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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    oneida co. ny
    Posts
    34

    Default Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    title says it all, i tried brushy mountains and i blame their feeder for a swarm i caught for dying because so many bees drowned. i like the division board feeder but they dont hold much syrup and found the only way to keep bees from drowning in them is to put straw or hay in them. last year i ordered several collins bee feeders and was disapointed with them, bees seem to seal up the holes on them all the time and need to keep cleaning them to keep working. thought they were sealing up the holes beacuse they werent taking any more syrup but that wasnt the case. i just want a feeder i can put alot of syrup in without disturbing the bees and walk away. anyone make a hive top feeder that wont kill bees? i see mann lake make has one that looks like it might work. but dont want to keep buying and trying things that i am not happy with, already have a stack of feeders like that. also dont want to buy something that i need to modify just on place on hive, fill and go.

    thanks for your input

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    I fought your fight just in the last two months. Same top feeders were drowning my bees. I found them to be an absolute pain in the A--. I used a deep hive body and closed the hole on the outer edge of inner cover and put a 2 boardman feeders on the cover with the empty body around them. Bees come thru the hole in the inner cover and you could put 4 feeders in if you needed too. I found that the syrup got nasty in the top feeder before they finished it anyway so i had to throw some away anyway. This worked great for me. Its easy to move to do inspections, stays clean, quick to refill. Anyway, it worked for me. Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Ive had great luck with this one:

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/423/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Have you tried Zip Lock Freezer Bags? The quart size fits a nuc; the gallon size fits a full-sized box. Put the bag on the top bars and make three or four slits the long way with a razor blade. Don't overfill or you'll have leaks when you first cut the bag.

    I always put the bag in the top box (some people say put it just above wherever the brood chamber is). I remove the inner cover and use a 2" deep shim under the outer cover to make room for the bag.

    No drowning whatsoever. They get about 98% of the feed. I mix three heaping tablespoons of pollen substitue with my sugar/water mix. Takes the place of patties.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    I use a the miller style plastic feeder. It has two chambers with a center channel covered with #8 galvanized hardware cloth and sits in a shallow section. The cloth keeps the bees from you and creates a climbing ladder for them. Only time I find any number of dead bees is when the top isn't in place and they get in from the outside. They're expensive, I haven't replaced one yet, but enough here have sent a hive tool through 'em.

    I hear many commercial guys use an inverted bucket in a deep on top of the inner cover.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,773

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by kincade View Post
    This is the one that I prefer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    I posted this a while ago in answer to a situation where this guys bees were building comb underneath his Mann top feeder.
    Maybe this will help...

    "I bought a couple of top feeders from a local store. He buys from Miller Supply. It is like the Mann feeder but does not have the cavity underneath and maintains proper "Bee Space". Holds 2 gallons and haven't had any problems. Much better than the other top feeders I have from Brushy Mountain which uses floats. They are a death trap for bees. Took out the floats and fabricated a screen system similar to the Miller / Mann type and haven't lost a single bee since."

    My girls are going thru a gallon a day, so I need the volume of a top feeder and they consume it so fast, there isn't any time for the syrup to go bad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    I am looking to build a couple of the Fat Bee Man feeders, I purchased plans from him, but look at his YouTube site for details. He will also sell completed units, but you have to email him to start the process.

    http://www.dixiebeesupply.com/Dixieb...t_Bee_Man.html
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    +1 for FBM feeders. Mike, I would recommend building the ladders bigger though (wider) or what I've done is put one on both ends of the box (8 frame). Send me a PM if you want as I had to tweak the design dimensions a little and adjusted the ladder build to be much easier to assemble. The bees love it, can't drown, and haven't had any issues with comb being built on the bottom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    +1 for FBM feeders. Mike, I would recommend building the ladders bigger though (wider) or what I've done is put one on both ends of the box (8 frame). Send me a PM if you want as I had to tweak the design dimensions a little and adjusted the ladder build to be much easier to assemble. The bees love it, can't drown, and haven't had any issues with comb being built on the bottom.
    If you have not seen it I am looking at the feeder he shows in his queen timer box for my 10 frame hives. I will probably do his standard inset on the bottom instead of his flat bottom setup to keep the queen in the center section of the timing box. He does not yet have the plans available, but it does not look that complicated to modify and I already have purchased his "No Drown Hive-Top Feeder" plans.
    Thanks for the input, and yes I would be interested in what modification you have done to FBM basic plans.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RDmhMqMIW8&feature=plcp
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    The ones from Dadant are great.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Yeah, that looks pretty much the same, except the ladders are now on the sides. I would still do an inset and just make the dividers taller to fit it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Mike,

    Picture of my ladder assembly. I changed it up a little, where the long pieces are the ones angled down now, makes it much easier to put together this way. You can also see I used a small piece of bottom board for the bottom junction as well instead of screening that part as in the plans. I sanded one edge at an angle to help seat it, used hot glue to seal the edge (not that it needed it).




  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    To each his own, but I would not use any feeder except the jar top through feeder. (see photo) You can use pint, quart, half gallon, or gallon. No drowning of bees, no robbing. Thru top feeders.jpg

    cchoganjr

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    I have two of the Beemax hive top feeders and never see a dead bee in them. I got them in a pile of equipment I purchased from a guy who was relocated.

    That being said they are expensive and I couldn't afford to put them on every hive so i made migratory tops from scrap wood and used a CNC router to make holes in them just like Cleos. Impossible to drown a bee using them, you can see how much they are taking at a glance, simple to refill and replace. Nuff said.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Keth...others..... Perhaps the most simple way to make the hole is using a hole saw. At places like Harbor Freight, Pier 19 and wood working box stores, they go for about $4.95 and will last forever. Better yet, just borrow one from a carpenter, wood hobbiest friend.

    cchoganjr

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Mike,

    Picture of my ladder assembly. I changed it up a little, where the long pieces are the ones angled down now, makes it much easier to put together this way. You can also see I used a small piece of bottom board for the bottom junction as well instead of screening that part as in the plans. I sanded one edge at an angle to help seat it, used hot glue to seal the edge (not that it needed it).
    That shows me a lot. I am assuming that the top piece and back piece on the legs go all the way across. I am still head scratching on that as it does make assembly easier and stiffer. The mesh across the top did let you see the bees without opening the hive and the mesh on the backside of the down pieces did give a second climbing path for the bees. Once I get the basic boxes built I will look at all of the ideas to see what I want to do on the ladder assembly. Thanks a bunch for sharing your implementation with us all. Did you increase the width at all or is it the 4" that FBM had in his original plans? Oh yeah what is the dimension go the change in the depth of the wood? I am assuming it is 3/4" thick and I saw the 2 1/8 & 3" length. So you changed the 3/4 X 3/4" stock to what before you cut to length?
    Thanks again
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Yes Cleo, a 3.5 inch hole saw works fine for wide mouth mason jars. I find I get a real snug fit with a hole that is just a tad smaller so I had a friend write a simple file for his CNC router.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Keth I use regular Mason Jars and using a 2 3/4 hole saw, the hole will be very tight. (Too tight for the cap to go in it) Use sandpaper just a little and the top will fit in the hole. Nothing gets in, you don't have to open the hive to feed, place new jar over hole as you remove the jar on the hive. Best system I have ever seen.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 07-31-2012 at 04:51 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Wanted hive top feeder that wont drown bees!

    Yep Cleo. That is how I do it. Super easy!

    In the pic below you can see one hive and one nuc with the feeder tops on them . . . .

    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

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