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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    FRANKLIN NC
    Posts
    28

    Default How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    Hi Everyone, this is my first hive and first post. I am debating on the feeding of my top bar hive. I want to use the simple method of using granulated sugar on the floor of the hive and spraying a little water on it. Is this a good method when starting a hive in spring? Should I place the sugar in the main part of the hive or after the false back with a little hole for entry? I also thought about a boardman style feeder in the entrance or behind the false back with a hole cut for entry.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Manchester, TN, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    I used a jig saw to cut a hole for the boardman feeder on the end of the hive. no entrance there. just the feeder in a tight fit. seems to work alright.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    liberty center ohio usa
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    I've used baggy feeder with 1to 1 syrup behind follower board with 3/4" hole in follower board.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    Spreading sugar on the floor of the hive isn't a good way to feed. Do what predsfan said, or you could just move the follower board back a bit and put in a mason jar of 2 to 1 syrup with some small holes poked in the top of the mason jar. If your hive is big enough you may be able to use a rather large feeder behind the follower board.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    Or go really old school, and use a bowl with syrup and a small handful of straw in it (this is to stop drownings). I've used those plastic take away tubs, they hold about a quart, as they fit well in the base of my hives.
    Last edited by praxis178; 03-13-2013 at 06:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,380

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    I just temporarily move a pair of top bars apart 1/4", then put a quart jar of syrup with a few holes poked in its lid, inverted over the opening created. I also put pollen sub patties over this same opening, this has worked very well for me.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    If the simple way was also the best, everyone would be doing it. There is a reason why people are using other "harder" methods.

    Putting sugar on the floor then wetting it can potentially cause a number of problems, one of them being robbing as the bees cannot defend this sugar. Robbing can ultimately be fatal to the hive. Might work but it's a gamble, likely many beekeepers have done this at some time.

    Best to use one of the other suggestions in the thread.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    I use quail/chick waterer with small pebbles in the trough to prevent drowning. The kind that screw onto quart jars.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    FRANKLIN NC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    Gosh thanks for all the wisdom! I think I will go with a feeder behind my follower board for now and see how that works. I am sure each season brings new challenges.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,206

    Default Re: How to feed a Top Bar Hive

    If you have a nectar flow, you really don't need to feed. The sugar works, don't spread it out, leave it in one place right under the cluster. Anytime you feed you run the risk of robbing. Keep the entrance reduced while feeding.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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