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Author Topic: Best Feeder  (Read 3022 times)
Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2011, 11:32:38 PM »

My bottom board feeder is just like a miller feeder except it's shallow, free and on the bottom.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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kathyp
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2011, 11:36:04 PM »

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I have never understood open feeding and don't think it is efficient use of sugar water to boost my hives.

works well in spring, but the yellowjackets are a problem in fall.  for spring feeding i like it because i can mix up gallons and not have to go hive to hive to fill feeders.
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BlevinsBees
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2011, 03:36:02 AM »

If you want your hives to be robbed by other bees, yellow jackets, ants etc., use a Boardman. Do yourself a favor, cut your losses and don't use them. Go to Home Depot and buy the 2.5 quart clear plastic "Versa-Tainer" paint buckets with lids. Wash buckets and lids when you get home. Polk holes in the lid with a small nail, fill it with syrup, turn it upside down and place it on top of your frames using two 3/8 inch shims. Place an empty medium super on to protect it, inner cover them top cover.

Or, place the upside down bucket on top of the hole in your inner cover using shims, medium super then top cover;

Or, cut a larger hole the size of the bucket lid in your inner cover, staple #8 hardware cloth to cover the hole, place bucket over the hole, then medium super then top cover. That way the bees will feed through the hardware cloth to the bucket lid and you can re-fill without disturbing the bees sticking to the lid or flying up in your face. You don't have to worry about burr comb with this option. It's a little more work modifying the inner cover but it's the easiest in the long run for me.
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caticind
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Nothing sweeter...


« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2011, 03:58:08 PM »

I have wooden Miller top feeders...  The plastic ones look like they would last longer, but on examination at my local supplier more of them had poorly attached screen that would allow bees to get through and drown.  So I stick with wood.  They mildew pretty fast, but that doesn't seem to bother the bees.

One solution to cope with not having enough feeders, if you're a hobbyist, is to pick a couple of your strongest hives and feed them like mad, adding more frames as needed.  Then distribute the stores (ideally after it's capped) among your weaker hives.  Fewer feeders needed and strong hives store syrup faster than weaker ones.
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Algonam
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2011, 04:42:16 PM »

I have been using the upside down jar method (with holes poked in the lid)
This works fine except I have to refill the 3 times per week and they are a 40 minute drive away!
I wanted to create a larger feeder, one that holds 2 or 3 litres, so I tried some dollar store 2 litre jugs, poked the tiny holes but it won't hold the sugar water. It just runs straight through the holes.
So then I tried the largest coffee can I could find, thinking that it has to be metal. The 1kg can doesn't work either! I am looking for a container that will work, but it must be a container that I can refill from the top end without removing from the top cover hole.
The reason is, that everytime I remove the old jar and place a new one on, I squish about a dozen bees. I don't like this as this happens 3 times each week!
Why won't the larger containers work? My holes are barely through the metal. Or, what other easy, large, cheap container will work?
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T Beek
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« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2011, 06:01:15 PM »

Algonam;  Try placing shims under your inverted jars.  Its always worked for me.  No squashed bees.  Read back a few posts and you'll see some other methods for those who have to travel to bee yards.  Many years ago we used new (unused) paint cans.  You can fit four "shimmed' gallons in a deep super that way. 

thomas
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2011, 07:54:09 PM »

Quote
I have never understood open feeding and don't think it is efficient use of sugar water to boost my hives.

works well in spring, but the yellowjackets are a problem in fall.  for spring feeding i like it because i can mix up gallons and not have to go hive to hive to fill feeders.

I'm open feeding right now.  There are a few yellowjackets and other wasps around but they are not a significant issue.  If you are feeding 100 yds from a beeyard with several hives in it, your bees will outnumber other insects at the feeder by many, many times. 

Foragers returning to the hive and delivering syrup stimulate wax production.  This is not so necessary in the spring because even internal feeding will stimulate wax.  But i the fall I think open feeding works better to get new comb built.  If you only have one hive and you are feeding in the spring, I would use a top feeder.  If you have many hives in a dearth or in the fall, open feeding is safer since it will not start robbing.  If it also stimulates wax, then its a very good idea.
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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2011, 10:05:01 PM »

I have not seen anyone mention this type feeder yet.  I take 1/2 gal plastic jars and drill 1/4 inch holes(2) in the top rim of the jar,where the threads are.  Keep the holes within the area covered by the height(or depth) if the lid.  The ones I use, the lids are about 1/2 inch high.  Now fill the jar, put the lid on and invert it on the inner cover (of course with an empty super and cover on top).  The syrup fills the lip of the lid and it works like a chick waterer.  The bees line up around the jar and can empty it in a few hours when really taking syrup. 

