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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Bradford, PA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    If you're going to build one yourself I recommend the Miller Hive-Top feeder plans right here on Bee Source. http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...r-type-feeder/ I put 10 of these together over the winter for less than the price of 2 of the Brushy Mtn or Mann Lake feeders. They have worked fantastic! Just the right bee space on the underside and drown-free since I started using them this season. Very nice design. Matter of fact I plan on building 15-20 more this weekend!!!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Does anyone put an inner cover under the feeder?
    Yes, I have mine setup like that this spring and it is working well this way.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Murcia, Spain
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ddawg View Post
    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.
    The problem I have with the Plastic bucket is that when atmospheric pressure changes it either decreases or increases the flow sometimes too much. I stick to glass jars for a
    constant flow.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Charlotte. NC. USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    yes

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gillham Arkansas USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I use fatbeeman design and have yet had a bee to die . Mine holds a gallon . May be increasing that on the next ones I make .
    Nothing ventured nothing gained . Sometimes the only way to learn is do .
    25 hives at the moment .

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I use the Kelley plastic inserts with a screen. No bees outside the screen (except for the ones that always fly in when I'm filling it) unless you have a bad seal with the cover, holds 4 gallons. They will build comb underneath with a strong flow on, but then you shouldn't be putting feeders on then anyway.

    A similar home-made one will work fine too -- I need to make a couple nuc sized feeders. A large chamber with sloped bottom, an access slot up the side, and #8 hardware cloth arranged to prevent bees getting past the screen, about a bee space from the sloping side, will work great. No drowning (although an occasional bee dies up there and falls in), no robbing since no one can get to it from outside, no need to use a veil or smoker to add syrup, just pop the lid and pour it in.

    Float type feeders can probably be converted by adding the wire mesh over the entrance slot and sealing it to the sides.

    Peter

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I think to start I am going to try to build the Fat Bee Man no drown version, I got the plans today. Ill let you know how it goes.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I love the foam hive top feeders, I think beemax is the brand. They are light work well. The down fall of them is when you do an inspection. You have to pour out the syrup because you cant set it down, the bottom will be covered with bees. I prefer using it during the winter for this reason. During the spring and summer, a mason jar is the way to go imo. Easy to swap out & you can cut a hole in any inner cover to accept the jar. Cut the hole with a cheap keyhole saw or spend 20 bucks and get a hole saw to do it. Only bad thing about the jar feeding is the extra empty hive body used to cover them up.

    So, I like the foam hive top feeders during the winter, but I prefer the mason jars during the rest of the year. I guess if I was going to feed them and leave them alone until it was empty, I wouldnt mind the hive top one all year. Those foam ones will hold like 2 gallons of syrup maybe more. If its hot out, the syrup may go bad before they take it all.

    Rob

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Cloquet, MN
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I have 2 Mann Lake top feeders and have never had luck with them. The bees simply won't use them. I switched to division board feeders last year and then I got two very hot nucs this spring. I bought 5 quart plastic pails at our local hardware store for $2 a piece and made bucket feeders. It works better for these crabby girls because I dont have to open up the hive to switch out their feeders.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    swienty feeder with a vivaldi board......easy to use. No dead bees or robbing.

    http://www.bee-outside.com/roundswientyfeeder.aspx

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I finished up my feeder today. Very simple to build and could be built for less then $10 if you had to buy the materials. I added a second deep to my new hive 2 weeks ago. One of the frames had some drawn comb on it from last year and some of the others had foundation and some had nothing. They had not started drawing any comb on it yet so I went ahead and put the feeder on today with a 1:1 solution. I am not sure if they will take the syrup or not as there is tons of clover in bloom right now and still some dandelions. I am going to check it this weekend and see if they are using it or not.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Surprisingly I went over and checked my feeder two days after install and it was empty, almost 1 gallon gone. There were some dead ants in the feeder but the bees drank it down faster then I thought. It must be working because I had installed my 2nd deep box with 8 frames about 2 weeks ago. When I installed the feeder a couple days ago the bees had not drawn any comb in the 2nd box. One frame had bees on it but the other frames were half foundation and half foundationless. Today when I checked the feeder two the the foundationless frames were almost 50% drawn. The sugar water must have kicked them into overdrive. I am going to try some cinnamon around my hive to try to deter them.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Missoula, Montana, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    I use 1 gallon zip lock bags as well. They work great for me. The only Ive had is once when my wife poked a hole too close to the side and it leaked down the side of the hive. But I use a screened bottom board so it just went out the bottom. The nice thing is that it won't all leak out... just until it gets to the level of the hole. Other than that, the bees seem to use them just fine, not a single drowned bee, and I change them every 4-5 days. Super easy, super quick, and very cheap.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bakersfield Mo US
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Do you just poke holes in the top of the bag and lay it on the frames and then put the hive cover over it?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Missoula, Montana, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Hive Top feeder recomendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by doodlebug View Post
    Do you just poke holes in the top of the bag and lay it on the frames and then put the hive cover over it?
    Kind of... Make your syrup and let it cool. Fill the bag 1/2-2/3 full. Definately not over 2/3. Seal it up leaving about 1 inch open and squeeze the air out of it (over the sink cause you'll spill a little) and then seal it completely. If a little air is in it, no big deal. Then seal up the opening with Duct Tape so it cant come unziplocked. Some people don't use tape. With good bags you could probably get away without it, but I tape them just in case. Transport the bags in a bucket in case of leaks. Put them either directly on the frames (This is what I do) or on top of the inner lid. Use either a 1.5"-2" spacer (measure your bags for best spacer size) or a hive box/super and then the cover. Don't poke holes into it until you have it installed. Some people cut slits in it with a razor. I like using toothpicks and poking about a dozen holes in it. When you lay the syrup bag down on the counter or hive or whatever, you will notice that the sides are curved a bit and the top is flat. Much like a waterbed mattress. You want to poke the holes well away from the curve in the sides (1" or more) or the holes will leak until it drains down enough that they are in the flat spot. I do 3 rows of 4 or if I'm feeling really adventurous 4 rows of 4. lol I like toothpick holes because there is NO chance that the bees will drown (sometimes they crawl or fall into cut slits). It takes 1-2 to get used to it all so I'd advise practicing on a couple bags with tap water in your kitchen to get comfortable with it. I filled a couple up and experimented with hole patterns, etc before I trusted them over the hive. They last 3-5 days depending on the size of the hive. Everytime I open my hives there are bees drinking from them so I know they work. If you don't use tape be sure to face the opening of the bag (the zipper) to the outside of the hive in case of a leak.

    That's about it. It sounds like a lot, but its not. I comes down to filling a bag, sealing it, installing it, poking a few holes, and closing the hive.

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