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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would start a thread on feeders. There is a lot of different ways to feed the bees. Im interested in hearing what ways you feed and and why you prefer to feed this way. Please explain why in terms that others can look at the way they feed and compare it to there way. You never know you may find an easier or better way to feed than you are currantly using. I will post my ways of feeding tonight. So lets have some fun
 

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I like open feeding with boardmans on my back porch. I can sit and watch them come and go without encountering guard bees around the hives. I also give a boost to any feral hives that may be in the vicinity.

I do use other feeders, depending on the time of year and which hives I want to feed. I don't think there is a "one size fits all" in feeders.
 

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I agree with Idee.
However, one of my favorite in-hive feeders are the homemade baggy feeders. They work, are cheap, and you can throw them away when your done rather than storing them in space that you could use for something else.
 

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I use the plastic 10 frame hive top feeders. I don't know that they're my "favorite" since they're the only ones I've used. :) I suspect I shall be trying different feeder types as the hives increase.

Walt
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I use 2 1/2 quart and gallon pickle jars of over the inner cover on my 10 frame hives. I have holes cut in the tops of my nucs so the jar will fit snug inside the cover. Leaving them exposed to the sun. I like this because on cooler days in the spring and fall the sun will warm up the syrup. Another thing I like about them is they are cheap easy to swap out without bothing the bees. Plus I get to eat the pickles. :Dancing:
 

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Masonite division board feeders. You can make them for about $1.00 apiece. I will link to some plans. These are not my plans but it is what I use. You do not need the slots in the side for single hive use. The slots in the side are for using in a double nuc in a ten frame Lang. So bees from both sides can get to their feed chamber. As you will notice there is a middle divider in this plan you do not need the middle divider in a single.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h10/d ... p/TDBF.jpg
 

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I'm using inverted 1-gal glass pickle jars that I get from the local pizza shop. I prop them up on thick paint sticks above the inner cover. That allows the bees access to the top side of the inner cover, and the upper entrance thru the rim if they desire. It's working out great for me, and I have an endless supply of free feeders. (maybe I owe those pizza shop guys some honey)
 

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I use a variety of feeders... which kind is more than anything else determine by conditions and how many trips to the bee yards I can make. My current favorite and much superior to your standard shove in the front door boardman feeder is the one gallon sealable freezer bags.
 

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Favorite feeders!!!
I have used the free gallon pickle jars from the local pizza joint for years. I drill holes nearly across the lid to cover the hole in the intercover except that 3/8 inch for the bees to come and go as they wish. Problem arises with the need to surround them and help keep the spring heat in the hive or let fall heat out. then there is the storage thing. I picked up some flower shipping flats and redid them so they stack solid with jars in the honey house. they also transport in the shipping flats with out problems. I also use two gallan pails free from the local bakery. They are much the same as the jars

Boardman feeders also have place in our yards. They are for nucs use only. A half gallon pickle jar fits in the 5 frame nucs feed compartment on the boardman feeder. The double nucs are designed to have the feeder well away from the entrance on the outside.

I also have some divison boarder feeders. they were the first feeders I ever bought and I was real dumb about bees. The bees refuse to wear PFD's and drown in the ones I had till I modified them. I cut floats that fit in the bottom when empty to stop most of the drowning, I installed screening on the side walls so the bees could climb out, I put spacer blocks across the opening so they didn't bulge so bad.
Then the Hive had to be fully open to fill them. I don't mess with them any longer.

Haven't did much with hive top feeders. I tried one on one hive with the end of the spring feeding. Worked well enough I have built a bunch for this fall with the floats in them.

:mrgreen: Al
 

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I prefer the hivetop feeders and even use them to field feed. When they're on the hive, being inside the hive, they don't freeze during winter and I can feed the girls without disturbing them or having them fly out of the hive. The only downside is that sometimes they all get hungry at the same time and wind up drowning each other through crowding. But I don't think there's a feeder out there (maybe Boardman) that doesn't drown some bees. I've also learned that if I'm feeding syrup with Honey Bee Healthy in the spring, I have to put reducers on the entrance because that smell drives every bug within a mile completely wild and chances of robbing are greatly enhanced!
 

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Putting all hive top feeders in one category is unfair. I have seen them that were total death traps, while in others 3 dead bees a month would be unusual. Reel's bee supply in Marion, NC makes one that will average less than one dead bee a month. That one can be eliminated with a screen stapled over the top.
 

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I did only a one feeding test with my new home built hive top feeders. I did not find one dead bee in it when I removed it from the hive. I do believe you would be hard pressed to find a bee that died from drowning in one of them.



Also for the many years I have been useing the gallon pickle jars and the 2 gallon pails I have yet to find a drowned bee in the hive. They work very much like boardman feeders with out causeing the robbing in the way a boardman does.

:mrgreen: Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hey alley can we see some more pics of the feeding mowchine you build. You just did what I was hoping for when I started the thread. I wanted to see some new and interesting creative ideas for feeding. I hadnt seen before
 

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Iddee, I didn't mean to sound like I was putting all hivetop feeders in one category; I was talking about my hivetop feeders. I don't have the ones with the floats and the opening in the center. I have the ones with the screened-in area at the front of the feeder where the girls come up and into a little trough and feed from there. It works great because, like I said, the girls can't fly out (sometimes to their death in the wintertime), but sometimes they do drown each other through crowding. I was just trying to respond in the manner riverrat had requested. Sorry if I disparaged anyone's methods. I don't know enough to be criticizing, so I'm sorry if it sounded that way.
 

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Al, my feeders look like yours, but instead of using wood slates i make a frame and staple bubble wrap to it and cut slits in the bubble wrap to let the syrup seep through.All my top feeders have a 3/8 inch shim fixed on the the bottom with a one inch slot in the front for a top entrance and vent. (year round) works great. Jack
 

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I use the kind of feeders that go inside the hive and take place of a frame, they are made of plastic. They are always there when I need to feed. I have one in each hive, sometimes by accident two. They hold one gallon of feed.

Draw backs are that they often take the place of two frames if my equipment os too tight. They often get full of water.

I bought some last year, 300, and I should have gotten the caps and ladders. They actually do work to keep the water out.

I have fed quite a bit of dry sugar, on top of the hives, in the past, but not so much in the past two years, since I have had access to corn syrup in bulk from a friend of mine.

Feeding dry sugar over newspaper in a shallow wooden rim can be a life saver. It can get you that extra month that the bees need to get to a nectar flow in spring. And it is low tech and easy to build or just cut down some old bee boxes.
 

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I use barrels with two taps conected to automatic dog waterers with gravel added to keep the bees from drowning. Usually The barrel sits on my flatbed with enough hose to put the dog waterer on the ground so gravity will push most of the feed out but every once in a while I get clogged up.
At the time of year when I have to feed bees, there aren't any other bees but ferals in my area.
 
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