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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    I am going to make my own style of the Miller Design for a top feeder. It says to seal it up with molten wax. Well I don't have any of that. What do you use instead? Some type of food grade caulk?
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    1,744

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    Well I don't have any of that.
    How much does it require?

    contact me at cchoganjr@scrtc.com maybe I can help you out.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
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    297

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    My feeders are wood, full hive size X 3" deep with plywood floors. I used a silicone caulk around the seams, my feeders are 3 yrs old, they have caused no problems leaking. I use a wood float on top of the syrup for the bees to feed from. There are alway a few dead bees on top of the float. I want to do away with the float and use hardware cloth for the bees to feed from.
    Has anyone tried this and will it work?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,690

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    > I want to do away with the float and use hardware cloth for the bees to feed from.

    The Miller style feeder plans in the Build It Yourself section uses hardware cloth and no floats:
    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...r-type-feeder/

    The ones I built work fine.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,124

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    This is basically what I plan on making. Just straight cuts and I only have to rip about a 1/4" off a couple 1 x 4's. I am going to put some hardware cloth on the bottom gap so the bees can get through it when the syrup is low.

    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
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hiltons,Virginia
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Please consider some dado cuts for the bottom of your tray as this will help to keep it from leaking.

    www.poorvalleybeefarm.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhoto View Post
    Please consider some dado cuts for the bottom of your tray as this will help to keep it from leaking.
    Can you explain that a little better. I am a wood working idiot.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Looking at the photo Hambone...it isn't clear to me how the bees will get past the screen to the syrup.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,319

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    The two center boards below the screen allow the bees to go over them into the syrup side. The two outer boards that the screen is attached to don't go all the way to the bottom, thus allowing syrup to the inner boards.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,124

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    The 2 outside 1x4 are ripped about a 1/4" short. So the syrup comes up the bottom gap between the 2 inners boards.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    If you have no beeswax, go to the craft store and buy some paraffin.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    The feeder shown in Post #5 looks like a great design.

    Has anyone used this style of feeder and can they comment on the amount of bee drowning they experienced?

    I asked because I have used the top feeders with wood floats, and I have huge bee loses due to drowning. I couldn't figure out a way to train bee lifeguards, so I stopped using them. I am thinking of modifying them into the design show in Post #5, so they aren't a total waste of money.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    The two outer boards that the screen is attached to don't go all the way to the bottom
    Does one then place screens below the short boards to keep bees from entering the feeder once the syrup gets low?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,319

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    That's why on the plans here, I show a V shaped piece of hardware cloth that fits down between the two boards where the bees have access. It allows them to go down as the feed goes down, but keeps them from getting into the feed chamber when the level gets that low. Attaching a piece at the bottom would serve the same.
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St-Sébastien Québec, Canada
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    I make my own miller top feeders.

    I use BC fir plywood for the bottom, yellow pine for all the rest. Titebond II glue, Dado blades are my friend for this projet...And no wire wesh!

    I make flot's that move around pretty easy...Again with pine left overs !!!

    Sealer... Parafine!!!

    The stuff used for canning. Your can find this in any supermarket ... By the way.Do not melt in microwave or in a directly in a pot... Boiling of this stuff is flammable... and also does not replace skin!!! LOlll

    I make a double boiler with and old pirex measuring cup and melt away, I apply 2 or 3 coats with a dollars store paint brush... Sealed until ever or until your scrape it off... You can also make touch up when dry.. Seals on the spot if your stuff is hot enough.

    Good luck with you try...

    Denis

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    I've used and like this style feeder... I haven't seen a large amount of drownings.. I see more with the feeders that have the floats in them...

    I tend to use mason jar feeders these days... Although I go back and forth on this styles ability to put a large amount of feed on a one time.

    The downside of these feeders is that they tend to slosh around when you take them off the hive, and you need some where level to set them while doing inspection.
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I have used the top feeders with wood floats, and I have huge bee loses due to drowning.
    I built several classical Miller style feeders using wooden floats and have no bee deaths. I took a sheet of thin plywood and ran lots of slits using a table saw. The slits stop about an inch from the edges and are spaced about an inch apart. I then added a pine rim around the plywood which faces down to increase floatation. The float is sized to fit with minimal gaps around the edges. I'm not suggesting that this design is better than the one posted above, but it works for me. I used dado cuts and lots of titebond III during assembly. I finished with silicone sealer on the joints in the wet section - no other sealer used. You can get silicone that is safe for food contact. I've been using these for more than 7 years without any losses.

    The design above looks pretty good. Do the bees build wax up into the feeder? On my feeders, the entrance is across the front away from the center of the cluster and I don't have issues with excess comb into the feeder. Of course this may be seen as a negative as bees are less likely to get access during colder temps.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,124

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    I tend to use mason jar feeders these days... Although I go back and forth on this styles ability to put a large amount of feed on a one time.
    I mostly use mason jars too. But when I start to feed here in a couple weeks when there is a 25-30 degree temp change the mason jars tend to leak. They work great in March and the fall season when the temp around here is pretty steady from night to day.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    I've also used the Fatbeeman feeders... If had a solid cheap supply of containers to fit the feeders... I'd consider looking at using them, but with the cost and effort of making the ladder.. I might as well use the miller style from mann lake at 12 bucks per... Since I'd have to make the super in both accounts...

    But who knows, maybe I'll figure out a way to make it all on the super cheap.. = )
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,836

    Default Re: Making a Miller Style Top Feeder - Sealant Ideas

    I use silicone which is real expensive, but it does not leak as I had siliconized caulk do. Halfstepping just makes your legs tired and you don't get anywhere. Do it right the first time. I love the miller feeders. The entrance is in the middle of the frame and some portion of a viable cluster is always close enough to find and use the syrup. I need to build another dozen this winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    I am going to make my own style of the Miller Design for a top feeder. It says to seal it up with molten wax. Well I don't have any of that. What do you use instead? Some type of food grade caulk?

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