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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    waverly tn
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    Default Best feeder type

    I am trying to figure out what type of feeder I need. I know I am probably going to start a debate. I am thinking I want the feeder that uses the mason jars but do they leak since they are inverted with holes and how well do the baggy feeders work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Warrior, Alabama
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    1,068

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Make the hole very small and they are fine. Been used for years. Like many many years.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Welcome to Beesource!

    There are quite a few different feeding methods that all involve having the feed above the bees. Two of those are mentioned above. Applied properly, virtually all of them will work well.

    Avoid Boardman style feeders that sit in the hive entrance. They are easy to use, but are prone to start robbing.

    If you would like to make a good top feeder with a large feed capacity, Beesource offers plans to do so here:
    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...r-type-feeder/

    Similar Miller style feeders are also available for purchase at many supply companies.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
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    Jan 2013
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    waverly tn
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    13

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Well I have read and heard the miller style feeder they eat more if this is the case then are they able to draw comb quicker and I have also read about the drowning of bees and that is also a concern and are there any tricks to the Miller style feeder that would help with the drowning like adding hardware cloth or pop sickle sticks that float


    Also has anyone used the baggy feeders just wondering how effective or messy they are

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,125

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    I like the mason jars on top. I use 3/4" plywood with either 1 or 2ea 2 7/8" holes.



    This one I made our of 3/8 plywood. I think lid fits down in the hole a little to far and can crush some bees when you put a new jar in. That's why I like the 3/4" plywood. It creates a little space from the bees to the feeder.


    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
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    108

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Quote Originally Posted by motox573 View Post
    Well I have read and heard the miller style feeder they eat more if this is the case then are they able to draw comb quicker and I have also read about the drowning of bees and that is also a concern and are there any tricks to the Miller style feeder that would help with the drowning like adding hardware cloth or pop sickle sticks that float


    Also has anyone used the baggy feeders just wondering how effective or messy they are

    I have tried lots of them and like the hive top feeders from Brushy Mountain the best (the ones that have the floats in them). Second choice would be the baggies. The baggies definitely kill less bees and aren't as messy, but the bees don't seem to eat as much as they do with the top feeder.

    The floats in the BM feeder work well for not drowning bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    > I have also read about the drowning of bees and that is also a concern and are there any tricks to the Miller style feeder that would help with the drowning like adding hardware cloth or pop sickle sticks that float

    The Miller style feeder in Beesource plans I mentioned above has no floats, not does it have an open area that may lead to drowned bees. The feeder uses screen in a contained area to provide a ladder for bees. Some of the commercially available Miller feeders are also designed in the same way.

    You may wish to look at the illustrated plans to see if you could adapt the feeder you are referring to mimic the Beesource feeder.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    waverly tn
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    13

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Do you put the plywood over the frames or the inner cover

  9. #9
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    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    I don’t use inner covers. Only migratory lids.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    I got my first bees in Decemeber of 2012 (yeah, kinda of a strange time, but... ). I used ziplocks a couple of times as suggested by my mentor. He uses them successfully and I'm sure thousands of other beekeepers do, too. But, I had some problems and quickly moved to quart-sized mason jars...I've never looked back.

    With jars you're probably going to need a "shim" to enclose the quart jars so that it is protected from the elements and out of reach of robbers. I use inner covers with telescoping covers and the "shim" goes on top of the inner cover and below the top cover. I use a medium box/super as my shim when feeding with quart jars. I screen over the escape hole and the extra 2-3/4"/70mm hole that I drill in the inner cover (sometimes I feed two quarts at a time)...I use #8 (1/8") hardware cloth for the screen. The screening keeps bees from clinging to the jar lids and also flying up out of the holes when I remove the jars. I block any notches in the inner cover that allows bees and other critters to come inside the shimmed space. Feeding through the feeder holes in the inner cover is a good way of putting feed right above the cluster.

    I bought a few one-piece "store bought" feeder lids to see how they worked...they work great and were just a little more expensive than regular one-piece lids. These lids have 13 small holes punched into them. I think that half that many would work just as well. I've read where different numbers of holes affect the feeding rate (makes sense to me) and that the different feed rates stimulate the bees in different ways...that's something else that this newbee (me) has yet to fully get a grip on. I'm thinking it's something like fast 1:1 feeding promotes brood and wax creation whereas a slower rate of a thicker syrup tends to put them in a more conservative mood. I've still got a lot of learning to do!

    If you go with ziplocks you will need a short shim but rather than feeding on top of the inner cover I've seen most people that feed that way put the ziplock directly on the tops of the frames.

