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Author Topic: A Simple Top Bar Hive Feeder  (Read 6215 times)
showme714
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« on: March 09, 2011, 01:06:32 PM »

I wanted to share with everyone a simple TBH feeder I made. It is easy to clean and only takes up four bars of space. It can be used to feed syrup or fondant. I hope this helps someone and inspire others to make an even better one.



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To start I bought a 16-cup storage dispenser for cereal from Walmart and cut off the top 3 1/2 inches. Cost was around $3.50. The purpose was to have a feeder with as few parts and seams that would need sealing. I didn't want to worry about leaking and it needed to be easy to remove and clean.



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I measured and drew a template of the container on a follower board. I used three pieces of scrap wood to serve as a frame holder for the container. They are glued and screwed in place.



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I then cut out a section of the container to serve as an entrance to the food source. This plastic was difficult to cut with a utility knife. It is also easy to crack in the wrong place with too much force. I ended up using a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel which made it easy and accurate.



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Next I added a fourth piece of scrap wood cut to fit to hold the container in place. It also acts as a platform for the bees.



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I then made a floating platform for the bees cut to fit and not allow the bees to drown. It has five stations drilled halfway through with a hole in the middle for the bees to feed. It will be coated in beeswax to make it waterproof.



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Finally I made a top board for it. It is 17 inches long a 4 bars wide. Because of the pieces of wood that make the sides of the frame, this top board is not necessary as the feeder can just sit in the feeder and you could use four regular bars to cover it. However, this top board cover allows for easy refilling without disturbing the bees. It also has a cover to prevent unwanted guests from getting in.



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That's all there is to it! Here's what it looks like in the hive.



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« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 01:44:15 PM by showme714 » Logged
Tommyt
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 07:19:20 PM »

I like it simple and sweet (pun)

thanks
Tommyt
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luvin honey
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 07:52:00 PM »

Very nice! Thanks for the picture tutorial.
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Eve V
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 12:07:50 PM »

That's great, how s it working?
I like your wax coated raft, is all well?
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showme714
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 04:11:59 PM »

That's great, how s it working?
I like your wax coated raft, is all well?

Hi Eve V. At this point all I can say is it tests well. My first package shipped today so I expect delivery Monday. The container as I have modified it holds a couple of ounces over 1 1/2 quarts. There is space all around the platform as it floats, enough to feed but not for a bee to fall in. Syrup leaks up into the little feeding stations just enough. We will see how the bees like it next week.
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showme714
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 05:30:26 PM »

The bees didn't seem to pay the feeder any attention. I installed the bees on Monday. I checked to see if the queen had been released on Wednesday. She had but the feeder which is on the other side of a follower board wasn't being used and they hadn't started to build comb.

I changed out the feeder by making one similar to this (http://www.collinsbeefeeder.com/About_the_Feeder.html). And today, a day later they have eaten 1/3 of it and are building comb on three bars so far.
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DavesBees
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 11:15:37 AM »

Your feeder is very cool and I’ll bet it would have worked if it had been inside the follower and next to the bees.
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Dave - PM me if you are interseted in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
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showme714
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2011, 02:26:49 PM »

Your feeder is very cool and I’ll bet it would have worked if it had been inside the follower and next to the bees.

Thanks. You may be right but I didn't want to disturb the bees too much. That would be something to consider when it's time to overwinter them. When I checked on the hive this past Wednesday they had built 7 almost full bars of comb and 2 small ones. The queen was much bigger than a week ago and was laying eggs. I am going to take the feeder away completely this coming Wednesday and see what happens.
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DavesBees
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2011, 07:38:59 PM »

You'll be fine by then; you must have lots of stuff in bloom.
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Dave - PM me if you are interseted in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
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showme714
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 08:48:56 PM »

There's lots of dandelions around in any direction. I have roses, day lilies, honeysuckle and various vegetables in my own yard for now. I don't ever see them working my yard though. When I water the garden in the front of the house a few will drop in for the water puddling in the driveway. I'm not sure where they go for the most part but they sure are busy.
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doug494
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 02:22:25 PM »

Hey Showme,

Do you have any pics?  Are you still keeping it on the empty side of the follower board?

I started my TTBHs with Langstroh frame style feeders from Walter Kelley.  I did put it on the hive side of the follower board.  The bees took the syrup well, but they decided the newly empty space and wire mesh (for climbing out) are a great place to build comb.  With the amount they built on it in just 2 days between install and releasing the queen, I'll have alot of burr comb to clean out of it by the end of this week.

I need another solution.
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showme714
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 02:00:41 AM »

Hey Showme,

Do you have any pics?  Are you still keeping it on the empty side of the follower board?

I started my TTBHs with Langstroh frame style feeders from Walter Kelley.  I did put it on the hive side of the follower board.  The bees took the syrup well, but they decided the newly empty space and wire mesh (for climbing out) are a great place to build comb.  With the amount they built on it in just 2 days between install and releasing the queen, I'll have alot of burr comb to clean out of it by the end of this week.

I need another solution.


Here are some pictures of the alternative feeder I made. It is also on the outside of the follower board. The bees love this one. I used this recipe from the maker of the original (http://www.collinsbeefeeder.com/About_the_Feeder.html)


5 Cups Water
2 ½ Pounds of Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Lecithin Granules (used as an emulsifier)
15 Drops Spearmint Oil
15 Drops Lemongrass Oil

Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees.

Cool before using!!



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Here are some pics of the good work the girls are doing. They loved the guides and are building straight and beautiful comb.



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« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 08:13:12 PM by showme714 » Logged
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