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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    This is my first year keeping bees and I purchased a couple of wooden top feeders to start off a couple of new packages in 8 frame equipment. In no time at all the bees started building burr comb in the feeder entrance. My reading about beespace (3/8") says if more space is given the bees will build burr or bracing comb. That being the case, why do the manufacturers of wooden top feeders have an entryway of 7/8"? The feeders I purchased were from Dadant and had no screen, just the entryway, then over the board, and a little wooden raft on each side. I don't know if other manufacturers have a 3/8" entryway. How about you folks? What is your experience?
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    I have the same feeders but I don't worry about the burr comb ladders I did find out that after feeding them with sugar water or etc. I had to take the floats out because they give the small hive beetles a place to hide from the bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Interestingly enough, the entry gap was half filled with comb and BROOD. Also, my feeder leaked so I could only use one side for feeding. They built heavy comb in the unused side. Fortunately, we don't have hive beetles in Washington, yet. I would like to get or make one of the wooden top feeders with the screening on it so I can feed without disturbing the bees. The gap size, though, still confuses me. Why are the commercial ones so much larger than 3/8"?
    Last edited by Jim Rieck; 07-02-2012 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Needed to add an image for clarity.
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Sorry. I can't figure out how to insert an image.
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    I'm not sure myself, I am still pretty new at this myself. I just take one day at a time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    009 west 2012 0504.jpg I decided to figure out how to post a picture and revisit this topic. My hope was that someone that makes top feeders would reply and explain why the large opening is necessary.
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Get the plastic one that Kelley's sells -- the center section has a screen over it 3/8" from the body, no burr comb on mine last year.

    Holds 4 gallons, no drowning unless you leave enough space between the feeder and the cover for bees to get in.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    I recently finished making two of these. I had it figured to be 3/8" space for the center entrance and then 3/8" between the cover screen the top rail they crawl over. I hate to say it, but my dad was right about that 'measure twice and cut once' stuff. I faileld to account for the 1/4" of kerf that i slid the bottom board into. I used a router to shave off some of the top rail, but it darn sure doesn;t look pretty anymore. Fortunately, few people will be seeing something inside the hive When i get my nucs instaleld and feeding I'll get some pictures of it to share. With luck, I'll not have burr comb up there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Personally, I would welcome the extra harvest of wax.
    2nd Year New-Bee - 15 Hives, 11 Nuc's, 26 Swarms, 3 Cut outs in 2014
    Zone 10 - B - Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Get the plastic one that Kelley's sells -- the center section has a screen over it 3/8" from the body, no burr comb on mine last year.

    Holds 4 gallons, no drowning unless you leave enough space between the feeder and the cover for bees to get in.

    Peter
    If you have 8-frame equipment, you can get them at Mann Lake.

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...es/page40.html
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rieck View Post
    Interestingly enough, the entry gap was half filled with comb and BROOD. Also, my feeder leaked so I could only use one side for feeding. They built heavy comb in the unused side. Fortunately, we don't have hive beetles in Washington, yet. I would like to get or make one of the wooden top feeders with the screening on it so I can feed without disturbing the bees. The gap size, though, still confuses me. Why are the commercial ones so much larger than 3/8"?
    FatBeeMan's website, dixiebeesupply.com. You can buy the feeders or the plans to make your own. They are simple, easy to make, work great and don't drown hardly any bees. I used the ones you have from Brushy Mt. They're ok, but I redesigned them to be better.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Burnet County, TX, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Wooden Top Feeder Beespace Question

    Quote Originally Posted by butch043052 View Post
    I had to take the floats out because they give the small hive beetles a place to hide from the bees.
    That just happened to me yesterday. I pulled up the floats and the beetles scattered. The bees immediately grabbed them & I smashed the rest! I guess corks might be a replacement option.

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