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Author Topic: Best Feeder  (Read 3692 times)

Offline BlueBee

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Best Feeder
« on: September 21, 2011, 09:28:59 PM »
I’ve been experimenting with various feeder designs again.  I guess I like to tinker :)

I’m curious to what everybody else is using for feeders this fall and why?  So let’s hear your best feeder stories.

Online kathyp

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 09:33:19 PM »
big jars with holes poked in the top. cheap and i can see what they have taken.
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Offline rail

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 09:50:42 PM »
Inner cover with four holes (one in each corner) for mason jars. Can monitor their intake.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 06:18:23 AM by rail »
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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 10:05:54 PM »
If you can do wood working, you can't beat making a miller feeder.  Or buy a top feeder. Top feeders are bad in the spring, but in the fall they can suck down gallons in days.  Plus you can refill them without bothering the bees and with a minimum of effort.

All the ways work, they all have positives and negatives .

A frame feeder will go through gallons fast, but then you are opening the hive.  Containers/jars with holes can leak, and you have to have an empty box and face the bees when checking and refilling.  I find jars work  best in the spring, because it is right over the cluster.  You can also do things like baggie feeders.
Rick

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 10:13:54 PM »
If you can do wood working, you can't beat making a miller feeder.  Or buy a top feeder. Top feeders are bad in the spring, but in the fall they can suck down gallons in days.  Plus you can refill them without bothering the bees and with a minimum of effort.

That says it all.  We use Miller top feeders.  They work better in the south where low syrup temperature is not such a problem.   You can feed large amounts without disturbing the bees.  


For colder climates,you can just pour syrup into empty drawn comb and stick those in the hive.  It's a little messy and takes more work than a Miller feeder.

Another easy way to feed is to just put a tub of syrup about 100 yds from your hives (so you don't set off robbing).  Put some twigs and sticks in the syrup so the bees have a place to land.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 10:30:03 PM by FRAMEshift »
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 10:21:08 PM »
Advantages to a bottom board feeder:
1) free
2) can be filled without opening the hive
3) can be stacked up (for nucs this is nice for overwintering)
4) did I mention they are free?  You have to buy a bottom board anyway right?

http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#bottom

Disadvantages:
They still drown as many bees as a frame feeder.
Michael Bush
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Offline Shanevrr

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 10:40:19 PM »
Why not feed dry sugar all the time?
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 05:34:00 AM »
I often do.  It's just not treated the same and while it will keep them from starving it does not elicit the same responses.  It doesn't stimulate brood rearing, it isn't stored like honey, but it is eaten when they run out of food.



Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline forrestcav

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 01:00:20 PM »
i just finished a copy of Kelly's two jar feeder. made out of scraps and extra quart mason jars.(we can and milk goats) So I guess my cost would be free also.  8-)
Just a beek trying to get ready for winter.

Offline mikecva

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 01:08:40 PM »
I use in-hive top feeders in the spring and fall. I also dry feed in the late fall to help 'fatten' the girls for winter. So far, so good.  -Mike
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Offline kingfisherfd2

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2011, 12:28:18 PM »
I started my bees with a jar in an entrance feeder.  They would eat about a quart a week. 
moved it to the inside of the hive with as a top feeder.  Again about a quart a week.
This last week I put 2 quarts with sticks in them out next to a post that I keep filled with water for the bees.  1/2 gallon in about 5 hours.  next day the same.  I guess my bees are foragers and would prefer to fly 20 yards to eat the syrup instead of just moving to a part of the hive to get it.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2011, 12:44:54 PM »
I started my bees with a jar in an entrance feeder.  They would eat about a quart a week. 
moved it to the inside of the hive with as a top feeder.  Again about a quart a week.
This last week I put 2 quarts with sticks in them out next to a post that I keep filled with water for the bees.  1/2 gallon in about 5 hours.  next day the same.  I guess my bees are foragers and would prefer to fly 20 yards to eat the syrup instead of just moving to a part of the hive to get it.
Depends on what's going on in the hive.  If you have lots of foragers and not many house bees,  they will take more from an open feeder.  But if you didn't have many foragers and there are lots of unemployed house bees, the inside feeders would do better.  And it all depends on whether you have empty comb to put the stores in.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline Finski

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2011, 01:35:26 PM »
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i bought 25 years ago wide feeding box. Dimensions are same as langstroth box and it is 4 inch high. The volume is eight litre.

I have a thin board between the box and the hive. Otherwise bees glue the box with burr.

Is it free? Yes, because no harms and after these years cost is zero.

At night wide bottom get heat from the hive. If  it is near freezing point, couple of sheet from newspaper keep the box warm under outer cover.
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Offline rober

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2011, 01:57:25 PM »
i've been using division board feeders. right now i have them in an empty super on top of the inner cover. i can pop the outer cover & fill them with minimal disturbance in the hive. the kelley feeders come with bent hdwe cloth that the bees can use for ladders. a lot of bees were drowning so i switched to 3/4"x3/4"
sticks for floats. fewer drowned bees that way

Offline ccar2000

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2011, 08:02:34 PM »
As a hobbyist I don't mind the expense of hive top feeders.
It is what it is

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2011, 08:37:44 PM »
I filled gallon frame feeders yesterday at one pm, today when I put mite treatments on some had already drank ever drop while a few did not even know it was there apparently.  I have a couple hive top feeders that hold four gallons.  Those were half empty in 24 hours.  Inverted jars, hardly a dent in them.  I find the only way to make inverted jars work is to have at least four or five on one hive at a time.

I really like the bottom board feeder idea.  I was thinking about the Minnesota bottom feeder idea.  Its like bushs idea but it uses screen bowed in the bottom so the bees have to got to edges to drink and save on drowning.

At the moment, same as every fall, I wish I had all hive top feeders.  Bottom board feeders would work well too, Im going to give them serious thought for next season.
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Offline tefer2

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2011, 10:17:59 AM »
My vote, is for the miller feeder also. Problem is buying one for every hive I have. I have enough for half of them and have to feed, move, feed .
I gave open feeding another shot this fall with a few five gallon chicken waterer's (Tractor Supply) . Placed a piece of thick rope in the tray, works like a wick and keeps bee's from drowning. They empty them in no time at all.

Offline Finski

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2011, 10:57:08 AM »
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My feeders are just like Millers but they are plastic.

I need not better. They do not leak and they are easy to keep clean.
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Offline MTWIBadger

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2011, 09:47:27 PM »
I use a entrance feeder but put it on the back of the hive. This keeps me out of the flight pattern of the bees when I'm refilling the feeder.  I have also used a top cover feeder temporarily to feed with which works well.  Again easy to refill without having to suit up.

I have never understood open feeding and don't think it is efficient use of sugar water to boost my hives.  I have set out some old sugared frames and observed that the yellow jackets forage earlier in the morning and later in the evening than my bees as it gets colder at night.   

Offline iddee

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Re: Best Feeder
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2011, 09:52:39 PM »
A nice big field of flowers.   :evil:   :-D :-D
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