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Discussion Starter #1
This is not sponsored, I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or with any reseller, I paid full price, tax, and shipping and get nothing for this review.

Earlier this year I ordered two Ceracel hive top feeders and one Ceracel nuc feeder to give them a try. I mentioned that I had ordered some in another post and promised I'd post a review after I had tried them out.

I really like these feeders. The quality is high. The wooden ware was straight, knot free, and well machined. My sole criticism is that the center chimney is perhaps too wide, the bees filled it with convoluted ladder comb, and then certain lazy-ass bees (I'm not naming names) proceeded to store some of the syrup in that nearby ladder comb instead of carrying it down to the hive, resulting in a lot of wasted effort on their part after I removed the feeder. I did not observe bees using the corner pockets, it appears they mostly used the center chimney. Removing the wax from the smooth plastic was easy, and clean up was a breeze. The feeders easily rinse out. There were zero dead bees in the feeder.

I use 8 frame gear and some 10 frame gear. I ordered 8 frame feeders because I can make a custom frame for the feeder tray for 10 frame boxes thereby making the 8 frame tray universal for my equipment.
My 8 frame boxes are the standard 13-3/4" however Mann-Lake makes its 8 frame boxes at 14." Ceracel split the difference, with the wooden frame at 13-7/8, which overhangs each side by 1/16th inch. I can live with that.
 

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Hive top feeders are so much easier to use than any other feeder I have ever tried, but . . . no matter what I do, I always eventually get lots and lots of dead bees. I'd love to have a hive top feeder that didn't kill a significant number of bees.

I've experimented with a few types of top feeders. And each time the unit will work fine for a few feedings, then, suddenly, 100's of drowned bees. Once the drowning starts, I never am able to get the feeder to work properly, again. After experimenting with multiple types, I simply gave up on top feeders and now use a gallon jar with holes in the lid inverted over the hole in the inner cover. It is a major pain to refill, but it doesn't drown bees.

I am very interested to hear further reports of the Ceracel feeder to see if it really is a reliably bee-friendly top feeder.
 

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Hive top feeders are so much easier to use than any other feeder I have ever tried, but . . . no matter what I do, I always eventually get lots and lots of dead bees. I'd love to have a hive top feeder that didn't kill a significant number of bees.

I've experimented with a few types of top feeders. And each time the unit will work fine for a few feedings, then, suddenly, 100's of drowned bees. Once the drowning starts, I never am able to get the feeder to work properly, again. After experimenting with multiple types, I simply gave up on top feeders and now use a gallon jar with holes in the lid inverted over the hole in the inner cover. It is a major pain to refill, but it doesn't drown bees.

I am very interested to hear further reports of the Ceracel feeder to see if it really is a reliably bee-friendly top feeder.
i have given up on hive top feeders due to drowning and robbing. I just use the gallon paint cans like Michael Palmer now.
I had seen these ceracel feeders on youtube though and they look good but hard to beat $4 for a gallon paint can with zero chance of drowning/robbing.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have posted about these before but Betterbee sells a styrofoam hive top feeder that has resulted in almost 0 drowned bees. Same priciple as the Ceracell feeders, and they can hold up to 4 gals. of syrup.

https://www.betterbee.com/feeders/BHTF.asp

I have 8 of them and am about to get 10 more.
 

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I have the betterbee feeders, but only use them on new hives. I rarely find more than a few drowned bees in them. On established hives, I use paint cans to get them fed fast in the fall. J
 

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How to avoid drowning in top feeders? This is how.

Trap for new players is they put a few sticks in and think the bees will stand on them. But bees push and shove, a good mess of straw (not hay) is needed so they just can't drown.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
thirty + for a feeder, too expensive for me.
If you're looking on Amazon keep looking, esp. since the shipping is also high. I don't want this to look like a commercial for a product, but it will be one of the top google links, and the shipping was quite reasonable.
 
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