Has any tried a gallon zip-lock bag filled with sugar syrup resting on the top of frames as a hive top feeder?
A beekeeper had explained this method to me so I tried it to see how it would work. He said he fills a gallon zip lock with sugar syrup, seals it tight, then takes it to the hive where he proceeds to place the bag on its side on the top frames. He then takes scissors and slices a small "X" in to the top of the bag. This lets all of the air out and lets the bees get access to the syrup. He swore that bees will not drown in the syrup.
So I tried this last week. However, I did not like the fact that it would interrupt with my inspections or treatments if I came back a weel later and the bag still had syrup. I used the same concept as above, but I built a frame out of 1 x 2 pine. Then I nailed small strips of wood along the bottom of each interior side, flush with the bottom of the frame. I then cut some 1/2" hardware cloth to fit the size of the frame and stapled it to the four strips of wood to secure it. I formed the hardware cloth to have a "dip" or low spot in the middle to cradle the zip lock bag.
I tried it last week. And sure enough, all of tghe syrup was gone. In fact the bag was dry inside! Not one dead bee inside the bag. I'm now going to try a 2-gallon bag which should hold close to a full gallon of syrup. The fframe will allow me to move the whole thing if there still would be syrup in the bag. This arrangement takes up much less height than any other hive top feeder arrangement and costs a whole lot less!
I think what is key here is to only make slices in the bag to create flaps. These little flaps need to be let back down into the syrup. If you cut out a hole in the bag, the bees are likely to drown.