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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting tired of filling my feeders every other night, 2, 1 quart glass feeders on each hive are only lasting 2 days. So I was thinking about putting two larger, 1/2 gallon plastic top hive feeders. Another advantage is that there is a lid on the feeder that I can just remove without removing the feeder from the feeder hole.

My concern is around the feeder being plastic. Any issues do you think?
 

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Put on a hive top feeder. I use a modified version of the fat beeman's hive top feeder on all my nuc's and production hives. It doubles as an inner cover with ventilation. You can turn it around with the feeder to the rear for hive vent in summer for the curing of honey, and the bees can't get out to buzz you while you feed. Here's a pic of mine that I use. Depending upon what amount of syrup you want to feed change the tub size. I prefer to feed 1/2 gallon at a time myself.
View attachment 12786
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Put on a hive top feeder. I use a modified version of the fat beeman's hive top feeder on all my nuc's and production hives. It doubles as an inner cover with ventilation. You can turn it around with the feeder to the rear for hive vent in summer for the curing of honey, and the bees can't get out to buzz you while you feed. Here's a pic of mine that I use. Depending upon what amount of syrup you want to feed change the tub size. I prefer to feed 1/2 gallon at a time myself.
View attachment 12786
You don't have a drowning issue?
 

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No....very few drowning issues with this design. They access the sugar by going up a closed chute from the box below into a wired chute that goes down into the syrup. They use the mesh as a ladder and lets them access the syrup through the mesh. Look on Youtube for FATBEEMAN NO LEAK FEEDER. Shows how to make them and then you can adapt as needed to any size hive or quanity. If your top edge does not mesh perfectly with the lid...sometimes you'll have a bee that will crawl in and drown but a layer of rubberized weather sealer will fix that.
 

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You don't have a drowning issue?
Santa Caras is correct. I have no problems with drowning bees. They do just as described and I have no problems. Keep in mind if you want to keep down the robbing, you should feed in the late evening just before dark. The bees will pull down the feed quickly and be done with it by morning usually or shortly there after. I use these on my NUC's and feed the ones that need it but not the other production hives without a problem at all.
 

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I have the ML plastic hivetop feeders with the wire cage. They'll hold several gallons of syrup. The only drowning I've had was when the cover wasn't on securely. Kind of pricey, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone, I like the Fat beeman's top feeder, but I am not interested in buy or building one this year, probably a winter project. In the mean time I will go with my thought of a plastic top feeder, basically a plastic coffee container with small holes in the bottom.
 

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I am 3 months new to this thing but the one thing I have learned so far was, the more I try to save money by cutting corners initially, the more it ends up costing me in the long run. I tried baggie feeding at first and it worked okay (until I saw the difference a better feeder makes). They were slow to start on the baggies, but once they did I thought everything was fine. The problem was my nuc only progressed 1 new drawn (and filled) frame in about a month (and just enough bees to fully fill all 6 frames). They were taking about a gallon of syrup a week through the baggies at the time. Getting tired of checking (and filling weekly), I borrowed a top feeder from a friend (it holds about 2 gallons at a time) thinking I would be needing to fill less often. Evidently, the top feeders are more efficient (I can definitely tell more bees can feed at the same time), that I was actually going through about a gallon and a half every 2 days (or sooner). The benefit was - the bees drew and FILLED 10 NEW deep frames in the second deep in 2 weeks (3 full frames of brood and the rest "sugar honey", I'm assuming)! My only regret was not doing this sooner.

I think the top feeder that was loaned to me sells for only about $15 bucks. I can't imagine that the time and materials involved to make one would be worth the trouble, nor could I imagine not spending $15-$20 bucks to get an efficient feeder - if my bees need one now. I can go on and on about the other short cuts I took to save money that actually became more costly when I had to redo or rebuy the right stuff that I should have got in the first place.
 

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I have the ML plastic hivetop feeders with the wire cage. They'll hold several gallons of syrup. The only drowning I've had was when the cover wasn't on securely. Kind of pricey, though.
I have mixed feelings with these feeders. Right now I like them as I can put water in one side and feed in the other although yesterday i noticed I put a top entrance lid on one by mistake.... I musta been holding the smoker backwards that day?
 

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I think the top feeder that was loaned to me sells for only about $15 bucks. I can't imagine that the time and materials involved to make one would be worth the trouble, nor could I imagine not spending $15-$20 bucks to get an efficient feeder - if my bees need one now. I can go on and on about the other short cuts I took to save money that actually became more costly when I had to redo or rebuy the right stuff that I should have got in the first place.[/QUOTE]

Part of the addiction of bee keeping is attempting to keep the cost to a minimum. $15 for 1 feeder is reasonable, but as your new addiction takes hold you will find yourself needing 10 to 20 feeders, more boxes, frames, foundation, lids, bottom boards, bee brushes with 14.95 shipping, foam cowboy hats, whirly gigs and gloves, things will add up. You can make a lot of this stuff yourself and save some coin.... I made 20 cedar boxes for 5 bucks apiece the other day. I figure I saved $130 over buying them, thats a lot of Budweisers for the fridge....
 

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I think the top feeder that was loaned to me sells for only about $15 bucks.
The inserts (you provide the box) from ML are $16.95, the complete feeder is $26.95. I've talked to folks that fill them with water during the heat of Summer and have eliminated bearding.
 

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LOL. The ONE thing I did save money on this year was building my own hive stand from these plans - http://www.littlehouseonthebighill.com/beekeeping/index.php?detail=95. Everything else, I had to redo (except my hive boxes, which I purchased from Kelly). The time it took me to simply put together (glue & nail) the 4 boxes & 40 frames makes me question if spending the extra $30 (for assembled) wasn't worth the time spent (not including the gas, time & money spent to buy quality exterior wood glue that I didn't have). I don't mind building things if I have the right tools to make it time & effort efficient, or if I'm looking for something unique. The hive stand I was proud of, it only costs about $15 bucks in materials and I never found anything equally as sturdy (at any price) on the market.
 
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