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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    748

    Default Hive feeders...which to use when???

    I am trying to decide which type of feeders to use. I am new so have no experience to base my choice on.

    Does one use different methods to feed bees depending on the weather and what the bees are doing? Is there any preference/advantage between using liquid, slurry, solid block (candy boards,fondant) or dry sugar supplements? Is protein best fed as paste/pattie or dry?

    Then it comes with how to present the feed to the bees.

    In the short period I have had bees I have tried frame feeders with mesh tubes (bees still drown), hive top feeders (they build comb all over the bottom of them) and baggies (many leak..some badly).

    For winter months I expect accessibility for the bees, not freezing and minimizing increasing humidity to minimize condensation would all be considerations.

    It would helpful to hear what experienced bee keepers preferences are for feeding during the warmer and colder months. I am looking to purchase feeders and don't want to purchase equipment that will end up not being used due to problems with implementation.

    I am in Vancouver BC Canada...summers maybe up to 80 degrees and wet winters with light frost. We usually get a period well below freezing for a week or 2 a year and a couple of inches of snow at that time.

    Also for those of you in weather like ours what do you find to be the best method for preparing your hives for winter and maintaining them over that period.

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    candy, fondant or for emergensies dry sugar in the winter and syrup in the warm months. 1-1 in spring and 2-1 in fall. I like hive top feeders both miller type and buckets. Bur comb is just a part of life so if it bothers you to have it on the bottom of your feeders you might be in the wrong hobby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    I use gallon pail feeders on top of inner covers....1:1 syrup ..I give them what they use in two days....scrape off that burr comb and make a candle :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    Different kinds of feeders:

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    748

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    How does one make a gallon pail feeder? Can one purchase gallon pails or do you eat, or give away, a lot of ice cream for a while.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    I have a friend that made his out of plastic coffee cans. Simply punch a doz or so holes useing a small finish nail randomly near the center of the lid. If the lid fits tight it will creat a vaccuum when flipped upside down. Paint cans (new), jars buckets and the list goes on. Anything with a tight fitting lid

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,595

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    You can get used gallon buckets from wal-mart and other bakeries for free or cheap, then as mentioned drill holes in the lid. Make sure the lid seals good. Invert it over the hole in an inner cover or a migratory cover. If the hole in your migratory cover is 2 3/4" then you can also use it for jar feeders when you don't need so much feeder volume. Any feeder is limited by how many bees can get to the feed at one time - miller feeders can get a lot of feed into a hive really quickly, jars not so much, buckets can feed pretty fast if you drill a lot of holes. But when you drill more widely spaced holes it becomes more critical that the bucket sits level or it can leak.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    Miller feeders like the ones from the plans on this site are my favorite because as David just stated they feed ALOT of bee's at one time. I changed the screen on these plans slightly by screening the complete top. This keeps any bee's that find a crack between the cover and the feeder from getting in and drowning

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rusk, Texas
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Hive feeders...which to use when???

    Frame feeders work good for me, i like the ones from mann lake that have the cap and ladders, very little drowning.
    Potato Guns shouldn't be illegal in Texas!

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