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Author Topic: Why hasn't someone invented this?  (Read 5059 times)
SgtMaj
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« on: July 20, 2008, 12:48:51 AM »

I'm curious why no one has invented a top feeder container that's as wide as the inside dimensions of the hive, or close to it, so that you could fill it once with several gallons of syrup instead of having to fill the smaller container much more frequently?  Am I missing something?  Is there some reason they aren't bigger?
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Bill W.
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 12:53:22 AM »

You mean like this?  http://www.mannlakeltd.com/catalog/page23.html

I use these for my hives, with the inner cover below it and a shim under the inner cover for a top entrance, since the big open syrup tub adds a lot of humidity.
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 07:30:40 AM »

Miller did.

Here is a commercial plastic version -> http://www.bee-commerce.com/detail.aspx?ID=26


Why I don't like them.
1. You can't easily inspect the hive with them
2. Large quantities of syrup can go moldy
3. Bees have to break cluster to feed
4. Price.   Why spend $36 when I can get gallon pickle jars for free.  Two inverted over the inner cover is all I need.
5. Ants,  bees can't protect the syrup.
6. Bee drowning

Here are my opinions of feeders -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/feeder-compare/
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 07:58:08 AM »

That's not quite what I was thinking... but pretty close.  I can see what you mean though about how that's not very convenient for inspecting the hive.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 11:21:09 AM »

I have some miller type, the bees drown in them, not good, I even have some brand new ones, unused because of drownings.


...JP
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2008, 11:29:51 AM »

 I have the top feeders from Dadants. Brown with a white pc that goes along the sides.
 I am now using front feeders( cheapies)..Hard to beat a 3.00 feeder...I changed because of the roaches and the fact that, like Robo said, the syrup doesnt get nasty. The jars do take more time to use, but the syrup ,so far, is always clean till it is all eaten. Some of my hives are now eating a jar a day, and some hives eat a jar every 3 days.
I still like the top feeders I have though, I'm just not using them. Maybe in spring and Fall, when it cools off.
your friend,
john
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2008, 06:58:14 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#miller
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2008, 06:59:54 PM »

Actually C.C. Miller invented it back in the late 1800's.
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 11:41:23 PM »

    If I can't use a jar, tried them last year for the first time and liked them, I am ordering more of these

http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=409

for future use.  Top feeders are ungainly if they have more than a certian amount of syrup, but I've not had these crack or break from lifting.  But, because they are polystyrene, I've learned that you do have to take some care with not falling on them.
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 12:27:01 AM »

I'm curious why no one has invented a top feeder container that's as wide as the inside dimensions of the hive, or close to it, so that you could fill it once with several gallons of syrup instead of having to fill the smaller container much more frequently?  Am I missing something?  Is there some reason they aren't bigger?

I think weight would be your biggest issue. It would be a real pain to have to move a resevoir like that everytime you work on a hive. I would be more interested in designing something that works more like an IV from above.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 12:34:37 AM »

I'm curious why no one has invented a top feeder container that's as wide as the inside dimensions of the hive, or close to it, so that you could fill it once with several gallons of syrup instead of having to fill the smaller container much more frequently?  Am I missing something?  Is there some reason they aren't bigger?

I think weight would be your biggest issue. It would be a real pain to have to move a resevoir like that everytime you work on a hive. I would be more interested in designing something that works more like an IV from above.

Sealable freezer bags, already been done.
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 12:17:42 PM »

I started with top feeders from Mann Lake because the dummies book said such a feeder was best.  I found that many bees drown, ants were a real issue and it was a pain to move around.  top open the hive risked spilling the syrup everywhere.  I've not tried the freezer bags but intend to next spring.  For now, I keep frame feeders in the lower deep with frame tops as floaters.  I have no trouble filling them since I just scoot the upper boxes over a bit and pour in the syrup.  I am usually in an out in less than one minute.
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 12:27:16 PM »

I started with top feeders from Mann Lake because the dummies book said such a feeder was best.

How shocking shocked   Since the author also owns bee-commerce and I'm sure they had to make a pretty big investment to create the plastic mold.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 12:53:31 PM »

All the different feeders work great in certain circumstances.

The miller feeder, in my opinion, can't be beat in the fall when the temps are still warm, the hive still has a lot of foragers, and you need them to put away 20 lbs of sugar in a week.

It doesn't work so good in the spring when the temps are cool and the foragers few, then inverted jars work much better.
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Rick
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008, 01:03:03 PM »

I find the miller feeder also works best for making comb honey.
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Steve M.
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 09:17:02 AM »

The only feeder I have tried so far is the ploy top feeder from BetterBee already referenced.  I was not too impressed with it.  The syrup started to mold, and the Plexiglas piece designed to keep the bees from drowning warped somehow and then the bees started building burr comb up inside it under the Plexiglas....it was just a lot of trouble.  I think I am going to try the freezer bag method this year.

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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 12:42:29 PM »

I find the miller feeder also works best for making comb honey.

Can I assume that you put honey in it and they use that to make the comb?  It never really occurred to me to try that.....
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 01:30:06 PM »

I find the miller feeder also works best for making comb honey.

Can I assume that you put honey in it and they use that to make the comb?  It never really occurred to me to try that.....

Exactly.   Let's them fill the super quicker so there is less time to stain,  but more importantly it gets them to finish the super if a flow dries up.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2008, 03:01:51 AM »

What I was thinking about was more along the lines of a jar, with the holes in the cap for feeding through.  It occurred to me though, that I could make what I'm thinking about out of any tuppaware typer container that will fit.  I'd just need to cut into the lid to glue in a screw on lid to refil it with, and glue on the tuppaware lid to the base to make it air-tight (glue would probably be plummers glue, that stuff is downright incredible).  Then just drill or punch the holes in the right area on the bottom.  Only problems would be that it would have to be removed from the hive to be refilled, and immediately after refilling, some of it would come streaming out the bottom due to the flexibility of the tuppaware container.  But after that it would work the same as the jar.  Or I could just use a jar.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose, just means popping the top more often than I'd like.
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2008, 07:46:04 AM »

Hives aren't like the Ron Popeil rotisserie ("Set it, and forget it!").   You will want to check on them.   Having some big contraption full of sloshing syrup to remove ever time makes it a chore.  Why spend the effort and time trying to "invent" a better mouse trap when 2 one gallon pickle jars are hard to beat (and free).  Not to mention when the bees find a flow that they are more interested in and not you have gallons of mold syrup to take care of.
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