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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A comment was made on another thread "Don't get me started on those plastic hive top feeders." :scratch:

I've used division board feeders, which I don't care for. Have used, and bought more used for the future, Miller wooden hive top feeders. I've had a problem with mold in those, and that's rather difficult to clean and eliminate. I understand HBH will retard mold growth until bees consume the feed. I'll try that this year.

I've used the gallon baggies, I like those, except they don't hold enough. And if the slit isn't done right, they'll spill into the hive. Yes, I've made that mistake. :eek:

So last trip to Kelley's, I picked up 10 of the plastic hive top feeders. Next week I'll make the supers to hold them. So, what's the problem with them?

I'd like to settle on one method of feeding, for the sake of ease and uniformity. So any and all comments based on personal experience would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Steven
 

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Are you going to make supers to hold Bucket Feeders?
My Hive Top Feeders sit on top of the hive beneath the hive top. Not inside a supper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good clarification, HAB.

My Miller style hive top feeders are a super themselves, they do not sit inside another. Just put the inner and outer covers on, and you're done.

My plastic hive top feeders require a super to put them in. I was too cheap to buy them with the super, so I'm building my own.

I hadn't thought of bucket style feeders, so let's include them in the discussion also.

Thanks!
Steven
 

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Can you post a pic or link to your feeders?


I'm using 18 Bucket Feeders. They can be placed on top of the inner cover, a deep around them, and then the top.
OR:
A hole can be cut in the center of a migratory top and the bucket placed over the hole on top of the complete hive.

Either way (and I've got some both ways) my bees use them equally well and for twenty hives neither is two much trouble.



Got five One Piece Plastic Hive Top Feeders from Rossman Apiaries=


They work well also, when you keep enough plastic floaters in the little feed ports to keep the bees from drowning. The Bees seem to prefer them to my bucket feeder, but that may just be my perception. You do have to be very careful when removing one when it has syrup in it or you will make a mess. And set it across something to keep from killing the handull of bees that are always on the bottom of it.

I HATE WITH A VENGENCE Boardman Feeders. They are a great way to start robbing when used on the front of a hive. When used inside an empty super they are ok but you need to use a half gallon or gallon jug when the bees are really taking syrup.
 

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If the hive cover is not bee tight on top of the feeders you will come back to a lot of drowned robbers.
 

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Here's what I use. I bought one and then began making my own. It's nice to be able to feed a gallon at a time. I also make one that is a two qt. feeder that will fit inside a nuc box. Hope I did this link right.

https://products.kelleybees.com/wtkprod/detail.aspx?item=1101
This is what I have used and really like them. I am going to buy several more, and build my hive bodies to put them in. I am going to try setting them directly on the frames instead of on the inner cover. Idea being more bees can readily get to them. I think you need to turn them upside down before putting them over the hive as you have some dribble for a few seconds. Then put the inner cover & top over them. Kelleys also has a vented super that I plan to use year around as part of the extension for these. No ants, no robbing!!
 

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If what you're talking about is the FD=109 insert....FD-110 w/super
http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ListProduct.asp?idCategory=10
I've used them. They work OK during the winter. You will not want one on when your bees are drawing comb. The underside has a couple of large open areas and your bees will fill it with comb and honey and attach the whole thing to the frames below.
My advice....fall and winter use only.
 

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I use divison boaed feeders but I also use migatory covers. This way if I remember which side the feeder is on I just slide the cover back far enough to pour the syrup in.If I used the Telescpoe feeders I would need to expose more of the bees. It works for me but may not for you. You did't say what you used for a cover .
 

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I made the comment quoted at the start of this thread.

>>>>>your bees will fill it with comb and honey<<<<<

The bottom of the plastic insert type, that is. The other thing is that they are poorly made at the joint where the wire meets the plastic. They leak bees into the syrup. The same is true of the 1 piece styrofoam miller feeders. You can fix this by running a bead of caulk along that surface. That will last until the ants find the styrofoam and begin a tunnel party. You should not have to fix something you just bought.