    I haven't had any jars to leak on me that I'm aware of but I've always had them under the top cover so no sun exposure. Tighten the lids firmly. The only problem that I had was actually feeding too much and too fast and finding during last years apparently enhanced swarm season that I chased several swarms. The biggest negative aspect of jars is that they're glass and will break...I haven't broke one, yet (now watch me go break some!). Something else that will happen if an empty is left on the hive too long is that the bees will seal the holes in the lid with propolis...just stick the lids in the freezer for a few hours and then use a straight pin to punch the hardened/frozen chips of propolis out of the holes.

    One-piece jar lids are very nice in that they sit more flush to the screen. You don't want a gap between lid surface and the screen or the bees tongues might not be able to get to the syrup. An old beek shared a trick with me regarding using two-piece lids...he said to turn the lid upside down in the ring...so that the gasket faces out and against the ring and the center area of the lid protrudes outward rather than inward. This moves the surface of the lid closer to the screen (and bees). I haven't tried this but he says that he's had no problem with it...he does this on his own hives and last time I saw his yard he probably had 30 hives there. YMMV.

    I'm not sure how many hives you're feeding, but I needed just a quart of syrup the other day for a small cutout. I'm pretty sure that it was 3 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water that made almost a perfect quart volume. I'm going to have to try it again to be sure, but I think that's what it was. Also, dissolving some crushed up Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) in the hot water will bring the pH closer to that of honey and will also help retard fungus from growing in the syrup for a while...it's good if you make more than you can use quickly.

    When you're feeding keep a monitor of how much the bees have stored....you don't want them filling the hive up with sugar water!!!

    I like jars...but everybody has there own preferences. Jars are durable (within reason), re-useable, have good visibility for monitoring, and you can use them as a glass for sweet tea when not feeding bees with them.

    I'm just a rank newbee so take all of that with a grain of salt, it's subject to correction by somebody that's smarter than me!

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  11. #11
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Hambone, do you cover the jars with anything? Just curious about your experiences using them in the sun. Thanks!

    Ed

  12. #12
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    2,644

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Mann lake baordman feeders with the tubes, or a boardman with a piece of screen mesh in it. The drowning bees come (in a boardman) other bees continualy knocking bees back into the feed. Think trying to get out of teh pool when everyone else wants in... for under 10.00 you cant beat them... And FYI I think the floats are the worst system ever

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Mann lake baordman feeders with the tubes, or a boardman with a piece of screen mesh in it. The drowning bees come (in a boardman) other bees continualy knocking bees back into the feed. Think trying to get out of teh pool when everyone else wants in... for under 10.00 you cant beat them... And FYI I think the floats are the worst system ever
    CHarlie, aren't boardman feeders the kind that slip into the front of the hive entrance?

    Ed

  14. #14
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    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Hambone, do you cover the jars with anything? Just curious about your experiences using them in the sun. Thanks!

    Ed
    I donít cover them. They typically take it down fast enough that I donít have any mildew issue, though this year I have 3 from late splits from last year. They take it pretty slow and when it gets about a 1/4 left in the jar I start to see a little mildewing starting, but that is the only time Iíve seen it.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  15. #15
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    Apr 2011
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    Trinity, NC, USA
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    142

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    I have great success with Miller style feeders with screen, no problems with bees drowning!!! Also use jar feeders...



  16. #16
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    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    No problem with pressure building up inside the jar causing excess syrup to be pushed out? I've "read" that can be a problem with jars exposed to the heat of the sun...and that's why I'm asking you since you've got hands'on experience with it!. I've got a few migratory tops that I could experiment with this summer. Are your feeder holes screened? Thanks again. Ed

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Trinity, NC, USA
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    142

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    I do not screen my feeders. I pull them if there is going to be a twenty degree difference in day and night time temps.

    Another jar feeder set-up.

  18. #18
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Yea, sorry meant division board... I was in GA all weekend and drove in late last night. That 13 hour drives just wipes me out...

    And yes any jar type feeder will pump out the syrup as the air warms up

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Quote Originally Posted by rail View Post
    I do not screen my feeders. I pull them if there is going to be a twenty degree difference in day and night time temps.

    Another jar feeder set-up.
    Nice looking feeder setup there, rail. Is that a four or five holer...almost looks like a hole in the middle?

    Charlie, rather you than me on that drive!!!!...that's a long one, it's a wonder you were even able to type! Hope you had a good trip.

    Ed

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,842

    Default Re: Best feeder type

    Intheswamp.. motox573.. I use the Mason jar feeders (3/4 Advantec migratory covers) on approx 150 hives each year. I like 1/2 gallon and one gallon jars as I don't have to refill as often. Never had a problem with them.

    Here is a photo of some of them in use.

    Thru top feeders.jpg

    cchoganjr

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