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Author Topic: Hive Top Feeders: Who likes them ???  (Read 8652 times)
BeeHopper
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« on: May 07, 2006, 11:45:57 AM »

I have the styrofoam types, easy to use and I thought the world of them......until the inspections started. Wow, what a pain getting the girls off the bottom side so that I can set the feeder on the ground ( looks like a 2 beek job, one to hold the feeder and the other to brush them off). Smoking them does not work because they spread out and crushing them becomes a concern.Well, it looks like I will explore the other options in feeders. I have no experience with the other types. Anyone else experiencing similar situations ??
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2006, 12:23:45 PM »

i've been using inverted jars...they hold 2 qts a piece and i drilled 1/16th holes in the lids (5 or 6 holes). so i use one per hive set over the hole in the inner cover. when i remove them i ask the bees to please fly off of the jars while i tap the jars on the ground. so far they have listened well.

i'm not completely sure of what you are using but maybe theres a way to suspend it between a couple of pieces of wood while you inspect?
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2006, 01:27:13 PM »

Who likes them? - The dealers that get $50 a pop for them.

I'm with Randy.  In my opinion the best feeder is the inverted glass jar.  The price is right and they come in many sizes wink They work better in colder weather because the bees can cluster right up to the jar.  To inspect, I just turn the jar right side up and set it on the top of the hive next to it.

I guess the bee equipment dealers wouldn't make too much profit off of selling jars,  so they needed to invent something that would make people think they need a "real" bee feeder.

Ditch the hive top feeder and head to your local deli and get the gallon glass jars.  The only regret you'll have is dropping $50 for the "real" bee feeder, when you could have had the "best" bee feeder for FREE cheesy

Just put an empty medium super around the quarts, or a deep around the gallons.





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BeeHopper
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2006, 02:24:51 PM »

LOL, the dealers like them alright. Another downside to the hive top that I failed to mention was the uninvited guests that show up ( ants ) to help themselves to a free meal, very accessable to them also. I have the feed cans that came with the packages, they have a removable plastic feed plug installed, maybe I'll use them. There's nothing wrong with experimenting with new gagets if you have the greenbacks, the old standbys are the best and proven methods such as the inverted jar.
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bcarpenter
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2006, 02:44:14 PM »

Well this topic saved me from purchasing some hive top feeders from Dadant. The Beekeeping for Dummies book really pushes them.

On average, how often do you have to replenish a gallon glass jar? Once or twice a week?

Since I do not have any delis near by (one of the things I truly miss when we moved from New Jersey, another were bagels) I will just have my wife purchase some large pickle jars.

Does anyone know what beekeepers who have large aparies typically use for their feeding needs?
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2006, 02:56:45 PM »

I use homemade top feeders of a pretty standard design.  When I break into the hive, I place the outer cover on the ground upside down.  That gives me several thin rails to set the top feeder on crosswise.

-- Kris
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2006, 03:51:11 PM »

Quote from: bcarpenter
Well this topic saved me from purchasing some hive top feeders from Dadant. The Beekeeping for Dummies book really pushes them.

On average, how often do you have to replenish a gallon glass jar? Once or twice a week?

Since I do not have any delis near by (one of the things I truly miss when we moved from New Jersey, another were bagels) I will just have my wife purchase some large pickle jars.

Does anyone know what beekeepers who have large aparies typically use for their feeding needs?


The hive top may work well with more experienced Beeks, it holds a lot of more feed, plus it feeds more bees but I find it too ackward for my use. Every piece of equipment has its advantages and disadvantages. Honeybees don't give a darn what feeder we use as long as they get some juice. cheesy
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2006, 03:51:42 PM »

i've been filling my 1/2 gallon jars every 3 days or so. i think the warmer the weather the more they consume. my wife has been buying sugar in 25lb bags at wallysworld for about $11.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2006, 03:54:56 PM »

Quote from: Kris^
I use homemade top feeders of a pretty standard design.  When I break into the hive, I place the outer cover on the ground upside down.  That gives me several thin rails to set the top feeder on crosswise.

-- Kris


I am doing the same thing with my O.C., but I am still crushing a few. Sad
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Valarie
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2006, 04:11:32 PM »

All hail the mason jar! I use 1 qt jars with holes poked in the top, inverted on the inner cover. I can fit 2 jars over the oval hole, and each qt lasts 2 days. I have no problem changing them without smoking the bees. I use the mason jars for everything. Make sure to bring one with ice water for yourself for those hot days in the bee yard.
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2006, 04:35:36 PM »

OK.  I like my hive top feeder.  I like to be able to fill it with 10 lbs of sugar syrup and walk away, and not come back for a few weeks.   It allows me to let them bee.  

