Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
New to the group and getting my first hives this Spring here in Utah. My question is if there is any advantage to frame feeders over top feeders?
It seems to me that top feeders are more convenient and would be less stressful to the bees.

I will patiently wait for my 10 different responses.... ;-)

Rick
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,881 Posts
I prefer top feeders because I can refill them without disturbing the bees. Also, there is very little drowning, a problem I have seen with some frame feeders. This is the one I use now, but will be switching to the Ceracell feeder if I expand further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So this is what I was thinking about with top feeders. The ability to feed the girls without having to open the hive, would be easier for me and better for them especially in cold weather. The frame feeders don't make a lot of sense to me.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,881 Posts
Keep in mind the bees do not feed much if the syrup is below 50 degrees F. Cold weather feeding is best done with a solid sugar brick or even granulated sugar poured onto a sheet of newspaper and sprayed with a little water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dogsrule

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
We used a front entrance feeder jar that was easy to swap out. The frame feeder style took up room and became a pain to refill and keep clean. I've only had honey bees since May so I don't have much experience, but that is what worked for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,303 Posts
We used a front entrance feeder jar that was easy to swap out. The frame feeder style took up room and became a pain to refill and keep clean. I've only had honey bees since May so I don't have much experience, but that is what worked for us.
Entrance feeders are deadly poison for small colonies. Robbing can quickly wipe out a colony and entrance feeders are an open invitation. You may have got lucky and got away with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Top feeder is the best! Sometimes use a frame feeder for nucs, to take up space and feed at the same time. I hate entrance feeders, I would only consider using them on an observation hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Hello neighbor. I'm located in the foothills near the point. I have top feeders, frame feeders, and rapid feeders. Each has its advantages and things that I like and things that I don't like about them.

I have two types of hive top feeders, the Ceracel feeder and a traditional wooden feeder. The Ceracel feeders are the cats meow of hive top feeders. If you want a top feeder, get Ceracel and don't bother with the traditional wooden top feeders. Top feeders are wonderful for feeding a lot of syrup very fast. You can refill a top feeder quickly without opening the hive up.

Frame feeders are useful down to slightly lower temperatures because they are in the hive. They don't hold as much syrup and you do have to remove a frame to use them. For rapid high volume feeding you can fill a super with frame feeders and drop it on a hive. For frame feeders my recommendation is the Mann-Lake Pro frame feeders. They come with a cover and a mesh tube that the bees can climb up and down on so they don't drown, and if one does fall in, it can easily reach the tube wall and climb out.

Rapid feeders are one of my favorite feeders. Except for the pitiful volume. It holds less than a frame feeder does, about two liters. The volume is something the makers of rapid feeders could easily choose to fix, but for some lame a- reason they don't. A rapid feeder goes over the inner cover center hole and is protected by placing a super above. It is easy to refill without opening the hive while at the same time protected inside the hive envelope. Bees can climb down the inner ramp and cap and access the syrup with minimal drowning risk. They are very easy to clean. Spring and small colony feeding don't need high volumes so they are well suited, and as long as you refill it daily they work well for fast fall feeding. They are well suited for backyard apiaries, not so much for an out yard that you have to drive to. Rapid feeders can also be used to feed granulated sugar and pollen and pollen substitutes.

Stay away from entrance feeders. I don't even know why suppliers sell them. They know better, yet they do it.

edit to add: If price is an issue then you can make an in-hive, over the inner cover mason jar feeder like the one I made that I described in this post Telescoping cover feeder It can be easily adapted to hold two jars. Just position the jars so they don't drip down the inner cover vent. Bees can some up to feed without getting into the upper box. You'll want to get something more efficient for fall feeding, but its a fine way to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Utah narrows it down quite a bit!
Only kinda (or maybe my sarcasm detector is broken today). Utah has a very large range of climate zones, spanning from 4A to 9A.

Dogs, go to https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ and enter your zip code to find out your climate zone. Add it to your profile signature that appears at the bottom of posts, that way you can get good information.

If you are along the Wasatch front valley corridor then most areas of the valleys are 6B.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,881 Posts
Great post on the different feeders. I figured zone 5 in Utah is a little less than half of the northern United States. Not sure if I am being sarcastic or just making a wry observation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, sorry for the ambiguity. I'm in Riverton which is a Southern suburb of Salt Lake City. I think this area swings zones from 5 to 7 depending on the year. I'm a stones throw from JConnolly.

Thank you for the great info. I'm starting with two hives from my neighbor/mentor with packages and drawn comb. The bees are two queen right packages from a local apiary. April is coming fast and I'm already planning for next Winter.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,199 Posts
Before the cap and ladder versions of the frame feeders, I preferred a top feeder. Now that I have the cap and ladder to prevent a lot of the drowning, I prefer the frame feeders. They are cheaper and I can leave them in the hive all year around.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top