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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    37

    Default Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I am planning on purchasing hive top feeder for future use instead of the entrance feeder I have. Any recommendations about brands or things to look out for? I have seen several with the entrance slot in the middle and a reservoir on each side with wood floats in them. My hive was built by a friend using plans from Fat Bee Man. It's an 8 frame hive so I am assuming it is a standard size if I was to order one. I am at work so I can't remember but I am thinking it is like 19 7/8 inches from front to back. (that is from memory so I could be wrong.)
    I thought about building one myself. My thought was an open slot down the middle with the reservoir on each side. I was going to run some screen or hardware cloth at an angle from the opening down to the lower outer corner, so no matter how deep the syrup is they would have a way out. Does this make sense, and if so any reason that would not be a good idea?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    FD-118 $22.95 Free Shipping over $100 Click Link Mann Lake

    Top Feeder.png

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,644

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    > I am thinking it is like 19 7/8 inches from front to back.

    All hives with normal frames (and made from 3/4" wood) should measure that same 19 7/8" in that dimension. It is the other dimension that changes based on the frame count.

    A normal 10 frame hive is typically 16 1/4", but there is greater variation in 8 frame boxes among different manufacturers than for 10 frame boxes. If this is a concern to you, measure your boxes and check with the potential feeder vendor before you place an order.

    I suggest that a feeder with wire that keeps bees out of the main tank is a better choice than a float system. The Mann Lake feeders linked above appear to be of that design. For those interested in making their own Miller style top feeder, the Beesource plans use hardware cloth to keep bees from the tank and don't use floats. The linked feeder plans are for 10 frames, but it wouldn't be hard to modify to 8 frames: http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...r-type-feeder/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I think the Mann Lake is 14" X 19-7/8"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Marietta, Ohio USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Deleted

    double post

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Marietta, Ohio USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I have the Brushy Mountain hive top feeders with the floats to stop bee drowning, which does not work.

    I have had hundreds of bees drown in them even with the floats.

    I will not buy any more of these until they redesign it to prevent unecessary bee deaths

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    richland center, wisconsin USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Amish mason jar less than 1 dollar .. no drowning
    You can chart how much they are consuming and for the nosey beek can get into the hive without sloshing jarfeeder.jpg
    "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I modify the top cover and inner cover to accept a quart or half gallon jar with holes in the lid. If your not feeding it has a cover you put in the hole. It works great for me one glance at the hive and you know whether or not they need more feed or not. Plus you don't have to open it up to fill the feeder. I found the plans online I think if you search google for DC bees you'll find it. I've tried several styles of top feeder with wire and floats and both led to a lot of dead bees or ants.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I have found that top feeders add a lot of moisture to the inside of the hive...............Hence, I think the Mason jar is the best and most economical method.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Would you think that plastic screen glued on the top of the floats would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeMoose View Post
    I have the Brushy Mountain hive top feeders with the floats to stop bee drowning, which does not work.

    I have had hundreds of bees drown in them even with the floats.

    I will not buy any more of these until they redesign it to prevent unecessary bee deaths

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lincoln, RI
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I had a top hive feeder similar to what you are describing - entrance in the middle, wooden floats on each side. I hated it. Drowned bees, comb everywhere, and added moisture.

    I ended up using a gallon sized ziploc bag (get the nice ones, not the cheap stuff that leaks), set it on top of the inner cover, placed it inside a 2" shim, telescoping cover on top of that. Poked some holes in the top of the bag when its laid flat like a waterbed, and it worked like a charm. Bees sucked that thing dry and I pop in another when needed. No mess or leaking syrup over brood. No drowned bees. Less space. I can also store the syrup in the bag in the fridge.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    582

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyin-lowe View Post
    I am planning on purchasing hive top feeder for future use instead of the entrance feeder I have. Any recommendations about brands or things to look out for? I have seen several with the entrance slot in the middle and a reservoir on each side with wood floats in them. My hive was built by a friend using plans from Fat Bee Man. It's an 8 frame hive so I am assuming it is a standard size if I was to order one. I am at work so I can't remember but I am thinking it is like 19 7/8 inches from front to back. (that is from memory so I could be wrong.)
    I thought about building one myself. My thought was an open slot down the middle with the reservoir on each side. I was going to run some screen or hardware cloth at an angle from the opening down to the lower outer corner, so no matter how deep the syrup is they would have a way out. Does this make sense, and if so any reason that would not be a good idea?
    The Fat Beeman plans for an 8 frame hive are normal in lenght, however he calls for the width to be diff from the standard as he calls for 13 1/4 " instead of the normal 14 if you use standard 3/4" wood. His plans call for a 3/4" inside extra space giving 11 3/4". If you purhcase a standard feeder from Mannlake etc, they will hang over the edge and only about 1/4" on each side will hit.

