as you could get the reserve syrup to not mold on you before it was used up.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    How would you make it fill both sides? One side only would defeat the purpose of keeping pests out.
     
  4. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    This sounds like a good challenge for the engineeringly inclined!

    I would think you could do something. Maybe a siphon system to fill both sides. I'm thinking of the set-up my Dad made to water the Christmas tree since he hated crawling under there and could never tell how full it was. It was a simple bucket out where you could reach, a siphon hose to the tree stand and (critical!) a fill line on the bucket to mark when the stand was full.

    Not sure where you would place the fill bucket on a hive, though. Separate stand? And the top would have to be open (vented) to allow equal pressure.

    Just thinking out loud.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    snip..
    This sounds like a good challenge for the engineeringly inclined!

    tecumseh:
    it has already been done perhaps 30 years ago. didn't seem to be very successful. I would assume (never saw one in action) that the number of associated problems limited it's success.
     
  6. Joe

    Joe New Member

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    How about attaching a "Tee" near the top edge of a pail feeder with two tubes coming off...

    Fill the pail/bucket
    put a solid (no holes) lid on it
    flip it over onto your feeder
    one tube to each side


    You could also drill through the two dams and insert a piece of PVC pipe, connecting the two compartments.

    A cork could be inserted when you were using one side for feeding a patty...