I made some 20 feeders from the plans on this site more than 15 years ago and they are still fine. (I deleted the cross pieces that are closest to the syrup). They are the hardest thing on this site to make but can be done. Fit tight. I coated the inside with a 2 part epoxy paint intended for refinishing bathtubs, etc. I added a sheet of #8 wire over the entire top held down with 1/2 inch cleats and brads. (This makes it easy to take the wire off to clean and gives a place to set supers on without hurting bees. ) So. No burr comb. No drowned bees; they hold 2 or 3 gallons AND you can leave them on all year. I do. Put a little bleach or lemon juice in the feed and a once a year cleaning is enough. I fill them with a weak bleach solution and let them sit for awhile before I hose them out.

This is one of the smart things I did with bees.

dickm
 

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I made the comment quoted at the start of this thread.
>>>>>your bees will fill it with comb and honey<<<<<
My apologies if I repeated something you said.....I must have missed it and still don't see it, but it's OK.
 

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Steve , I have used the same plastic top feeder you have bought and like them. The bees ate it up with no problem. I did use them in late summer and fall and didnt have any problem with attaching comb. They hold plenty of syrup and you dont have to feed as often. Make sure you seal the top of the cover your adding, to keep the bees from entering thru the top or there will be lots of drowning. I just removed the inner cover a while and sat the lid down tight on the super. Also make sure you go back and remove before winter and reinstall the inner cover so they will have ventillation.
 

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They hold plenty of syrup and you dont have to feed as often.
A note of caution....you can give them too much. If they don't consume it within a reasonable period it will begin to ferment. Alcohol is poison to bees (actually to humans as well). They will try to remove the smelly poison from the hive and it can kill an entire colony....don't ask me how I know.
 

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We have the black ABS plastic mann lake top feeders with supper.
As long as you silicone around the wire edges they work perfect. No bee drownings. The outer cover fits fine on the supper.
 

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If what you're talking about is the FD=109 insert....FD-110 w/super
http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ListProduct.asp?idCategory=10
I've used them. They work OK during the winter. You will not want one on when your bees are drawing comb. The underside has a couple of large open areas and your bees will fill it with comb and honey and attach the whole thing to the frames below.
My advice....fall and winter use only.
My experience, exactly, number 1. Number 2 was also noted previously in that I had to hot-glue (silicon) the sides of the screen where it met the sides of the box cause bees were getting thru and drowning. Number 3 screen over the top to prevent robbing/drowning. Number 4 most important is that I had to fill the entire underside (except the screen access area) with foam and truck bed liner coating to keep the SHB from hiding in all the small cracks between the plastic insert and the sides of the super where the bees can't go. I would knock it on the ground and the SHB would fall out by the dozens.

Other than that, it holds lots of feed and is easy to fill.

Beeman, if you don't use it when they're drawing comb, what DO you use to feed, if anything?
 

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Here's what I use. I bought one and then began making my own. It's nice to be able to feed a gallon at a time. I also make one that is a two qt. feeder that will fit inside a nuc box. Hope I did this link right.

https://products.kelleybees.com/wtkprod/detail.aspx?item=1101
I have fed a gallon or more at a time by putting a metal excluder over the inner cover and placing several quart jars on top. You can put some hardware cloth over the excluder to lift the jars without the bees.
 

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Beeman, if you don't use it when they're drawing comb, what DO you use to feed, if anything?
I use a variety of feeders. I have some older style, Miller type top feeders, or I use a baggie on top of an inner cover, protected by an empty super or jars with perforated tops over the hole in an inner cover. Splits I start in nucs and I use a migratory cover with a hole sawed in it to fit a mason jar lid and invert jar feeders on those....etc
If I were really bright I'd standardize.
 

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Maybe I'm cheap or just lazy but I started using the plastic Maxwell House coffee canisters. Just put small holes in the top, fill with syrup, and invert before going over the hive to draw a vacuum in it and then set it on 3 3/8" blocks on the inner vocer and put a deep body around it. Cheap, convenient, and you can fit 4 at a time if wanted. Make sure that the cover fits tightly before inverting and ensure that it it snapped down tightly. I mixed the tops and I have several that will not fit tightly enough to seal , apparently they are made in several different manufacturers are are not necessarily interchangeable. John
 
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