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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two hives with package bees and put on a hive top feeder it is a wood box with two feeding stations on either end and a space in the middle about 1 1/4 the full width for the bees to climb in and out of the feeder to the hive. with wooden raft style floats. The bees filled the space with comb and it stuck to the frames and almost caused a huge issue when I lifted it off to do an inspection. Is there a way to stop this??? I was thinking of putting wire in the center of the gap the full width to curtail the comb building.
 

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Cut down the center partition on both sides about 1 inch. Then make a ladder with #8 Hardware cloth that goes all the way to the bottom of the feeder. You will want to remove the floats. You may even want to put a plastic tub in place. But just make sure you cover over the entire entrance with the hardware cloth so that they cannot get through. It will create a no drown type feeder. I've attached a photo of what i'm speaking of below...

View attachment 11404
 

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replace the feeder with a super. Scrap off the burr comb, clean out and store. Why are you feeding during the flow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
even on brand new foundation all my frames are new foundation. I removed the feeders friday thats when I had the oh crap moment when I lifted it off and two frames came with it. Good to know I don't have to put them back ontil later this season I wanna know how to stop them from building, comb in that gap. there's a really dumb question I guess how do you know when the flow is on and when its not?
 

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I use the same feeders that you are using. Out of 11 hives I only had 1 hive with comb in the middle and it did not interfere with feeding. If you see it simply remove it. The feeders that iI purchased from Dadant seeped out at the corners and became moldy. They were not sealed properly, but I had very few bees that drowned. The feeders from Brushy Mountain did not seep but I had many bees drown due to poor design of the floats. Since you are only dealing with 2 hives simply cut out the comb when you see it. By the way I use a screened inner cover and pour the sugar syrup right through the screen, and in that manner no bees escape. I do have to reseal the Dandant feeders for the fall and work on the Brushy Mountain floats to prevent drowning.
Good Luck this fall
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. Yes two hives and they both had it glued to the frames with comb. And now that I know it I will not just lift it off and drag frames with it. But was hoping to find a salution to avoid it all together. These feeders are from dadant. No leeks and zero drowned bees . The inside has a clear coat seal and the some type of silicon in all the corners and around the base.
 

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I have hive top feeders similar to that, but Brushy Mountain. I have not had a problem with comb built in the center, so maybe it was a fluke and won't happen again. And yes, the floats leave much to be desired because bees do drown. I'm not having to feed this summer tho, so far, so it hasn't been an issue.

You might actually want to contact Dadant and ask them for their advice. They probably would like to know if there are issues with their feeders, also.

Brushy Mountain feeders have the center opening going in the same direction as the frames below, I see Dadant puts their opening the other way, across the frames. I wonder if that makes a difference.
 

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top feeders work great when when comb building is not a priority. they work great for quick filling hives going into winter light. in the spring and summer consider mason jars or upside down buckets in side the hive. this allows you to control bee space to get the comb drawn where you want it. colonies vary a lot on how co-operative they are in building comb nice and straight where the beekeeper wants it. my personal favorite top feeder is the man lake one, but this is the worse one for unwanted burr comb,however the black color, high capacity and screen ladders are great. the plastic tubs are easy to clean.. I use mason jars if needed over a screened inner cover hole until fall.
 

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Yes two hives and they both had it glued to the frames with comb. And now that I know it I will not just lift it off and drag frames with it. But was hoping to find a salution to avoid it all together.
I'm a newbie but here's what I've learned so far. When taking a structure off of the hive.....instead of pulling straight up and pulling up frames from below.....give it a good 45 degree twist to break off any comb that may be stuck underneath to the box your pulling .That way the frames stay down in the box below and dont make the bees mad by pulling up frames you didnt mean too.
As for feeders....look on Youtube for FATBEEMANS NO LEAK HIVE FEEDER. Fairly simple to build and prevents the bees access to the space so they dont build comb but just drink the syrup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thank you for everyones advice and I appreciate the knowledge. However what I'm looking to do is to fix my current equipment so that the Bees stop building comb in that gap, instead of purchasing new equipment or building new equipment. So I think I'll do a little of experimenting for next spring with putting maybe a quarter inch piece of wood in that wide opening the full width making two openings 1/2 wide to narrow it down a little bit. maybe they will not be apt to fill it with comb
 

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I've got a few types of top feeders and have similar issues in all of them.. I'm not sure why they don't manufacture them with a narrower gap between the sections. For the past 4 weeks or so 've been testing them with the inner covers below the feeder. So far, this is working out well. The bees see the innercover as the defining top of their hive and make no attempts to build in the space above.
 
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