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Author Topic: Feed bees in a Top Bar hive  (Read 4475 times)
Anny
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« on: May 06, 2009, 06:53:03 AM »

Hello, I'm new I'm getting my bees very very soon. I was wondering what is the best way to feed bee in a top bar hive?

Do you have any photos of what you use to feed your bees?

Can I just use a mason jar with syrup in it, with beads or hay on top to prevent lost bees from falling in?
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mtbe
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 08:27:49 AM »

Initially, I used the baggie feeder method.

Pour a baggie (sandwich size ziplock) about 2/3 - 3/4 full of syrup.

Place baggie flat on the bottom of the hive.

With sharp knife, make a couple of slits in the top, but not near the edges. 

Another option is to make a few pin holes (wiggle the pin a bit to enlarge the hole) on one side of the baggie first, then lay it flat on the bottom of the hive.  You will get a few spurts of liquid, but it makes for a quicker entry and exit.

After doing this most of the spring, I change to a standard entrance feeder, BUT, I put the feeder inside the hive on the follower board.

Depending on where you are, you may not need to feed your bees for very long.  In Northern Illinois, they are not taking my syrup anymore.
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Natalie
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 10:19:11 AM »

Anny,
          The baggie is a good way to go for topbar hives or you can use an entrance feeder that you see in the catalogs behind a follower board inside the hive.
Do not put it in the entrance of the hive like the catalogs say because you can get a robbing situation on your hands.
If you just cut a groove out of the follower board and place the entrance feeder behind it with just the front sticking through to the hive its easy to remove if they stop feeding due to a nectar flow.
The baggies are great but are messy to remove if they are still somewhat full and the bees are no longer taking syrup.
If you think you are going to need to feed for a while then the baggies are fine but if you are unsure I would use the boardman (entrance Feeder).
I suggested it to someone the other day and its worked out fine for them too.
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 11:23:26 PM »

I was wondering...... on my langstrum hive I feed mega bee on the top of the frames, how could I feed them in a top bar hive I think I will make that my next colony's home. 
Dave
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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 01:23:34 PM »

I don't use the patties but I would guess would lay them on the floor of the hive like you would when you are using the baggie feeding method.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 01:43:37 PM »

Here's the feeder I used for my TBH. It replaced 3 or 4  top bars.   I built mine with a screened divider in the middle so it was a common feeder for two small nuc colonies on either end of the hive.



It had a screened fill tube so I could fill it without opening the hive, and a 1/4 hole that I used a dowel as a dipstick to see the syrup level





I successfully wintered 4 nucs (2 in each hive) using these feeders

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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 02:27:30 PM »

Those are great!! I always like to see pics. of how things work. Thank you!!!
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snmyork
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 03:28:41 PM »

Robo,

Do you have the plans for that feeder? I have a TBH and wondered about that for the winter.
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 03:38:28 PM »

No plans,  just built it to fit snug inside my TBH so that it also acted as a divider so I could keep 2 colonies in it.   I put a row of 3/4" holes along the top on each side and a piece of screen down the middle to keep the two colonies separated.  I also added some wine corks as floats.   If you only use it as a feeder, and not a colony separator than it doesn't need to fit snug nor do you need the screen inside.
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beedad
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 04:45:19 PM »

Hello, I'm new I'm getting my bees very very soon. I was wondering what is the best way to feed bee in a top bar hive?

Do you have any photos of what you use to feed your bees?

Can I just use a mason jar with syrup in it, with beads or hay on top to prevent lost bees from falling in?

i recommend stapling a baggie to the bottom of a top bar with a pin hole or two, that way when you want to change it out you dont need to disturb the bees so much while they're getting settled.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 07:26:22 PM »

If you do the baggie, install the bees first or they will land on the baggie full of syrup and many bees will drown.
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Michael Bush
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Natalie
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 07:42:03 PM »

So Micahel, how is it that you know this? Wink
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mtbe
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 09:07:23 AM »

Robo,

How do you seal the wood so that it doesn't soak up the syrup, and or leak?

mtbe
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Robo
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 09:32:36 AM »

Robo,

How do you seal the wood so that it doesn't soak up the syrup, and or leak?

mtbe

Water based polyurethane and then I melt bees wax and run it along the seams.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 02:37:27 PM by Robo » Logged

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dragonfly
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2009, 02:35:41 PM »

I built a top bar hive 6 years ago, and will building another one in the next couple of weeks. I cut a slot in the wood on the end opposite the entrance (to help control robbing), placed a shelf with L brackets, and used a standard jar feeder. It worked well for me.
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