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  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    grand rapids, michigan
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    Default Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    I've started building a Miller style top feeder for my solitary hive that will be installed in a couple weeks. As I was thinking about leak proofing the two top chambers and building floats I thought would it make sense to just place baggie feeders on each side of the feeder and leave it at that. No need to make the chambers waterproof or build floats. Does that make sense or would open syrup with floats to keep the girls safe be better enough to justify the work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    You may wish to look at the Beesource plans for a Miller style feeder, here:

    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...r-type-feeder/

    As you study the detail for the plans, note how the screen is arranged to keep the bees out of the main syrup tanks. No need for floats, either.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    Thanks Graham. Those are the plans I started with. The area the bees have access to seems so small so I started thinking on variations. Are you familiar with this design? Is it effective? Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Grand Haven, MI
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    76

    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    That's funny because I was thinking about the same thing. I am fairly new so maybe their is something I am missing but I don't see why you couldn't. I wondered if you could even put a pollen party on one side and baggy on the other.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthomas View Post
    The area the bees have access to seems so small so I started thinking on variations. Are you familiar with this design?
    I have built two of these feeders. I see no problem with the space the bees can feed in. Consider that a quart jar style feeder would likely only accommodate a dozen bees at max. The two slots on this feeder can handle a lot more than that.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
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    grand rapids, michigan
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    Thanks Graham. I appreciate your feedback and knowledge. I will follow the plans. What did you use to waterproof the inside? I was thinking Spar Varnish. Also, when I built mine I used Gorilla Glue in all of the joints including the groove that the bottom slide into. The way this glue expands I am thinking it will provide a really good seal in the joints.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    I used some polyurethane on the inside of the tank area, but that was decided by the fact that I had a partly used can already.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    If you are going to use baggies then you don't need to build anything at all. Same goes for pollen patties.

    Miller feeders are a convenient way to get a lot of feed into a hive quickly - like when getting ready for winter - because they hold a lot of feed, a lot of bees can get to the feed at one time, and they can be refilled easily and without opening the hive. But they can drown a few bees, and hold enough feed that it can spoil if they don't take it really fast. And they are expensive if you have very many hives, and most are bulky to store.

    Baggies, can feed a lot of bees at one time, but they don't hold all that much feed, can only be used once, and aren't as convenient to fill. But if you do it right they don't drown many if any bees.

    Quart jars can only feed as many bees as can crowd up to the lid of a jar - but they are cheap, easy to make, and don't drown bees. They are better than baggies as far as refilling. If you don't keep them protected from the sun, or if you don't install them level they can drain out through the hive and make a mess.

    Keep in mind that sometimes you need to feed fast, and sometimes you might want to feed slow.

    There are others too. All of them have their advantages and shortcomings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    2,384

    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Baggies, can feed a lot of bees at one time, but they don't hold all that much feed, can only be used once, and aren't as convenient to fill. But if you do it right they don't drown many if any bees.
    Baggies are easy to fill. Just stick them inside an old coffee can, pull the baggie around the sides of the coffee can and pour. Zip it shut & it's done..... Easy.....
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox OA Vaporizer,
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  10. #10
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    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    The Miller feeder is my preference for a feeder. Holds a large volume and few bees drowned. Don't have to open hive and deal with bees to refill.

    I coat the interior of the tank with melted wax. Need to seal the wood or mildew will grow. Also drilled a 1/2 inch hole(and covered with screen) on each side of the tank, near the top for ventilation.

    Some may consider overkill, but I also place a bead of silicone on wood to wood joints to prevent leaking.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    grand rapids, michigan
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    So with the Miller top feeders, do you use the inner cover above or below the feeder?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Brainerd, MN
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthomas View Post
    So with the Miller top feeders, do you use the inner cover above or below the feeder?
    Above.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #13
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    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: Miller/baggie hybrid top feeder

    Never below Miller feeder.

    Above is a convenient place to store it BUT block the notch on the front side of the inner cover or bees will enter and drown. Not a problem in my area but small hive beetles my make it home.

    If you remove it, it is good to add screened vent holes at the top sides of the tank or add a popsicle thick spacer under corners of outer cover, to have some ventilation.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

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