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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Vancouver, WA, USA

    Default Winter Feeding Preparation

    Here is my idea for an inside winter feeding system.

    I saw those inside feeders with the floats on each side.

    I am building a hybrid version out of a Honey Super design.

    First my bees are wanting to expand and I have a need for an internal feeding system for winter. The problem with my current yellow inside frame feeders is the bees will wax the floats down and I have to take them out and such. If it is winter and a cold day they will freeze when I do that process.

    I will take that "Yellow feeder" out and give them a new frame to build comb on (probably in position 3). Plus I will add five of the 6 inch Honey Super frames so they can build more comb and store more supplies for winter. There can be two of my 9 inch ceramic feeders inside.

    Above is a view from the top. As you can see I am building the feeder out of ceramic and food safe (lead free) glaze. Also I couldn't do a full 18 inches in my small kiln.
    I was going to do a box out of wood, but couldn't figure out how to make the wood box sugar/water tight and non toxic since all the paints have harmful chemicals.

    Above is a picture of the observation window in the Honey Super. It has a wooden piece that fits over it.
    After I finish with this ceramic piece I will create a new ceramic feeder with a glass window so I can see into the chamber by opening the external observation window. (Glass melts at only 1400 degrees so perfect for my kiln.)

    What approach do others use for winter feeding that doesn't require opening the hive too frequently?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Olympia, Washington

    Default Re: Winter Feeding Preparation

    I don't feed in winter, I feed in autumn.

    OI have fed as emergency measure in winter by using the mountain camp method, and it worked well:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    New Boston, NH

    Default Re: Winter Feeding Preparation

    I had those feeders with the floats in them on in the spring.

    Nothing but a ton of dead bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Littlerock, California, USA

    Default Re: Winter Feeding Preparation

    Your hive looks great! I use the frame feeders that have a "ladder" that the bees access the syrup through
    One reason folks don't feed in the winter is that bees will not take syrup if it is too cold (55* or so) another concern is that the volume of syrup may absorb heat from the overwintering hive. Good luck with your new set up. I hope it works well.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Bolton, Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Winter Feeding Preparation

    This is what I use, no need to open the hive when filling and no bees get at you at all. They have their own screened in ladder to get to and from the syrup, so no drowning.

    The Fat Bee man sells the plans for them here.

    You Tube bee Channel Zone 5A

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