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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just getting started with Bee Keeping. I am starting with 2 hives, one from a Nuc and the other with packaged Bees. Watched several training videos and everything looks pretty straight forward in transferring a Nuc to a hive and adding the packaged bees to the hive.

I do have one question. The feeders I will be using is are entrance feeders. Once these feeders are installed in the entrance reducer, there doesn't appear to be any way for the bees to get out of the hive. There is a small slot for limited access to the inner cover and the telescoping top does allow for positioning to allow the slot to be used as an entrance.

So, my question is this. Since this was not covered in any of the training material, is it the intent to keep the bees captive in the hive or should I position the top to allow the slot on the inner cover to be used as an exit?

Mike
 

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In our region, entrance feeders will cause robbing. If you want to feed your bees, I would set the feed on top of the inner cover, put an empty hive body on top of the inner cover, then put your outer cover on the empty hive body.

I think the slot you are referring to is designed to improve airflow. I have seen some bees use it as an top entrance, not all do. Are you referring to a notch on the rim of the cover? Or a slot that leads directly to the box below the cover?

Shane
 

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Actually, I was referring to both. The slot on the inner cover is a top feeder slot and then there is a notch on the edge which can be blocked by sliding the outer cover against it. I noticed that the front feeder fits perfectly in the larger slot on the reducer. But when it is installed, there doesn't appear to be an access point for the bees to leave and enter.

Top feeders are cheap, so I will try this and see how it works out.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Take those entrance/boardman feeders and see how far you can throw them! Using them causes many problems. They are better in the south than north but are junk.

You would be better served to carefully drill a hole in your cover that will just accept a 2 ltr soda bottle. drill several holes in the cap with the smallest drill bit you can find. That syrup will be on top of the cluster where it belongs and will not get robbing started like the entrance feeders are guaranteed to to do. When you fill the bottle, invert it and let some syrup run out on the ground until the vacuum created stops the flow.

If you don't want a hole in your cover, cut a scrap piece of heavy plywood to use for a cover when feeding. A soup can lid covers the hole in the cover admirably when not feeding too. Enjoy your bees!
 

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You can also place an empty super on top of the first one and do baggie feeding. Just fill a 1 gallon ziplock bag about 3/4 fulland seal it making sure to leave a big air bubble in it. Place it on the top bars of the bottom hive and then take a razor blade and make a 2" slit where the air bubble is (baggie laying on its side making darn sure the seal is secure!) This is a cheap alternative to a top feeder, not to mention you wont have chimney burr comb extending up into the entrance of the hive top feeder either!! Vances method is also another great way to feed bees on the cheap as well and you can see how much they are consuming.
 

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I have never had a problem with an entrance feeder
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So this brings my back to one of my original questions. Once these feeders are installed in the entrance reducer, there doesn't appear to be any way for the bees to get out of the hive.

So, my question is this. Since this was not covered in any of the training material, is it the intent to keep the bees captive in the hive or should I position the top to allow the slot on the inner cover to be used as an exit?
 

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Welcome! I have been exactly where you find yourself, and will share my experience.

The two different-sized slots in the entrance reducer are meant to adjust the entrance size, not to accommodate a feeder. If you'd like to maintain a lower entrance and accommodate a feeder, then you'll have to chop off some of the length of the reducer. I did this, but then had to have more than one makeshift reducer on hand to adjust the entrance size.

I had much robbing take place when using a boardman feeder externally, so I did as others have suggested; place the feeder on top of the inner cover, surround with an empty deep super and place the outer cover on top of that.

This helped with robbing, but I then realized that the rate of syrup consumption was greater than I had thought possible. I ditched the small feeder jar and base, replacing with a much larger jar (about 1/2 gallon) that was rested on two sticks. This allowed greater access and decreased the frequency with which the jar needed to be refilled.

But, the bees liked to propolize the lid to the jar, making it impossible to remove the lid for refilling. I then built the Fat Bee Man's no-drown feeder and have been very satisfied- pop the outer cover, add syrup and replace the inner cover. No robbing.

So, I started out with an idea of how to do things, and then needed to keep modifying what I did based on the results. I'd recommend starting with what you think will work, and that you be willing to adapt on the fly (and sometimes quickly). What worked for me might not work for you.

One last note: If you'd like to know what kind of a frenzy robbing looks like, put a feeder out in the yard and watch it over a few days.
 
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