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I ve heard mixed reactions from various feeders and feeding methods. now im confused


The boardman type feeder looks easy but i hear they encourage robbing

What is the most popular feeder or feeding method.?

[This message has been edited by chiefman (edited June 07, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by chiefman (edited June 07, 2003).]
 

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I use a division board feeder mostly. The boardmans are convenient if the weather turns wet and you can;t open the hive to refill. I'm thinking of trying one of those hive top feeders. Kind of like a shallow super with a bottom over 80%. The bees can come up thru the 20% that's not coverred to get to the liquid or dry sugar. Seems most convenient because you don;t actually disrupt the brood chamber.

Best of luck
rob
 

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I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but my favorite is the front entrance feeder. I made some that will hold a half-gallon canning jar, and that way, I know the sugar syrup won't start molding before the bees have used it up, and I can keep better track of how much they are taking. I haven't noticed any increase in tendency to rob, but I do reduce the entrance to where the bees enter on the opposite end of where the feeder is placed, and fortunately, my hives are strong enough to defend the hive adequately.
 

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A search on this site for feeders shows about 93 discussions. I don't think there is a consensus on the best feeder. Personally my criteria for a feeder are:

o It should hold enough syrup to last a couple of days.

o You should be able to fill it without facing ANY bees. That way you don't have to suit up, smoke or anything else.

o It shouldn't drown my bees, or at least there should be minimal drowning.

o It shouldn't encourage robbing.

Some of the top feeders meet these criteria, some don't. Some of the miller feeders the bees can't get to the surface of the syrup. My favorite is the "rapid feeder". I buy it from www.beeworks.com. It meets all of my criteria.

I have tried most all of them except the inverted pail and a few others. I'm not too against putting some hardware cloth on the inner cover hole and adding a hole with hardware cloth, the size of a quart boardman feeder lid and putting a jar on top inside another box. This also meets most of my criteria, if it would only hold a little more syrup.
 

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Here's my method of feeding based on simplicity. First off let me say that I have a surplus of shallow boxes, many that are in rough shape. I took a few that were rough and trimmed them down on my table saw to get rid of the rough edges which now made them too shallow to be supers. I then tacked a piece of 1/4" plywood to the routed ledge that the frames sat on. I then drilled a bunch of 1" holes in the middle of the plywood. So now the box is actuallu upside down from the way it was originally built and has a bottom in it with holes for the bees to pass through. I then place 2 rectangular plastic containers at either end of the box. I fold up window screen wire like an accordion and place it in the containers. Each container holds a gallon of syrup so after removing the inner cover I place this box on top of the hive, fill each container, and then place the inner cover on top. The feeder is easily filled by removing the outer cover and just sliding the inner cover over an inch or two. The plastic containers don't leak and the screen wire keeps them from drowning. If you wanted to you could put screen wire across the top of the feeder and the bees could not come out when you feed, but you could pour the feed thru the screen and refill the containers.
 

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Most of the commercial operators in California use either the division board feeder,or a gallon can with 3 small holes drilled in the lid.This fits upside down in a 1 1/4 inch hole drilled right in the wooden migratory lid.You dont see telescoping lids w/inner covers here except a few hobby guys use them.I dont like the division board feeders,they drown bees and fill up with rainwater.The cans are filled at home and carried to the yards in crates.Feeding is fast,and the bees go to work immediately emptying the cans,but it comes out at a rate to simulate a nectar flow,so gets the queens laying.I use a black plastic gallon jug instead of the cans but its basically the same.Also have a bunch of quart and half gallon jars with soldered on copper tubes to feed splits through the lids.
You dont even need a feeder if you can get drivert sugar.This is good for nucs.Even a 5 pound bag of dry sugar will save a hive full of brood that is on the point of starvation with the flow just around the corner.
--Mike
 

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my prefered method of feeding that has been evolving is,keeping an empty deep(or two smalls) above the inner cover,this gives a big empty space,in that i often sit a few bordmans,sometimes i also pour sugar syrup into empty frames and hang them in the empty super.aside from being a safe robbing-free zone,i think it helps draw out extra moisture and heat from the hive and gives some hanging out room on rainy days.
 