    If you are going to make a feeder, use his plans, but instead of using so much wood in the ladder, use more hardware cloth. Makes a nicer looking setup and NO mold either.. Here's a pic of one that I made for my 8 frame hives..

    Hivetop Feeder 2.jpg
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by dynemd View Post
    FD-118 $22.95 Free Shipping over $100 Click Link Mann Lake

    Top Feeder.png
    What I do not like about the Mann Lake feeder is that during any sort of nectar flow your bees will fill the underside with comb and honey...attaching that comb to the frames below. Then when you remove the feeder it makes an awful mess....
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Charlotte. NC. USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I have the mann lake feeders and love them,i haven't lost a single bee to drowning,a couple things i have noticed. 1 They will sweat,but i Popsicle sticked my roof and that cured that in a day. 2 The girls will build some goofy comb under them like beemandan said,if your doing regular inspections just scrape it off.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I have taken to putting inner covers beneath the feeders to eliminate the desire to build wonky comb. So far so good.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Rome, GA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I went to Home Depot and bought the 2 Qt plastic paint mixing buckets. Punch holes in the lids with a thumb tack and place them above the inner cover on square dowels. Put an empty hive body on top with the telescoping cover. This has served me well, easy access, holds plenty of sugar water and no drowned bees.
    Let's Eat Grandmaw ........... Let's Eat, Grandmaw.......Grammar Saves Lives

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    paulding Georgia USA
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I like the Feed Easy by Beetle Jail. They have a video demo on there website, no drowned bees and it is easy to use.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    rensselaer, ny, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I use the BeeMax styrofoam top feeders. Betterbee carries them (IIRC less than $30 each.).

    I take my wooden telecover and inner cover off when the feeder is on, however, because everything above the feeder grows moldiness (partly because feeding happens here during the late summer and early Fall when our humidity is the highest and the nights can get cool). Above the feeder I use a BeeMax cover. If it grows fur, I just scrub it (and the feeder itself, if necessary) with bleach water and I'm good to go.

    The only downside is that carpenter ants can chew on and open holes in these feeders. Painting reportedly doesn't deter this, alas. I may fabricate exterior ides and edges from roofing flashing to combat this if my new location away from their nests doesn't solve the problem..

    The bees learn to use the feeder very readily (within minutes of installation). You can refill it without opening the hive, which is a boon as the nights get darker earlier during feeding season. I never have lost a bee to drowning.

    If you get one if these watch sometime when the fluid level is nearly zero. You'll see hundreds of bees sticking their little proboscises under the Lexan divider to eagerly slurp up the last drops. It's hilariously funny, I think.

    I always have an open top entrance (with robbing screen, as necessary) under the feeder to vent away any moisture rising from within the hive that might otherwise get trapped under the body of the feeder. I don't like damp hives!

    You can't use a quilt box while you have the feeder on.

    Enj.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    BeeMoose
    I have the same problem with these feeders from Brushy Mountain. Since I already have them I am going to try to figure out some method to prevent drowning. I think I will try placing a tight piece of screen over the floats and staple them, and eliminate the areas where the bees drown. The same type of feeders from Dadant do not drown bees but leak and seep through the corners.
    Quote Originally Posted by BeeMoose View Post
    I have the Brushy Mountain hive top feeders with the floats to stop bee drowning, which does not work.

    I have had hundreds of bees drown in them even with the floats.

    I will not buy any more of these until they redesign it to prevent unecessary bee deaths

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    On the man lake style feeders I run extruded styrofoam strips 3/4x3/4 strips they long way. I put enough in to leave about 1 bees space between them. Not one bee drowning yet.
    One could probly use a thin foam and drill holes in it, that's my next experiment.
    Yes they have been building bridge comb under the feeder.
    Does anyone put an inner cover under the feeder?
    Stephen
    2 hives+2 swarms near Red Deer.

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