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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Feeding with hive top feeder

    I have Brushy mnts hive top feeder on my two hives. I also put the inner covers on my hives. Is that the wrong way to do it, should I leave the inner cover off to stop robbing. If the inner cover is for ventilation dont I need it. Could I put a piece of screen over the hole on top of the inner cover, to stop robbing from happening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    You should stop robbing at all costs.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm

    The problem with the typical modern inner cover and a hive top feeder is that the inner cover has a notch. The notch makes an entrance. An entrance above the feeder leads to drowned bees and robbing. An entrance below the feeder cover leads to robbing. You can put it on IF you put the notch to the back and slide the telescopic to the front to block the notch. Or leave it off.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    Thanks Mike, I could also just slide the telescopic to the back, and block the notch in the front, couldnt I? But if I do that dosnt that make the inner cover useless, shouldnt I just take it off? Or is it still good for something?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    I have a BM hive top feeder. If it's like mine, you don't use the inner cover. I do put a screened inner cover on it only cuz I can do a quick fill without being buzzed. Have never had a problem with robbing - but, as I said, I never use the inner cover - with a notch.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    The important thing is to eliminate the entrance. The other reason you might want to take it off is so it doesn't get exposed to so much moisture. The reason for leaving it on is, you have to find somewhere to store it. It's real value is in reducing condensation in the winter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    I made hive top feeders for my 25 nucs hived 3/10/12. No notches. I put in 10 lbs sugar, pollen substitute, mixed with 2 cups water to make a cake. The bees went right after it, but soon after we had a very early spring. Now the bees don't need it. No doubt I went a little overboard.

    Can this be frozen until needed this fall or winter, or should I discard it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    A cake will keep fine. You can put it in a five gallon bucket with a tight lid. It must be tight or the ants will get in...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    An option is to block the entrance and than add a vent box above the inner cover. It is essentially a mini super with two screened holes in each side for ventilation. See D E Bee Hive site.

    I build mine out of 2 x 3 inch material and make simple butt corners. Use glue and screws and they stay square.

    Drill the holes at an angle so rain water runs out and when inverted the sides of the telescopic cover blocks the holes. And there's always duct tape or corks to block the holes if venting is too much.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,366

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    Vent Cover.jpgVent Hole.jpg

    I make my vent holes in my mig cover then add #8 hardware cloth to prevent robbing. You could add screen to your inner cover notch if you still want to use it for ventilation.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Feeding with hive top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    A cake will keep fine. You can put it in a five gallon bucket with a tight lid. It must be tight or the ants will get in...
    Thanks for the reply on this Michael. I found the sugar cakes are so hard they have to be chiseled off the hive top feeder. Maybe because I mixed in some "feed-bee". I left most on, and the bees are keeping the pests out and not eating the cakes. Do you see any harm in just leaving the hive top feeders on until needed elsewhere?

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