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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Simple top bar hive feeders

    I had a Beesource member private message me about how a feeder works that he saw on my Photobucket page. He is looking for something simple (minimal carpentry involved) that will hold enough feed to last the bees more than just a couple of days.

    I’m posting my reply to him here in a new thread since others may also be interested.


    The mesh you see in the photo is simple window screening rolled into a tube that does go all the way to bottom of the milk jug. This is the bees “ladder” so they can get in and out of the jug without drowning. Some still drowned, however. The hole is actually on the side of the jug because it wouldn’t fit in this hive if it was standing up.

    I’ve just uploaded some photos to my Photobucket site of another feeder I tried last season—a simple soda bottle. The advantage of this is that no bees can drown.

    In this case it was a 1.25 liter bottle. If the bottle was bigger it wouldn’t fit in my tbh, even though they are 12 inches deep. It worked like a charm. I could definitely drill two holes or even three in the wood support that is at the bottom and install additional bottles and increase the amount of syrup. You need to keep it raised off the bottom just a bit so the bees can get at the holes in the cap. When first installing it, give it a squeeze so some syrup leaks out. This will help the bees to figure out the holes in the cap.

    Depending on your cover, they could also be mounted on top of the hive—maybe with a hole through an extra wide top bar. A 2˝ or 3 liter soda bottle could possibly be used. This idea came originally from the mating nucs in the queen yard of JohnK and Sheri's beekeeping operation that I worked with for several seasons in Wisconsin.

    Good luck.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Casey, Il, USA

    Default Re: Simple top bar hive feeders

    I do the same thing with mason jars

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    fauquier, va, usa

    Default Re: Simple top bar hive feeders

    i fill a small bucket (or a decapitated milk jug) with syrup and float a large handful of pine needles on the syrup. I never see drowned bees, so either they don't drown, or they are carried off before i see them.


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