You can do the same with plastic tubs with snap on lids (yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, etc.), you just have to adjust the size of the holes so they are not higher than the rim of the inverted lid.

I also tried some of the cheep storage containers available at any grocery store.  Holes can be melted in the lid with a heated paperclip for those without tools.  Fill, snap on the lid, and invert over the inner cover hole.  These tend to drip more until that vaccum is formed that holds the syrup in, but work great.

Jim
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BlevinsBees
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« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2011, 02:49:27 AM »

I tried some dollar store 2 litre jugs, poked the tiny holes but it won't hold the sugar water. It just runs straight through the holes.
So then I tried the largest coffee can I could find, thinking that it has to be metal. The 1kg can doesn't work either! I am looking for a container that will work, but it must be a container that I can refill from the top end without removing from the top cover hole.
Why won't the larger containers work? My holes are barely through the metal. Or, what other easy, large, cheap container will work?

If you open up the opposite end of the container to fill it, you will lose the vacuum and all the remaining syrup will run out.  shocked
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T Beek
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« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2011, 06:28:30 AM »

Grandpa Jim:  gonna have to at least try your method of drilling holes on the sides of plastic jar, sounds reasonable. 

No problems w/ leaking?Huh

thomas
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Algonam
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« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2011, 07:11:32 AM »

Grandpa Jim,

Does this mean you let the bees access the hole in the inner cover to get to the sugar syrup on top of it? Do they just feed and then return to the frames or do they create a mess in that empty super with all that empty space? (lid on of course)
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Oh Canada!
T Beek
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« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2011, 07:20:31 AM »

Sorry, don't mean to step on the Q to Grandpa Jim but the ONLY time I DON'T allow bees access to area above inner cover is when I'm not feeding (screen placed over hole).  I've never had them make a mess when done this way.  They have no access for most of the summer, only during Fall, Winter and Spring feeding times.

thomas
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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2011, 06:21:29 PM »

Quote
No problems w/ leaking?
Not if the jar is level or at least close to level.  The hole must be below the rim of the lid (that is below when the jar is setting upside down)

Quote
Does this mean you let the bees access the hole in the inner cover to get to the sugar syrup on top of it? Do they just feed and then return to the frames or do they create a mess in that empty super with all that empty space? (lid on of course)
Yes the bees do have access to that area without a problem.  I once put 4 jars on a hive and did not get back to it for a month..they did build comb between the jars, but that was not in the fall. 
Jim
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Algonam
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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2011, 08:38:07 PM »

Grandpa Jims feeder idea is one I will be trying. It sure sounds like it will work for me as I'm not able to get to the hives much more than once a week. This way I know I can leave them enough for between visits. 1 jar at a time is a slow process and the jar is always empty when I return!
I'll let you know how it works out!
I may even set up 4 jars per hive......since I have 2 hives.
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bksadler
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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2011, 10:27:08 PM »

I tried the miller style top feeders but had big problems with drowning.  I tried modifying the float system with finer mesh to keep the bees from falling through but still too much drowning of bees for me.  I have switched to mason jars over inner cover.  For nucs, I made extra holes in the inner cover and use multiple jars.  I also do communal feeding and the bees really drink it up.  My hives are new so I'm not at point where I can let them fend for themselves.
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forrestcav
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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2011, 05:20:06 PM »

I use the inverted quart jar, but just finished a feeder that holds two jars. I got tired ofirrate bees when i went to remove the single jar just set over the inner cover hole.
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Vance G
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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2011, 09:48:40 PM »

I think it is awful hard to beat a gallon zip lock bag with three qts of syrup laying on the top bars with two 1 inch slits at the high point.  No one drowns, the cluster keeps it warm and they treat it like spilled food that has to be properly stored.   I have 2 1/2 inch rims that provide the space required under the cover nad are used for mountain camp insurance feed in the winter. 
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Shanevrr
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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2011, 10:05:08 PM »

brushy top hive with new floats
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Shane C.
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« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2011, 07:29:24 PM »

As a hobbyist I don't mind the expense of hive top feeders.
$11.50  http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Plastic-10-Frame-Hive-Top-Feeder/productinfo/423/
 I've got some that are 5 or 6 years old and like yourself I thought they were well worth it.
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rail
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« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2011, 06:22:21 PM »

I am building a feeder like Langstroth describes in his book, he used 75% rosin and 25% beeswax. Has anyone tried the rosin - beeswax mixture to coat the feeder?
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Sirach
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