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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV USA EEUU
    Posts
    47

    Post

    If I wanted to keep using my Brushy Mtn hivetop feeders with a set of new TBH's next year, could I adapt the dimensions so that the feeders sat down on top of the "marimba" ?

    Having never seen a TBH other than the photos posted on the Net, I am assuming the bars all touch each other. So how would you rig it so that bees could get up into the feeders without leaving the interior spaces?

    Where I live now we have very long cool, and frequently rainy springs. I have either had Italians (2004, 1997-99) or Buckfast crosses that our state Ag Dept promoted (2001-3). Both varieties didn't seem to fly in the rain, so a rainy, rainy spring left me with too few bees to capitalize on the best honeyflow of our region, locust -- which is maxing out at Mothers Day. Since I have been feeding with the hivetop units in the late winter and spring, the build-up has gone a lot better.

    Do any TBHers feed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Lightbulb

    I take a plastic jug that will fit on a plastic plate. cut a rectangular slot in the side as close to the bottom as you can. Fill it from this slot, I use a funnel. set it on the plate in the center, it will empty untill the slot is covered and stop. As the bees feed it will refill the plate. This way the level of the syrup can be controlled and no bees drown. Real simple, cheap, and easy to make. I am still experimenting, but so far this works the best.

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assination of inspiration.

    Gary

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    You place this inside the hive, Miki?

    The hive TOP feeder can be used if you will cut some notches in one or more of the top bars to permit bees to access the feeder. However, I have seen bees build comb in feeders. Whether or not they might be more inclined to do this where a feeder is put on a TBH I do not know.

    Top bar hives can be supered in this way, also. A versatile system; you have a choice of cutting comb or supering with a either a conventional super or a TB super.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I place the whole contraption in the hive. To try to super a TBH in my opinion would be to defeat the purpose. I just rigged a 5 liter pony keg. All I did was to pop the gromet out of the top wash it out fill it with 2:1 then i put a plastic plate on the bottom of the hive with two small pieces of wood to hold the can about 1/4 inch off the plate, then I flipped the can over no the wood, it drained untill the air was cut off and it acts just like a bubbler. Center this on the plate and the bees will have the whole perimiter to feed. The greatest advantage is it feeds very fast and cuts down on robbing because its all internal. Necessity is the mother of invention my hives are in trouble not enough stores to get thur winter so I have to feed as fast as the can take it and baggies are too slow. Also 5 liters at a clip is less labor intensive 2 to 3 days anything less and I have to open them everyday. For the winter if they still don't have enough I will make bars with wire cages in the shape of comb and stuff these with fondant. this is the best plan I came up with so far. I plan to get more of these pony kegs, just have to find a good beer!

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assination of inspiration.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    I have two hives. One is just a long (48 3/4") medium Langstroth trough hive with 3/8" thick bars in it. The other is a Kenya style with angled sides. On both I just have the first bar back 1/4" to 3/8" of a inch to make the entrance. On the Langstroth the top feeder would fit fine because I made the rabbet 3/4" deep so there is a 3/8" beespace between the top of the bars and the lid. If you put a top feeder on the bees could get to it by that space.

    It would be difficult to put one on my KTBH because of the difference in dimensions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Mark

    You asked Do any TBHers feed?

    Yes I fed HFCS for about 4 - 6 weeks here in Northern Ohio. This year fed from package installation (April 9th) through about May 20. Three hives consumed a five gallon bucket of syrup. I probably have similar weather to your WV conditions. I built a very simple feeder. You can see pics of one at my "primitive" web site. (so primitive I can't find it right now!!! ) The nice thing about this feeder is you can remove the top of the hive, pull out the cork and fill it without disturbing the hive, just like y our top feeder. There is no access problem because the bees go through the holes drilled in the side.

    I sealed up the inside with melted beeswax.

    Here is the link to the plans:
    http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/fi...bar-bfdj38.pdf

    My latest ones have a screen inside so they don't drown.

    IMO save your Brushy Mt. feeders for tyour Langs and build this one.

    You asked "Having never seen a TBH other than the photos posted on the Net, I am assuming the bars all touch each other." This is true. That is why the top bar feeder works well for me. While a few bees crawl out the filler hole, nothing of any consequence.

    Cheers!

    david

    [This message has been edited by BerkeyDavid (edited September 13, 2004).]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Miki:

    I agree that supering top bar hives seems odd, but I suppose that if you wanted all your harvest at one time it would be sensible. Of course your supers could be top bar supers, too.

    As for feeding, Berkey's frame feeder is the best idea I have seen for feeding TBH's. My schedule calls for making several of these. By making them two frames wide you can get a lot of capacity with them, and the top-fill is a huge plus. The only negative I can think of is that they will be hard to clean.
    Ox

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I am game for anything that works good and easy. One question don't a lot of bees drown in this type of feeder.

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assination of inspiration.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Lightbulb

    I have been thinking about making some homemade rabbit waterers useing 1 1/2" pvc piping with a 90 elbow at the bottom with 8"-10" sticking up as a water holder. Anyways why couldn't a person drill a hole at the back of the hive insert a 90 elbow cover teh hive side with screen and then come up the end of teh hive and use a plumbing strap to hold this upright pipe in place. Use a cap and it would keep stuff from the outside of the feeder out of the feed, and it would be easy to clean. Remove and wash as needed. For a larger capacity tank maybe a 2 liter bottle could be used upside down in the pvc? Just a wild thought I had as reading this post.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Miki you asked:
    One question don't a lot of bees drown in this type of feeder.

    Not in my experience - also according to the bees for development web site.

    In my TBH's I put in little pieces of wood and some weed straw vertically.

    The design worked so well that I built similar feeders for my Langstroth hives. In my latest version I put screen inside, stapled it at an angle from the bottom of one side to the top of the other.

    Only problem with the Langs is that you have to open up the hive to fill.

    On the TBH's you just remove the cover, pop the cork and pour it in. I got a big funnel. I fill the funnel, let it drain, then gauge how much it has filled by sticking a straw down the hole. Just be careful you dont' overfill. If you do it runs out the side bee access holes onto the floor of the hive. Makes a mess. But they clean it up in a few weeks.

    If you wanted to be real careful you could build a little "bee ladder" and mark on the ladder the max fill point. Compare how much a funnel full will move the mark. Then pull the ladder out, fill, and stick the "dip stick" ladder back in to gauge your progress. I am too much of a slob to do it the right way though! I always figure I can estimate the volume of a sticky mass of syrup in a funnel and compare it to a partially empty trapezoidal box. I am usually wrong!

    Cheers!

    david

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Miki
    Reading your post from Hardison (very interesting and helpful, thank you) reminded me of the other advantage of this top bar type of feeder. It also acts as a follower board to reduce the hive size.

    In my hives I used the feeder to reduce the hive size by about one third when I first installed packages. Then as they filled the hive I moved it to the rear, finally taking it out in middle of June.

    I did not intentionally leave a bee space underneath, but a few bees do seem to work their way into the empty side of the hive. Doesn't seem to hurt anything.

    david

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643
    David,
    I would like to give it a try did you post the plans somewhere. Great idea with the screen on an angle, I was thinking of floating a piece on some thin slices of cork, But I had doubts and just stuck with worked.
    I inspected my elgons today and discovered that they stopped building to the right and drew out bars 10 and 11. I am hoping for 15.

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assination of inspiration.

    Gary

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Gary

    Here is the link to some pics of my tbh with the feeder / follower board, The link to the plans is above.
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dn4911/album?.dir=/3180

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