Feeder? Frame feeder?
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  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Feeder? Frame feeder?

    I am growing fast and looking for some advice from other side-liners and commercial beekeepers. Feeders... Buckets/extra supers take up too much space and are always back at the shop when I need them, glass jars break to easy, and hive top feeders take up to much space and are expensive. What do you all running a few hundred colonies to thousands use? What are your thoughts on frame feeders? My thoughts are to keep them in the hive 12 months out of the year (I feed in the spring, summer dearth, and fall) and always have access to them when I need them where I need them. I currently do not own a single one so I am looking for any tips, suggestions, or comments about the use of them or how you efficiently feed your colonies.

    Thanks
    Dan Williams

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Every hive body we keep bees in has a frame feeder. Ideally they will have some sort of cap and ladder system to keep out comb but we leave them open and just use a long scoop out of angle iron to clean out the comb each fall. Feeding, then, with a pump takes about 5 seconds per hive.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    killen,al
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Is there any way to design the inner cover so that you don't have to remove it to fill the frame feeder?

  5. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Quote Originally Posted by dphillipm View Post
    Is there any way to design the inner cover so that you don't have to remove it to fill the frame feeder?
    Short answer NOPE. The system we all do now works good. I guess you could invent something but, the big guys are not going to change when it only takes a minute or quicker per hive.

  6. #5
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    Oct 2010
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    Lewistown,Pa,USA
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    175

    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    We run around 10,000 hives use jars and buckets. Internal feeders are prime breeding ground for SHB.

  7. #6
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    I use Mann Lake's cap & ladder feeders. I keep them all on the right hand side of the hive and only in the bottom brood box. While we have SHB here, I've not found those feeders t/b a breeding ground. A NY beekeeper (over 4k hives) who overwinters his hives here in SC also uses them with no SHB problem in the feeders. Maybe we're just lucky.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    We haven't experienced shb problems with inside feeders either. Typically they will fill up with drone comb and/or honey by the end of the season. Of course shb are much worse in some climates than others. For us they are a minor pest at worst. We always keep our feeders on th "inside" of the pallet so that you slide the lid away from the hive next to it when you open it to feed. Let me be clear, from a good beekeeping perspective there is no better way to feed than inverted pails or jars the problem is that they are one more thing to have to transport each time you relocate your hives. for us, though, it's an efficiency thing, one person can easily feed a yard of 40 in about 10 minutes.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    We haven't experienced shb problems with inside feeders either. Typically they will fill up with drone comb and/or honey by the end of the season.
    If you use the cap & ladder feeders, they don't fill with comb or honey.....of course they are more expensive...
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  10. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    When feeding syrup and only syrup I don't take the cover off all the way. I only move it over far enough to expose the feeder. Unless I need to dump water out of it. My covers don't fit as well as they should. My feeders aren't capped.

    Jim and others, do your capped feeders ever get water in them? Mann Lake told me that they built the cap and ladder system so beekeepers could fill feeders and handle/load hives and not have syrup sloshing out of the feeders.
    Mark Berninghausen

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    We have used some in the past. My concerns are that they don't "nest" for storage, they are a bit more difficult to fill (in some situations wejust angle the lid over an inch or two), also they may harbor hiding areas for shb and aren't easy to clean out if they fill with rainwater. I do know at least one large operation that uses them with some success. When we are cleaning feeders in the fall I think they sound like a great idea.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #11
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    Frankfort, Ohio
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    I saw somewhere here on beesource (may be one of you guys) pictures of a frame feeder where they put window screen like this (wwwww) in it to use as a ladder and to keep burr comb from forming. Your thoughts.

    Thanks!

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    When feeding syrup and only syrup I don't take the cover off all the way. I only move it over far enough to expose the feeder.
    Jim and others, do your capped feeders ever get water in them? Mann Lake told me that they built the cap and ladder system so beekeepers could fill feeders and handle/load hives and not have syrup sloshing out of the feeders.
    Mark.....no, they don't collect water in them. Also, I'm guessing that when you're loading hives, the feeders w/b empty. But in any event, they don't slosh as they are covered (well maybe they they would slosh some if they were full when you were moving them)....... That's all CK uses in his...
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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    feeding bees is one of my least favorite jobs. I have used every feeder available and they all have their problems but each type of feeder provides that advantage which leads to into a beekeepers preference.
    I feed by pails, and open feeding. I keep everything external. Every spring I figure I should have some frame feeders in place but when I did use them I found them to be more work to remove them before the flows. Otherwise the the space is wasted with comb. They will also fill with water and can be a mess if not kept up.
    If I run my hives around the country like these migratory guys, I definitely could see the advantage of having an on board feeder in place.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  15. #14
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Every spring I figure I should have some frame feeders in place but when I did use them I found them to be more work to remove them before the flows. Otherwise the the space is wasted with comb. They will also fill with water and can be a mess if not kept up.
    I have not found those problems with the covered Mann Lake... cap & ladder feeders. I don't remove ....ever....
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  16. #15
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    ya those covered feeders look slick,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Occasionally I find a cap/ladder feeder with water in it. The bees like to propolize the ladders so to fill I pull a ladder out to make filling quicker. If it is propolized when I remove it a few quick smacks with the hive tool breaks enough of for the bees to be able to feed.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    I learned that if you leave the ladders out in the sun they become brittle and fall apart. I got some when I ordered my feeders but didn't use them. So they laid out in the sun for the Summer.
    Mark Berninghausen

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Athens, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Every hive body we keep bees in has a frame feeder. Ideally they will have some sort of cap and ladder system to keep out comb but we leave them open and just use a long scoop out of angle iron to clean out the comb each fall. Feeding, then, with a pump takes about 5 seconds per hive.
    i do the exact same thing lol
    works great

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
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    Hammond, NY
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    60

    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    What about fondant fast and cheap

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Frankfort, Ohio
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    Default Re: Feeder? Frame feeder?

    Fondant is over 1.00 a pound here. Nothing cheap about it. Lol

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