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Thread: Top feeder

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,475

    Default Re: Top feeder

    My last talk a lady was appalled that I said if you keep bees you will drown and squish some. Is that what I want? Nope. Is it necessary? Yes. I like the Dadant frame feeders cheap, strong and fast. Put a few floats in and your good no leaks and no special made equipment
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Clear Lake, MN
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I was under the impression these Top Hive Feeders http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...ct/FD-611.html were suppose to reduce/eliminate the bees from drowning.

    All feeders are supposed to... all feeders drown some bees.

    > I installed my package bees a week ago and noticed the one hive had quite a few dead bees outside the front entrance...at least a dozen or more

    A dozen bees is NOT "quite a few dead bees". It is very few dead bees... You probably got a 3 lb package which is about 12,000 bees. In six weeks all of them will be dead. That is about 300 bees dying every day of old age.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but are saying I should be seeing more bees dead? What's odd is I bought a three 3lb packages from same vendor, installed them on the same day in 3 different hives that are relatively close to one another. I haven't seen that as many dead bees on the other two hives, one being a dead out from last year that sill had dead bees stuck in the comb.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Clear Lake, MN
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Mr. Bush,

    Look at this link https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...11928-No-queen. I think this explains what has happened with all the dead bees in a little more detail. Thanks for your imput

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: Top feeder

    I've tried a couple of different top feeders. I've never had good luck with them. They leak and drown bees.

    I use an inverted jar with holes punched in the lid. No leaking. No dead bees.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Colorado City, Colorado
    Posts
    673

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I've tried a couple od different top feeders. I've never had good luck with them. They leak and drown bees.
    Here is one of my homemade top feeders in use. No leaking. No dead bees!

    image.jpg

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Top feeder

    With the Mann lake feeder has any one filled in some of the crevices underneath with foam? Obviously you want to keep the middle channel open but perhaps the edges and ends? Would that help with the burr comb?

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Excel, ALabama, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Top feeder

    I bought two top hive feeders from a beekeeper about an hour away from me and they are hands down the best feeders ever. He has a patent on them, but he only builds to order. I used them last fall and this spring and I rarely see a drowned bee. I guarantee I have not had half a dozen drown. He has a metal pan which is on a grade to allow the syrup to run to one end. There is a 4 to 5 inch opening between the pan and the box that the bees crawl up through to access the feeder. Screen is folded over the opening and is folded at the bottom corner of the low end of the pan, and is secured against the inside wall of the pan. There is only a two bee space at liquid level and the bees can crawl out of the syrup if they get into it. The screened bubble over the opening keeps the bees enclosed so that I can refill the feeder without having bees up in my face. It holds a gallon.


    IMG_1918.jpg
    Last edited by kbar1973; 05-16-2015 at 09:09 AM.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Shelby, NC, USA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Top feeder

    I've had good success with the brushy mtn. top feeders with floats. You just have to make sure when refilling that the floats, float freely. Sometimes the last remnants of sugar syrup will evaporate with the float in contact with the bottom and will glue them down. A slight push with a hive tool or finger will free them. I absolutely hate mason jar feeders. If you have wide temperature swings from day to night, they seem to leak. I've tried pinholes, 6 holes, larger holes, 12 holes, two tiny holes, etc. and eventually all of them have leaked. It attracts robbers, ants, drenches bees and the list of problems goes on. I hear a lot of folks say they have had great success with jar feeders but that has not been my experience.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Same here. I've tried all kinds of feeders and the ones from Brushy Mountain work for me the best.

    - Entrance mason jars hold too little. I use them only to hold water, since I have a hive close to a neighbor's pool.
    - In-hive feeders take valuable space, plus it's not easy to fill them from a jar or a bucket.
    - Inverted buckets placed inside an empty hive body over an inner cover - honestly, I cannot fathom how people *ever* make it work without spilling the solution all over. There's no way that one can flip a bucket and *not* have some liquid come out, unless we're talking about extremely thick sugar solution (not 1-1)

    The top feeders placed over Brushy Mountain inner covers (they are thicker and have nice bee space) work very nicely. The use of silicon caulk to double seal the edges will make one's worries about drowning bees disappear. Top feeders are easy to refill, hold a lot and do not disturb the hive when refilling.

    Przemek

    P.S.
    I don't understand someone's comment about mold in a top feeder - wouldn't this indicate that bees are not interested, thus the solution is just fermenting? If the bees don't want, they must have a better source of nutrition so I'd take the feeder away.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Top feeder

    >Correct me if I'm wrong, but are saying I should be seeing more bees dead?

    No. I'm saying 300 a day are going to die. You may not see them as they may die in the field or the bodies may get carried out into the grass. But there are about 300 a day dying.

    >What's odd is I bought a three 3lb packages from same vendor, installed them on the same day in 3 different hives that are relatively close to one another. I haven't seen that as many dead bees on the other two hives, one being a dead out from last year that sill had dead bees stuck in the comb.

