Is my hive top feeder 'working'? Puzzled....
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Is my hive top feeder 'working'? Puzzled....

    Installed package 2 days ago in a new hive (I'm a newbie). I have the mann lake top feeder. I took a look a few times, and it seems only a few bees are going 'down' the sides and tasting the sweetness. (heh) Most are clustered at the top and are very 'active' up there. See photos. Is this normal? Anything I can/should do? Should I squirt a few blobs of honey down the screen and also down into the gaps, to sort of show them 'this is the way to the promised land!'?

    I THINK the liquid level is going down steadily, I guess I can mark/measure it. thx!

    feed1.jpgfeed2.jpgfeed3.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,617

    Default Re: Is my hive top feeder 'working'? Puzzled....

    Mark it so you know. Not familiar with Mann lake top feeders, but it sure looks like there are plenty of bees that know its there. Sometimes it is helpful to dribble some syrup if they do not come up to the feeder. Remember, its just a package of small bugs starting out so its not like they will drink a gallon a day. Mark the level and make sure. J

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Is my hive top feeder 'working'? Puzzled....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Mark it so you know. Not familiar with Mann lake top feeders, but it sure looks like there are plenty of bees that know its there. Sometimes it is helpful to dribble some syrup if they do not come up to the feeder. Remember, its just a package of small bugs starting out so its not like they will drink a gallon a day. Mark the level and make sure. J
    will do!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default

    I have used these feeders with good success over the last several years. So when you open the lid, sunlight goes into the feeder holes down into the hive. The bees naturally go toward the light that wasn’t there a few moments before. This makes it look like they are always hanging out at the top of the hardware cloth on mine, but I think in a dark hive, they go back down. As Fivej said, just mark the level and you can tell for sure.

    Just FYI - I had some problems with a few of my Mann Lake top feeders where bees were getting around the hardware cloth and drowning. I used silicone caulk around the edge of the hardware cloth to prevent the bees from getting around. It has worked well.

    Ryan

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Southern, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Is my hive top feeder 'working'? Puzzled....

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelsonhoneyfarms View Post

    Just FYI - I had some problems with a few of my Mann Lake top feeders where bees were getting around the hardware cloth and drowning. I used silicone caulk around the edge of the hardware cloth to prevent the bees from getting around. It has worked well.

    Ryan
    I had the same problem. Especially if they empty it, it would fill with bees and they would get stuck. Also it seemed like a lot of bees were drowning even inside the hardware cloth. Ill have to give the silicone a try next time I use them. Been using large jars on the inner cover this spring as they don't seem to be needing as much feed right now.

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