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Entrance Feeder: Placed in Super?


#1

I have a top feeder on order, but it won’t arrive in time for package installation.
I do however have the Miller entrance feeder in stock at my local Agway.

http://www.miller-mfg.com/product/ENTFDR.html

  • It seems I’d have to “prop up” the feeder to have it remain in place at the Flow’s entrance.
  • Entrance feeders have been criticized as a hardship for a newly installed package. Too hard to get to. Exposes new bees to the cold.

How about this configuration…

  • Flow gabled roof
  • Empty Flow super
  • Flow cover (with hole exposed)
  • Queen excluder
  • Brood box with frames and bees
  • Bottom board

I’m considering placing the entrance feeder in the empty super either…

  • On the cover next to the cover’s hole or…
  • On top of the cover’s hole without the plastic feeder “shelf” with the pierced jar lid covering the cover’s hole, dripping directly onto the excluder and frame tops

If the latter, the jar lid diameter is larger than that of the cover’s hole, preventing bees from entering the all-but-empty super (but with some syrup dripping onto the cover around the perimeter of the cover’s hole).

Thoughts?
Clear as mud?

Thank you.


#2

Either of those should be fine. I bet the entrance feeder couldn’t be used with the Flow entrance anyway, as it has a “lip” which most Langstroths do not have, and the entrance height is less than standard too.

Another option is to put a couple of thick tiles on the inner cover, leaving a gap between them so that you can rest the jar lid on that. That way the bees can get to the whole of the perforated lid.


#3

Miller may be the manufacturer, but in beekeeping a Miller feeder is one invented by C.C. Miller and is a top feeder. That feeder (entrance feeder) was invented by Mr. Boardman and is a Boardman feeder.


#4

Actually, there is another very simple option. Use a baggie of syrup. Just half fill a decent quality quart or larger Ziplock-style bag with the syrup, put it on the inner cover in the hive configuration you describe above, and slash the upper surface of the bag once or twice carefully with a razor blade. You might want to practice a couple of times in the kitchen with water, so you get the feel for it. Surface tension holds the fluid in place, but the bees can get to it through the cut. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom of the bag.


Sugar water feeders
#5

After having done this I don’t think I will ever fiddle with any other feeding method. It seems pretty bullet proof to me and I have had literally zero drowned bees in 3 quarts of syrup fed.

I found that 2# of 1:1 syrup fits perfectly into a quart sized Ziploc brand freezer bag. An eyeballed quart of syrup (2 cups of sugar and topped off with water to 4 cup mark is actually 2.5# of syrup) does not fit as comfortably but will still work with a tiny bit of spillage. So I personally would recommend actually weighing both ingredients and going with 1lb water:1lb sugar.


#6

OMG, an american who actually weighs ingredients??? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Ah yes, you are a chef… :smile:


#7

I did it both ways just to see how big a difference it would make. And with a 1/2# variance the bees probably don’t care much but the baggie does :wink:


#8

Pardon me for what might be a lack of common sense, but do I need to wait until the bags are in situ with the bees flying around to make the cuts?

…or does the bag and the Integrity of the bag and the slits persist if I refill with syrup after “getting it right” for any given bag with water first?

Thank you.


#9

You need to have the bag in a position where you won’t need to move it before you make the cuts. Any movement will break the surface tension and leak the contents all over the place. :weary: The bees don’t need to be flying around, they will come up through the feeder hole in the inner cover and get to the bag, as long as you don’t put it over the top of the hole! :blush:

Once you have slit the bag, you can’t re-use it easily. Getting it right with water is just to get the feel for the process, unfortunately that particular bag is not useful for feeding afterwards. You could try sealing it with some duct tape, but those bags are so cheap, I think it is safer to just get a fresh one each time.


#10

Fresh one for sure if you’re going that method. I prefer mason jars.


#11

Thanks.
I was wondering if I had to deal with the additional challenge of slitting the bag with the veil on with the bees flying around just after package install.

Maybe I can slit it on the inner cover before I open the package, set the cover aside until after I’ve donned the Veil of Virtue and installed the bees, then place the cover.


#12

I wouldn’t risk that. Any movement after you have slit the bag is likely to result in leakage. Open the package first, install it and put the inner cover on top. Then put your baggie on the cover and slit it while wearing “the Veil of Virtue” :smile: It really isn’t hard, you just have to get a feel for it. That is why I suggested trying it out in the kitchen first - no bees, no veil, no stress. :wink:


#13

OK! Thanks for letting me hound you all for specificity.


#16

Baggies are working great for me J. I’m not using anything extra to accommodate it - it fits very nicely underneath the Flow roof cover, on top of the inner cover at one corner so the hole is not blocked. Fill it inside, with it sitting in a large bowl or even better, a big plastic pitcher you can use to carry it out with. When it’s time to change it out, especially if you have to take away one with mold that isn’t totally empty, you ca carefully sling it into the pitcher to avoid so much spilling.

At install, because it isn’t filled all the way - 3/4 as the others have said - you can tuck the top under the bag…this increases the tension just enough to make it very easy to make the slits. Make sure your Xacto or box cutter has a new sharp blade. Aim for the air bubble & when you cut thru, the air will come out & the bag area with slit will touch the surface of the syrup. To me, cutting the next 2 slots is where you have to be most careful & make quick decisive but small cuts. So you don’t jostle the bag & make syrup slosh out too much. If some does the bees will just clean it up!

And I have done the cuts on a nearby table, but I agree with Dawn, better to do it right at the hive. Either way, you get bees swirling around wondering what you’re up to, and walking with a bag of liquid on a large tray, in a bee suit, isn’t ideal :sweat_smile:

Good luck & let us know how it goes!


#17


#19

When I use baggie feeders I find a sharp pair of iris scissors are best to cut the openings.


#20

Thank you for this detailed description of how to implement the bags.
It enabled me to feel comfortable in doing just that.


#21

I just installed a big swarm into a new FLOW hive and did the baggies and it worked great as a feeder. The negative thing was that the bees went right to work building comb in the attic which is where the sugar syrup bags were, on the board cover. OK, so my beek mentor has suggested closing off the hole with a screen, which means I have to move the feeders since bees won’t get up there.

I have ordered an internal hive box feeder. Has anyone else had problems with the attic? It has nothing to do with the baggies, it’s just that I feed them up there and switching to a bucket over the feeding hole might have prevented this attic comb issue. Opinions?


#23

When I have to feed I put the baggie straight onto the frames with a shim (upside down quilt box) on top. This box has a flywire top to it and the bees don’t seem to like building on it as I have not had any problem for years with this method.


#24

Flywire? Shim? Quilt box?