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Author Topic: Simple Hive Top Feeder  (Read 5607 times)
Rogan
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« on: March 15, 2009, 09:17:13 PM »

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.
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cundald
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 09:32:52 PM »

Can you take some pictures of it.

A picture are worth a thousand words, maybe more.

cundald
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 11:04:33 PM »

There are many posts on this, look at this one.  It is important when baggie feeding that any slits you make in the bag are very very fine, that way the liquid does not pour out, and also, do not put the slits too close to the edge of the bag as this can cause leakage.  I always slit the baggies to sit across the frames, not lengthwise.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,13537.0.html

And this post, look at the last picture, it shows the baggie on top of the frames.....hope this helps, and was what you were looking for.  Go into the search box on the top of the right hand side of the page in our forum and you can search for many great topics.  Maybe you have done this already, but it is a very powerful tool for finding stuff for reading about.  Have a great and most wonderful day, Cindi

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,19774.0.html
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 06:09:14 AM »

I would do two or three slits and not the "X" but it works great.
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adgjoan
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 06:50:46 AM »

Is there any way to reuse the bag?
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Rogan
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 08:00:55 PM »

It's too cold right now to open up my hives for a photo.  I'll post one once things warm up a bit here.

I would not recommend re-using the bag.  You have to stand the bag upright to fill it and it helps to find a narrow box or container t(like a cereal box cut in half) to slip the baggie into when filling.  Any slits in the bag would prevent you from filling this way.

My arrangement is a little bit different than Cindi's.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 08:21:24 PM »

I recall a post where someone mentioned that the baggies could be reused.  From what I recall, the gist of the idea was to refill the bags using a garden liquid pump up container and put the nozzle inside the baggie and fill.  I think that this would be very time consuming and I am not too sure if the sugar syrup would be pumped up the hose and out the wand.  Have a great and awesome day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
my-smokepole
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 10:51:21 PM »

Have done it works great. I use a single edge razer blade. The plus side you can carry as many bages as you need out. The down side is the trash that they become. Like doing it this way or a 1 gallon paint can upside down in a box.
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My-smokepole
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 07:30:03 AM »

The down side is the trash that they become.

Ya, not a very green method.   I guess this is another benefit for inverted glass gallon jars, "The true green solution"  recycling waste into a feeder grin
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TwT
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 09:04:53 PM »

The down side is the trash that they become.

Ya, not a very green method.   I guess this is another benefit for inverted glass gallon jars, "The true green solution"  recycling waste into a feeder grin

if a gallon jar is green you need to eat the pickle's and juice out of it first, bee's dont like pickle's or the juice to much vs sugar syrup  Wink  tongue   

sorry1 "GREEN", I couldn't help myself  evil
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 09:07:30 PM »

Ted, oh I see, you got a pretty good sense of humour.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 09:39:40 PM »

Duct tape the slits shut should solve the issue.  (Say that 5 times fast).
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 10:47:18 AM »

I prefer to use the Gallon Baggie Method. I fill the bags with 7-8 cups of syrup and make 3 1 inch slits dead center of the bag about 2 inches apart. After that the bags are discarded, I have not tried to reuse them, but if it works , go for it.  grin
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