drowned bees in hive top feeder
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
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    cleveland, oh, usa
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    Default drowned bees in hive top feeder

    Hi, I just bought a top hive feeder (not from Brushy but it is the same one). So I made a gallon of syrup to add to the 1/2 gallon I put in yesterday and I noticed probably a dozen drowned workers. I didn't add the extra gallon, I'm a little worried. Is this normal? Did I forget to correctly align something?

    The second picture shows a drowned bee.

    Thank you, I think Picasa may have exported these as 800 pixels, I'll resize to 640 if you would like.

    http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z...iveFeeder1.jpg

    http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z...iveFeeder2.jpg
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 05-02-2009 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Please reduce image size to 640x480

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Montgomery county, Illinois
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    Default

    I don't see the drowned bee, but I have the same feeder and it looks like the bottom part of the white insert on yours is in front of the those little stubs at the bottom. If it is that's allowing the bees to get into the syrup chamber and drown.
    I'll take a picture of mine today and post it. The white insert goes behind those stubs and you should be able to see them at bottom.

  4. #3
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    Apr 2009
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    cleveland, oh, usa
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
    looks like the bottom part of the white insert on yours is in front of the those little stubs at the bottom. If it is that's allowing the bees to get into the syrup chamber and drown.
    Yes they can get into the chamber, that's where they have drowned. Dummy me, I'm thinking that was part of the design. Hindsight is 20/20, I never asked at the supply shop and it was busy there.

    I'll take a picture of mine today and post it. The white insert goes behind those stubs and you should be able to see them at bottom.
    Thanks very much! I hope they go to town on the syrup because I just put my 2nd deep on with brand new frames & foundation.

  5. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Montgomery county, Illinois
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    Default

    Don't feel bad. It stumped me for awhile too.





  6. #5
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    Apr 2009
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    cleveland, oh, usa
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    Default

    thanks a lot (from the girls )

  7. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    cleveland, oh, usa
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    Default top hive feeder looks different

    I took a look at the feeder empty. Looks different, doesn't have the pins. Looks there is nothing for the white plastic to be shoved behind or into. How the heck can this be water tight? I tested in the house by putting more than a gallon of water in it. Then seeing the water line (say 3/4" up) , I stuck dry strips of paper down, in the little white slits, into the space where the bees would presumably crawl down. The paper strips got wet at the water line, I don't see how the bees can do anything but drown. Looks like I'll be going to the store on Monday.

    Thanks



    Last edited by thelorax; 05-03-2009 at 05:47 PM.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Montgomery county, Illinois
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    Default

    Yeah, that's different from mine. Maybe you can put some screen wire down the inside where the bees could crawl down it to get to syrup, and run a little under the edge to keep them from getting into the syrup tank? How does the maker expect the bees not to drown in that thing?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    4,487

    Default

    I don't know you're feeder. But the syrup does go into the bee chamber its supposed to. The plastic should keep the bees from getting into the main reservoir.
    Dan

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    cleveland, oh, usa
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    Default

    I returned the feeder. Turns out the white plastic is to keep the bees in, it is not supposed to be water (or syrup) tight. Thus if you have an inch in the reservoir, you have an inch in that channel for the bees to slip into and drown.

    Going low tech, I filled up quart Ball jars, poked holes in the lids, and just put them direct on frames.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
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    271

    Default

    Hate those feeders. I mean, they blow.

    I still use them because I hate to waste good money, but in the end if you have ANY syrup in them and you need to dive in the hive they suck to move...bare handed or even worse with gloves.

    So, that said, ALL hive tops feeders will drown bees. Period. If it bothers you rip out those white plastic dividers and staple together a hive float.

    I did the same with those Beemax styrofoam top feeders. They do the same thing.

    The ones I like are the miller hive top feeder with two chambers. On one side I put pollen and on the other syrup (early in season).

    Best thing still is the hive top with a hole cut in it for a mason jar. No drowned bees, can see it when its empty and can replace without opening a thing.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  12. #11
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    Apr 2009
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    cleveland, oh, usa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durandal View Post
    Best thing still is the hive top with a hole cut in it for a mason jar. No drowned bees, can see it when its empty and can replace without opening a thing.
    appreciate the feedback, thanks

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Montgomery county, Illinois
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    Default

    I've had mine on since the 3rd (when I posted the pic of it empty) and refilled it today. No drowned bees, but the ants found it.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South San Ysidro, NM
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    Default

    I've used the kind Brenda posted for a couple years now without any problems.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    86

    Default here is what drowned bees look like

    I haven't lost a bee since I fixed this problem. The other trick is a screened inner cover..just pour syrup through it to prevent kamikazi's (sp?)

    http://www.shutterfly.com/lightbox/v...cd1d30d33b21f1

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Montgomery county, Illinois
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    Default

    Can't access the photo. It's asking for sign in info.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheffield, MA
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    1

    Default Re: drowned bees in hive top feeder

    I don't see the pix and I'm logged in!!

  18. #17

    Default Re: drowned bees in hive top feeder

    I can't see the photos either. Are they the same as post #19 in this thread?
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ghlight=feeder
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Port Angeles, WA, USA
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: drowned bees in hive top feeder

    I cant see any of the photos. Photobucket is garbage now a days, check out imgur.com instead.

    I use expanded clay pebbles as floats in feeders. Top feeders, frame feeders, and even open feeding.

    https://www.amazon.com/Original-HYDR...d+clay+pebbles

    Shop around locally, garden stores and hydroponic stores. I get 50L for $35.

    Works wonderfully.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: drowned bees in hive top feeder

    We have a different type of feeder, but occasionally get drowned bees. I've learned to add syrup slowly, and watch to see if they get out of the way. Sometimes the fearless little dummies will just stand in the bottom of the feeder as the syrup comes up around their bee knees and not realize they are in trouble until they are covered. Usually they'll move if the syrup comes up slowly enough.

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