View Full Version : top feeder versus boardman feeder
07-07-2006, 08:01 PM
I am a new this year to beekeeping I have 5 hives that are doing well. I have one other hive that was a late swarm that was captured and placed in a hive body with undrawn comb in a deep super I checked them 2 weeks ago and had some capped brood and what appeared to be a good pattern of laying by the queen in 2 frames in the center of the hive today I checked it and it has not grown any and the bees are on the same 2 frames that had brood 2 weeks ago I did not pull any frames on this inspection (I only lifted the feeder to look inside) I am feeding with a top feeder that the bees have drawn comb to. The comb is drawn the length of the hive. They have not drawn any comb in the other. The colony does not appear to have grown any. There is a lot of bees coming and going with pollen when the arrive back at the hive. Would it be better to go to a boardman feeder and risk robbing and do away with the top feeder hoping to get them to draw comb in the hive frames I have this hive in town. any help would be appriciated
07-08-2006, 07:55 AM
I don't know that feeder type will have much to do with whether they'll draw out comb out not. Robbing can be a concern with either type. I have two miller-type feeders and they do get some burr comb because they violate bee space, but they do draw out the comb fine and few to no drowned bees (unlike frame feeders). Sounds like they must've drawn out two frames, from foundation? I'd say keep feeding on top. Maybe they're just busy rearing some sisters (had to build the nursery first smile.gif ) and when the population grows a bit or weather changes or Saturn aligns with Hale-Bopp I'd guess they'll return to comb building just fine.
NW IN Beekeeper
07-08-2006, 07:26 PM
Some will say that the bees will place nectar in the closest place needed. So if you use a boardman and your brood areas need comb, then they will likely store it there.
Likewise, if there is empty drawn comb on top and you are using a top feeder, it is likely they will store it in those cells (not in the brood).
The problem that you are likely having is just a issue of critical mass. You have to have enough bees and enough of those being foragers that return with no place to store honey. That load in their guts help force wax production.
The bees have to feel a need to draw, and if you have too few bees there isn't going to be desire.
This will be a bigger problem if you are entering a dearth and the queen slows.
07-08-2006, 08:18 PM
I agree with Jeff that you are missing crital mass. Give them a frame or two of hatching brood or switch hive locations with a stronger hive.
[ July 08, 2006, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: magnet-man ]