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Author Topic: 4-Gallon Top Feeder  (Read 3255 times)
MagicValley
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« on: September 21, 2010, 08:33:45 PM »

I have a 4 gallon top feeder that I have never used.  I'm going out of the country for 12 days starting October 2nd.  There isn't anyone else to fill the Boardman 1-quart feeder.  The bees are going through a quart of 1:1 sugar/water every 2-3 days now.

Since its getting cooler, I think the colony will need feeding while I'm gone, to make sure it survives the Idaho winter.

Are there any issues with a large top feeder?  This one has a mesh screen that is supposed to help keep them from drowning.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 08:39:25 PM »

As long as it does not leak out, I think you are ok.
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hardwood
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 10:17:15 PM »

You might want to switch to 2:1 for winter storage.

Scott
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 10:56:05 PM »

Curious if this is a Mann Lake Feeder?? If yes, I will suggest something.
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MagicValley
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2010, 01:48:40 AM »

Annette - Yes, it is a Man Lake.  In their catalog, it is FD-110
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annette
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 09:33:04 PM »

Be very careful. The bees go into a frenzy and push out the screen and get drowned in the sugar syrup. You have to duct tape the screen around on the bottom and then the feeder works great.

I will try and post a photo of what I mean

Here goes:


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MagicValley
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2010, 09:14:53 AM »

Annette - Thanks for the tip.  I think I'll try running a thick bead of silicone caulk along the edge of the screen to glue it to the plastic pan.  Duct tape will eventually fail when immersed.
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2010, 10:35:44 AM »

I am not sure about that. Perhaps others can reply to this as  some glue's will give off an odor and that sugar syrup can get a bit warm in the sun. I usually keep glue away from bees.

Also you might want to remove that screen once in a while to clean out any bees that might have died in the frenzy and they are stuck in that screen. It has happened to me more than once.

The duct tape stays put in the sugar syrup, but I do redo it each season.
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MagicValley
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2010, 04:09:33 PM »

Here is what I did to the top feeder.  I ran a line of clear silicone caulk along the bottom edge of the screen.  Then I used the awl to poke through the screen in 5 or 6 place and gently pull the screen into the silicone just a bit.  Now the screen is embedded in the caulk and cannot move from frantic bee pressure.
.
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MagicValley
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2010, 04:16:19 PM »

Thanks Annette - I didn't see your comment until after I worked on the feeder.  Silicone is about as inert as can be, once its cured.  I think the bees won't mind.  I'll let it cure for 3-4 days before pitting it on the hive.

If, once a year,  the pressure washer won't destruct out the bee carcasses from under the screen, then I can remove the 3 screws along the top, and remove the screen completely.  The silicone will peel off the plastic pretty well.  Then after its cleaned up, I can put the screen back with duct tape and the screws.
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 04:37:45 PM »

Looks great and sounds great. Have a wonderful vacation.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2010, 10:27:04 PM »

Quote
Silicone is about as inert as can be, once its cured.  I think the bees won't mind.  I'll let it cure for 3-4 days before pitting it on the hive.

It'll be fine.  I have hive top feeders, no screen which are wooden and the seams sealed with silicone. 
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bugleman
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2010, 12:02:26 AM »

What happens if you give them 4 gallons of 1:1?    evil
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MagicValley
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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2010, 08:59:40 AM »

>>>>
What happens if you give them 4 gallons of 1:1? 
<<<<

I think they call it a "kegger".  They all drink as much as they can, get stupid and start dancing the 6-legged can-can, like a long line of chorus girls.
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AllenF
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2010, 09:32:32 AM »

 lau
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2010, 10:54:26 AM »

ditto the 2:1.  1:1 is good for spring.  you want 2:1 for winter storage.  even a little more than 2:1 is good in the north.  
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MagicValley
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 12:42:02 PM »

When I put the top feeder on, where does the inner cover go?  Between the feeder and the top Deep?  Or on top of the feeder?
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AliciaH
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 01:56:12 PM »

I wouldn't recommend putting it on top under the telescoping cover.  1) The bees can't get there and it's a great place for other bugs to live because of this.  I raised my cover last week to find 20 yellow jackets basking in the warmth rising up from the hive.  2)  I've found leaving the inner cover on doesn't do a thing for keeping out ants, probably for the same reason.  3)  It's an additional piece to have to move when you refill.  Makes the process slower and more cumbersome. 

I can't speak for putting it between the top deep and the feeder, though.  Others will have to chime in on this.
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annette
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2010, 11:42:01 PM »

I do place it on top of the feeder and I do find ants sitting up there occasionally, but I don't have much problem with it on top of the feeder. We do not have SHB around here.

But I think you can leave it off and just place the telescoping cover right on top of the feeder since there aren't any bees that would have access to it to propolis it.
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