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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    498

    Default Puzzled by Boardman feeder design.

    Ordered a boardman feeder recently. The design is quite straightforward, except for one thing: The round hole is 3/8 of an inch larger than the mouth of the Mason Jar, which allows bees to go into the tiny space around the jar and feed "from the top", rather than the open mouth of the boardman.

    Mason jars are standardized, and I don't understand why this is sized in this manner. Ideally, I'd expect the mason jar to fit perfectly into the hole.

    Can anyone help me understand?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,331

    Default Re: Puzzled by Boardman feeder design.

    I had the same issue when I first started out using Boardman feeders. Depending upon the vendor, they're irregular in shape and size, especially those plastic ones. I like them initially until I heard Randy Oliver say in a class to throw them away. I still persisted in using them for a while because I had 10 of them and then eventually saw what Randy was talking about.

    If you want your hives to be robbed by other bees, yellow jackets, ants etc., use a Boardman. Do yourself a favor, cut your losses and don't use them. Go to Home Depot and buy the 2.5 quart clear plastic "Versa-Tainer" paint buckets with lids. Wash buckets and lids when you get home. Polk holes in the lid with a small nail, fill it with syrup, turn it upside down and place it on top of your frames using two 3/8 inch shims. Place an empty medium super on to protect it, inner cover them top cover.

    Or, place the upside down bucket on top of the hole in your inner cover using shims, medium super then top cover;

    Or, cut a larger hole the size of the bucket lid in your inner cover, staple #8 hardware cloth to cover the hole, place bucket over the hole, then medium super then top cover. That way the bees will feed through the hardware cloth to the bucket lid and you can re-fill without disturbing the bees sticking to the lid or flying up in your face. You don't have to worry about burr comb with this option. It's a little more work modifying the inner cover but it's the easiest in the long run for me.

    I hope this helps.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Puzzled by Boardman feeder design.

    The only thing I use a boardman feeder for is to water my bees. to much robbing when used for feeding. I use QT. jars on an inner cover with no problems. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Puzzled by Boardman feeder design.

    When I started, last spring, I researched equipment, read, read, read, and decided on hive top feeders, bought two different types, neither worked out very well, bought boardman feeders, robbers, and ants came as if they were invited, bought next the latest and greatest, you've seen them, the ones with the yellow plastic bucket, more gimmicks, more robbing, even worse than boardmans, more ants, and add to that drowned bees. Next tried the cheap plastic paint containers, too flimsy they collapse and won't let the syrup out. Bought larger paint buckets, holes in the lid and fed outside, major problems. I now feed from quart mason jars on simple shims, holes in the lid, on the inner cover, empty box for space, screen top to keep out ants and robbers with a telescoping outer cover. The guy's on this site know their stuff. I'm learning to listen to them more every day and apply the KISS principle when and where possible.

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