Top feeders

I’ve wrote about the hive top feeders with a ladder in them on my hive pages. I said I would post pictures when I could. So here you go. This is based on the “Fat bee man” Don Kuchenmeister’s (please excuse any spelling error there) design for his no-drown feeder.

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I originally built this so that you could easily remove the top flap of screen to be able to flip it over and dump out any dead bees. What I have observed is that very few bees drown. In fact the only bees that I’ve had die were because I filled up the feeder to fast. The other thing that I noted is that the other bees will clean them out on their own. So my advise is if you try to build this style feeder (and I highly recommend doing so) just close up the top. The bees will take care of it. I also smashed a few to many bees before I taped the top down.

Here is the other style I’m using. This one holds quite a lot more sugar syrup and gives the bees access the their entire domain. I have less ant invasions with this style.

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It is as simple as it looks. Just upside down mason jars with holes drilled in the lid. Use the smallest drill bit in your set. I have one with 5 holes and one with 10 holes. I’ve noticed little to no difference. If you fill the mason jar nearly to the brim. A small amount of sugar water leaks out when you first flip it over and then it air locks. Meaning the bees have only a small mess to clean up then they have to go up to the holes and suck it out.

Update: just for the record these top feeders work well. They simply do not hold enough syrup for a full strength colony.

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