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They are a round type jug ,very heavy black plastic(normal plastic flexes too much causing too much leakage).They have a small screw on lid.You drill holes in the lid.They actually hold a bit less than a gallon.Glorybee in Eugene,Ore. sells them for around 3.50 each.Unfortunately,they are no longer a stocked item.They take orders and once a year(in late summer I think)the factory runs them off.If you drive through the Sacramento Valley of Cal.at the start of the almond bloom in Feb. you will see thousands of hives with metal cans turned upside down on the hives.These are the same as Coleman fuel cans(bought new from the factory)The problem with them is they will rust very quickly unless dipped in a special hot wax .So while I wish the plastic jugs were square like the cans for easier stacking,at least they dont rust.So there you go,more than you wanted to know......
---Mike(you can probably find a picture on Glorybees website,just do a search for Glorybee)
 

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LoggerMike & All.

When you feed with a pail or can on top of the inner cover... Do you put empty hive bodiesa around them and the cover on top of that, or just set the cover to the side, and let the inner cover act as the cover...
 

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emty hive body goes around the pail then cover....Personally I use miller type feeders and don't have any major complaints other than some drownings! Its all about what you are looking for, they all do something a little different!
 

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My hives dont have inner covers.They have wooden flat migratory lids,so they can be stacked close together on a truck for moving.Bees are fed right through a hole in the lid.The hole is plugged most of the time with a plastic plug.I hate feeding but sometimes it cant be helped,so best be ready for it.Anyway feeding time is past here,gotta move bees tonite.
--Mike
 

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Hi,

I'm not into feeding as much as some and try to keep natural stores in colonies. I only feed honey or honey syrup. Tried many types of feeders over the years. I personally use division board feeders or gallon jar feeders. For me the first requirement for a feeder is that it must be inexpensive as I manage my bees so that little to no feeding should be done. But as you know sometimes one must feed. For such cases as package bees or splits, queen rearing, ect. I like the jars for 2 reasons first it is free. Second it sits right on top of the cluster of bees and is good in cold weather as the bees need not travel to get to it. A pail feeder, baggy feeder, ect. is the same just not free. Next is miller feeders which is similar but definitely costly and doesn't keep syrup as close to the bees. But is a little more convenient to fill and holds alot. Division board feeders I find good for feeding nucs and splits, they CAN drown bees if not setup with floats or hardware cloth or something. Not a fan of boardman feeders as I have seen colonies completely destroyed from robbing. They all have there own advantages. But my all time favorite feeder is one that doesn't need to be used ;> )

Clay
 

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Hey Loggermike

What are you moving from/to? We are about done with spring pollination now or will be done by the first of next week. About 10 days later than usual for getting out.
 

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Well,last night I was moving away from bears!we did almond pollination in Feb. then went to high elevation brush and wildflowers(where it rained about every day of the bloom).Now we are moving to irrigated clover and alfalfa.We will put some in peppermint fields.Wish we had some apple or cherry pollination in the spring but thats further than I want to drive.What are you moving to ?
---Mike
 

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Pollination starts later around here so I don't have to build up so fast in spring.....plus they don't count frames of brood here like I have heard of out there.

Spring basically comes in three stages. Start in the early orchards...around mid to late April...for Apricots, plums, sweet and tart cherries. Then to the main orchard crop of apples. Lastly to the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries which just moving out of now. Spend rest of summer on honey locations unless go to pickle pollination later in summer.
 

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Just got in from taking some bees to a pretty little mountain valley with alfalfa and clover coming into bloom.
Yes,they definitely count frames of bees during almond bloom.They want an 8 frame average .Some will be 14 frames of bees some will be 5 or 6 so most start feeding syrup in early January to kick the queens into gear.Gets expensive especially with Italians,but I think its easier to get frames of bees with an Italian type,as opposed to the dark conservative ones.
--Mike
 

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I use a gallon wide mouth jar on a special migritory cover that allows the neck of the jar to nest and seal out the rain. I do not place a hive body around this unless the temps are low. Neat thin is that you can do a drive by and see what's happening without getting out. Changing is generally not a problem, just a few stragglers hanging on the lid of the jar but rarely they pay me any attention.

This will not work in an area where there are kids 8-18 yrs old. It provides an excellent target for rock throwing.
 
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