When I take it off and there are bees in it,  I place it down on the inverted outer cover - many survivors.

From Mann lake....




the rule with beekeepers .. Is whatever works for you.
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fuzzybeekeeper
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2006, 04:58:44 PM »

I got mine from the local high school consession stand.  I asked them to save them for me and I wound up with 30 in about 3 months.  You might try the little leage park consession stand this time of year.

Fuzzybeekeeper
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thomashton
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2006, 05:21:20 PM »

I use this http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1709 hive top feeder from BetterBee and they cost $11.95 apiece, not $50.

Don't know where you would pay $50 for one, or why.

They hold 2 gallons, keep bees completely separate from the reservoir and you have no drownings. I have no ant problems either.

Granted, it's not free, but with 2 gallon capacity, you can leave the girls be for a long time.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2006, 06:32:13 PM »

Quote from: thomashton
I use this http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1709 hive top feeder from BetterBee and they cost $11.95 apiece, not $50.

Don't know where you would pay $50 for one, or why.

They hold 2 gallons, keep bees completely separate from the reservoir and you have no drownings. I have no ant problems either.

Granted, it's not free, but with 2 gallon capacity, you can leave the girls be for a long time.


I bought my hive top feeders from Betterbee also, they are the Beemax polystyrene ones for $19.95. They are of quality and properly maintained, they will last a long time. I will hang on to them for now, but I cannot justify the cost if I decide to increase the number of hives next year. I don't know where the $50. price came from either.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2006, 10:20:02 PM »

The only problem I had with my hive top feeder is when they stopped taking syrup and i had to remove a very full and very heavy feeder. There was nowhere to grab and i sloshed it around a bit.

A commercial beek near me cut holes in his top covers and feed directly through that with quart bottles (no inner covers). That way when he adds syrup, he never has to open the cover. He feeds all winter cause it rairly gets cold enought to freeze here.
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Dick Allen
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2006, 10:26:16 PM »

who likes hive top feeders? I do. They don't cost me anything out of pocket as I make them from scrap pieces of wood glued together with epoxy resin.

Getting the bees off the bottom? I set the telescoping cover on the ground upside down first and place the feeder across that. Only a few bees generally end up on the cover and those can easily be removed by rapping the cover against the hive entrance or brushed out with a bee brush.
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Finsky
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2006, 12:09:31 AM »

The upper feeder needs extra 4 mm board where you have a couple finger size holes.

But what are you feeding now? I use them only when I give winter food or I feed swarm.

This time of year (willow is blooming) I pour sugar syrup streight into combs.

Jar feeders I used last 40 years ago.
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qa33010
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2006, 01:37:17 AM »

I've used the styrene top feeder from Betterbee (I think most companies have them now) and have not had a problem.  Now, I used it on my first hive last year and it came with my starter kit.  This year I don't have the ant problems I had last year, but I spread a film of FGMO around the base and the ants stayed out.  This year I used the large front feeders also from Betterbee (not the boardman) due to finances.  The Russians were great with it as were the ferals.  I guess I was lucky.  I am going to get more of the styrene and will also try the top jars this fall if stores are low.  I usualy only put in two gallons in the top feeder which lasts a couple days late last year and earlier this spring.  I'll probably use the top feeder when I remove a small hive from inside a carport later this morning.  Hope this helped and sorry for rambling.

David
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Finsky
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2006, 02:51:05 AM »

Quote from: Robo
Who likes them? - The dealers that get $50 a pop for them.

I'm with Randy.  In my opinion the best feeder is the inverted glass jar.  The price is right and they come in many sizes wink They work better in colder weather because the bees can cluster right up to the jar.  To inspect, I just turn the jar right side up and set it on the top of the hive next to it. ]


In autumn big topfeeder is good because you can feed a hive during one week. Feedind starts brood raising and it is not good for hive which prepare itself for winter. Feeding little by little erodes wintering bees.

I do not understand 50 $?  Price of topfeeder is here about 15$
http://www.hunajayhtyma.fi/tuotetieto/syottolaatikot.htm

Another thing what I do not understand is that you are feeding hives all the time? Are they petties?

I feed hives  during two week in September and nothing more.  One box hive takes two 16 litre syrup and 2 box hive 24 litre. Then they manager with that food 9 month, from September to May.

In spring I even food between hives because some have too much capped winter sugar. I take all honey away from hives in autumn.


System of bees is that they store food for unfavorable season and it is not wise to feed them during winter. Feedings just disturb they wintering..
........It is nice but not wise. Tongue

It is not wise either to leave feeding box for weeks on. Hive is too cool if box is on.

.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2006, 05:30:36 AM »

i think this is for people that are feeding package bees recently installed.
at least thats why i'm feeding.
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