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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    19

    Post

    Anyone using the Mann Lake top feeders? I have 3 packages going, two with the Mann Lake feeders, and the girls are not taking syrup from them. But it's only been a day since I started the packages...

    DanZ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,454

    Post

    I generally don't blame the feeders if the bees aren't taking syrup. As long as they can get to it. If they are getting robbed or drowning, I blame the feeder. If they aren't taking syrup they have better sources for what they currently need.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    Yes, I'm using the Mann Lake top feeders. No problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    19

    Post

    Good to hear, thanks.
    No drowning bees.
    I put these packages on drawn comb, but no honey stores, so I figure that they are going to need to eat. This syrup has Fumagilin in it, maybe I should to an A:B study and put plain syrup on the other side...

    DanZ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    They work fine for me too. The are a bit like PC, the bees need to build some bridge comb to travel up from the frame to the entrance of the feeder. All in all, I like them.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bend, TX USA
    Posts
    69

    Post

    Can you just put those insrts on a shallow super box?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pinewood Minnesota
    Posts
    124

    Post

    the inserts from mann lake can be put in a shallow, but the shallow has to be cut down about 3/4" if i remember right. PP
    If your pulling a trigger, it really isn't bowhunting

  8. #8

    Post

    I'm using Mann Lake feeders and haven't ever had a problem with the bees taking the feed. If your bees aren't taking the feed I wouldn't worry. They'll go up and get it when they want it. I've found that the smell of Honey B Healthy or using your own oils (spearmint, wintergreen, etc.) will draw the bees to the feed more than just straight feed but it does increase the likelyhood for robbing. So relax, they'll eat it when they want it, the feeder isn't a problem. What IS a problem with the Mann Lake feeders is that the screen doesn't fit real tight against the black plastic tub and bees will get out and drown in the syrup. This is especially a problem when the feeder runs dry. I solved this problem with mine by glueing some strips of plastic around the edges of the screen to make it fit tighter. I didn't want to glue it in place permanently because it is nice to take the screws out to remove the screen whenever you want to give it a thorough cleaning. Since I shimmed up the screen edges I've never had a problem. One other caution for you is that the plastic tub is thin; handle with care. The hivetop feeder from Bee-commerce is awesome but it's a bit spendy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I'm using 3 of them, they work OK but the wire screening in them was hastily installed (at the factory) and one piece was actually cut about 1/4" too short and bees were able to sneak through cracks on the ends. When I noticed this, I was able to squash/crimp/bend the screen to fit tighter but it took a few attempts before it really worked. Next time I use them I'll have to muck with them some more even.

    Now that I've seen them, I'll just make my own top feeders thank you- they'll be better and a **** sight cheaper.

    Not to change the subject, but I also got 3 screened bottom boards (with drawers) and must say they look like they were cut and assembled by monkeys- the dimensions were pretty sloppy. The entrance varied from 15 1/8" on one to 14 3/4" on another with the 3rd being somewhere in between. The side rails were also 7/8" tall so a standard 3/4" tall entrance reducer left a crack the bees kept trying to squeeze into- not to mention being too short for a good fit. I ended up making custom reducers- 3 of them, of different lengths

    Grouse! Grouse! Call me fussy. I like most of Mann Lake's stuff, but I'm not inclined to order any assembled woodenware from them again.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Germantown, Ohio
    Posts
    43

    Post

    I have colonies on Bee-Commerce feeders and on Mann Lake feeders. The Bee-Commerce are always sucked dry while the Mann Lake usually have some left in them. I wonder why.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    forest lake, mn
    Posts
    14

    Post

    I am using 3 of them on my new hives. 2 of them worked great. The other one I made the mistake of putting an inner cover with the notch in it on and I found alot of dead bees in it. I got a new cover and checked it a week later and found more dead bees. Then I noticed the same thing George did. The screw in the end missed the mesh, and this left a gap they could crawl through. I removed the screw and put it through the mesh. No more dead bees! I like them because I don't live where my bees are and they have never been empty by the time I get there to check them. I pulled one off the hive the other day and 2 frames were attached with burr comb. What is the correct way to remove them? Do you rotate them before lifting? I don't want to crush the queen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    tstrottman said ..."I pulled one off the hive the other day and 2 frames were attached with burr comb. What is the correct way to remove them? Do you rotate them before lifting? I don't want to crush the queen."

    Same thing happened to me. I ended up twisting the feeder to break the burr comb, then was unhappily surprised to see that the bridge comb they built up into the slot had brood in it, and fresh eggs. It was all drone, but still.. hated to see it.

    The two biggest flaws with the Mann Lake design as I see it are:

    1) They violate bee space- there is way too much room underneath the feeder. I don't like lifting the feeders off and pulling frames out with them.

    2) The screen is no where near tight fitting enough- I thought I had it fixed only to find a few dozen bees in one bin that had managed to squeeze through a crack at the bottom. They weren't drowned, the feeder was almost empty, but they were unhappy.

    I built a miller type feeder with a plywood bottom, used bees wax on the inside for water proofing, and fashioned a nice tight screen and the bees seem to love it.

    That said, I have 6 hives now and individual feeding arrangements are ok. I doubt, when I have 25 hives, that I'll be putting 25 feeders on them. Not sure what I'll do. I'd rather give them frames of honey rather than white sugar syrup, but that's not an option this year.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    tulsa, ok usa
    Posts
    2,264

    Post

    The box that my feeder was put in was budget grade. One of the tails on the box joint was missing.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    >The box that my feeder was put in was budget grade. One of the tails on the box joint was missing.

    Nice. Not. I can do better work with a chain saw.

    I also bought 5 (count `em, f-i-v-e) 6 3/8 wooden frames from them (before I discovered Humble Abodes not 7 miles down the road from me) and 2 of the bottom bars were warped beyond use and one side bar was checked. These were commercial grade.

    Mann Lake needs to clean up their act- I can't imagine anyone buying wooden ware from them *twice*

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Post

    WOW I have bought several hundred frames from then and not a bad one yet
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Inevitable honeyman, just my luck of course. I've bought a thousand frames from Humble Abodes and not found one that cracked or checked, let alone unusable. They're also made of Northern White Pine which accepts nails/staples much better than the wood from out west, and their tolerances are so tight you almost don't *need* to use nails...

    I'm obviously biased.. but it's clear to me that Mann Lake's quality control department needs to ramp up.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Post

    and I haven`t bought any in the last three years so mabee quality control is lacking some,and amby somebody from the north woods will read this and WAKE UP!!
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. Clair, Mo.
    Posts
    133

    Post

    I'm glad I wasn't the only person that had trouble with those feeders. Not that I wish handfuls of dead bees on anyone! But it sure was a bummer to crack the tops and see all those casualties. Took me a minute to figure it out. Thought they were robbers who found a way in, but I didn't have inner covers on over the feeders, so no vent holes.

    I have ordered most of my woodenware and frames from Mann Lake the last three years, but I must say, I have come to really like Brushy Mountain's stuff. I think the quality is great. Just look at one of their inner covers-thick, well made plywood......no saggy masonite there.

    Wow, I sound like a commercial. Maybe Steve Forrest will give me a commision on every one sold!
    \"Home is where the hive is.\"

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,454

    Post

    I've had the robber scenerio several times with various hive top feeders. Sad.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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