    How many you see is often due to circumstances and not how fast they are dying. I'm just saying that "at least a dozen or more" bees and "quite a few dead bees" are very different things.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by jjohnsind View Post
    I have tried a few kinds and they all have had issues. A beekeeping friend loaned me one of these and I have since bought a couple. Works very well, OCCASSIONALLY, I might find 1 or 2 bees that somehow found a way to get in, but most weeks have zero drowned bees. Holds about a gallon and a half so (when the hive was really taking it) it had to be filled about every 5 days. A new nuc drew out an entire deep with comb in 2 weeks once I started using this feeder (prior to that, it took over a month to get 3 new frames drawn in the first deep using other feeders). I used a 3" super to cover it up but I heard you don't need to (you can just put the covers on top of it). I'm surprised I don't see this feeder as one of the recommended ones in forums.

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/423/
    Where do you get a 3" super? -james wagner

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by pskoskiewicz View Post
    Same here. I've tried all kinds of feeders and the ones from Brushy Mountain work for me the best.

    - Inverted buckets placed inside an empty hive body over an inner cover - honestly, I cannot fathom how people *ever* make it work without spilling the solution all over. There's no way that one can flip a bucket and *not* have some liquid come out, unless we're talking about extremely thick sugar solution (not 1-1)
    They only leak during flipping. I flip them over away from the hive, then place them on the top bars or in the feeder hole in the inner cover.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Top feeder

    James:

    I had 2, one from Mann Lake & one from Kelley (ventilated). Here: http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...ct/FD-112.html & https://www.kelleybees.com/Shop/46/H.../Vented-Supers

    Probably would be pretty easy to make too.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Ft. Madison, IA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Top feeder

    I built these from pictures of the Fat Bee Man feeder pictures I found online. Very few drownings & easy to fill. As previously mentioned the are a bit of a hassle to do inspections with a full feeder, but I just let the feeder run dry or close to it the day before an inspection.
    IMG_0989-2.jpg IMG_0983-2.jpg

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salisbury, NC, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by Agis Apiaries View Post
    We build feeders that are a modification of the FatBeeMan style, where we can open up the bee channel to clean it out if needed and it uses replacable trays.

    Very few drowned bees and we can build a lot of them for just a few dollars each.

    Attachment 18102Attachment 18103Attachment 18104
    Agree. I've had great success with mine as well. Minimal drownings. Easy to build. Cheap. No burr comb on the bottom. Easy to fill without the bees flying up in your face. Not trying to sell for the guy but I do like the feeder. I have 3 for a 5-frame nuc and 1 for a 10-frame box.

    I'm curious, has anyone seen any downsides or problems with the FBM feeders?
    Second year beek... 2 10-frame lang... 9 5-frame nucs

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    helenwood,tn.usa
    Posts
    348

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Last edited by j.kuder; 10-20-2015 at 11:54 AM.
    first colony out of a log 1983 beekeeping about 15 years. Warning i could be an idiot. I'm from South Jersey.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Top feeder

    To date:
    0 bees have been able to squeeze into the nail holes and drown.



    On top of inner cover during wax building time. Right on the top bars (on spacers) in the fall when it's cooler.

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Franklin, Ma
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Top feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    To date:
    0 bees have been able to squeeze into the nail holes and drown.



    On top of inner cover during wax building time. Right on the top bars (on spacers) in the fall when it's cooler.
    I did this with mason jars this year and it worked out well. I will be switching to paint buckets next year. My only issue is that paint lids fail after you open them a bunch and you can never find lids without buying the complete can. I have to imagine that they are cheap to buy though.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Rulison, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Top feeder

    I also am new, second year bee keeper. Starting out I had no guidance, and had to learn the hard way (still am). I started feeding with mason jars inverted with holes in the lid. Frustrated with having to fill them so often, I tried the "Ultimate 1-gallon Feeder," it looked and sounded great, but drowned lots of bees, and if it is not perfectly level, it will leak out all of your syrup. Next I tried using small chicken waters, they worked OK if you place rocks in them to give the bees something to stand on and keep from drowning. But this too, was a pain to refill. So, I went back to the mason jars. As my hives grew, I spent more time filling jars then I wanted to. So, I bought a couple top hive feeders from Brushy Mountain to lesson my work, and I love them. I do get some drowned bees, but not as much as I did with the "Ultimate 1-gallon Feeder" or the chicken waters.
    I also bought one Dadant's hive top feeder, but wasn't impressed with the quality. But to my surprise, I had less drowned bees with the Dadant hive top feeder than I did with the Brushy Mountain hive top feeder. Currently, I have a total of nine hive top feeders, 8-from brushy Mountain and 1-from Dadant (plan to buy more from Dadant).

    To sum it up, I have never used a Mann Lake top feeder, but the ones from Brushy Mountain and Dadant have worked very well for me, saving me tons of time, and time is money.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Smiths Falls, Que, Canada
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Top feeder

    I have a top feeder with floats (can't recall the make off hand) for a 5 frame. Had to add a screen so I could check and fill it without the bees all pouring out. I switched single 1.8 liter jar feeders set on top but left them uncovered so I can see them. That's about a 1/2 US gallon. Worked very well, no drowning, daily refilling was a snap (only four hives though). I'm planning to make a four bottle box when I go to 8 or 10 frame bodies next year which will put about 2 US gallons on each hive.

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