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Author Topic: Hive top feeder  (Read 795 times)
NHKelly99
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« on: May 25, 2008, 12:29:42 PM »

I went out to check on the ladies this morning.  The first since I brought home the nuc and placed them in the hive body.  I put the top feeder on and filled with syrup as specified when I hived them last week.  The thing is that I have comb on top of the center frames and into the center of the feeder.  There is brood present. I did not put the top board under the feeder.  Beekeeping for Dummies said it wasnt  used. I took off what comb I found on top of the frames but left the comb in the center of the feeder. They have started building cells on the new foudation frames.  I also found a spider with one of my bees in her jaws.  I didnt know that spiders ate bees. Needless to say that spider is no more. What do I need to do?  All you very experienced beekeepers please help grin They looked busy and in good shape. I pulled out the mite counter board and saw bits of what I think is pollen but no mites. Do I keep this set up or should I replace it with a regular bottom board? I live in Maine.  Will this be sufficient for winter? Thanks again for any help.  So far this has been stressful but I cant wait to see them again.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2008, 04:52:09 PM »

You may as well remove the comb from the feeder, too, before they totally block access.

Others can give better advice about the screened bottom board who live in colder places, but I think Michael Bush overwinters at least some of his hives with just screened bottoms. Are you using slatted racks?
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2008, 10:14:05 PM »

Yes, spiders eat bees.  I've seen some pretty fat spiders.  I usually just move the spiders far enough away that I don't think they'll come back.

If you think they will block access to the feeder you might want to remove that comb.  If they are just using it for a ladder you might want to leave it.

Sounds like you're doing fine.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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gdoten
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 04:48:44 PM »

I was going to start a new thread but found this one which looks appropriate.

Sunday I hived a pair of packages into an 8-frame medium box. I put a top feeder with sugar water on top of the box, then a top board, then the cover. This morning I dug into the hives to check on the queen cages and there was a fair amount of comb in the slot between the two feeding areas. I scraped out that comb and some other burr comb. It never occurred to me they might use it as a ladder.

When I put the hives back together, I remember someone at a bee club meeting this winter say that putting the top board under the feeder will keep them from building the burr comb in the feeder slot, so that's what I did. Any other opinions? I guess I'll see how this works out in a few days. Only negative thing I can think of is maybe there will be a traffic jam in the relatively small opening in the top board. Maybe I shouldn't bother with the top board at all?
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Ken
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 05:10:24 PM »

Leave the feeder over the frames. . They will feed longer at night as the cluster doesn't have to move into the isolated section.
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Palouse
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 08:12:03 PM »

Leave the feeder over the frames. . They will feed longer at night as the cluster doesn't have to move into the isolated section.

Pardon my ignorance, but what does this mean exactly. I know you're responding to the OP with regard to using an inner cover with a hive-top feeder, but I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence.

The reason I ask is that I just pulled off two Mann Lake feeders and had to deal with lots of drone brood built into the feeders. I thought I'd cover the bottom of the feeders with 1/4" ply and build it in such a way as to keep 1 cm space up to the access holes in the feeder. However, I'm inferring from your post that the space between the frames and the feeder allows the cluster to keep warm at night AND access the feeder...meaning I just need to be better about clearing comb out of the feeder. Am I right, or did I read that wrong?

Sorry for the hijack...
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