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Feeder: Entrance or Frame?

An experienced keeper voiced preference for frame. He cited entrance feeders are harder for bees to get to when it’s colder.

I’m having a hard time finding frame format online or locally in CT/US.

All of the major online retailers have multiple options here are a few I drummed up with a quick google search.
I’m not sure what local stores you have available to you but any decent beekeeping supply house should have several options in stock as well I would think.


I dislike both. Entrance feeders can promote robbing and they heat up in the sun and leak into the hive. Frame feeders are pretty good at drowning bees, and they take up a frame space. I prefer pail feeders or hive top feeders with floats. The pail is inverted on top of the inner cover with an empty deep around it so that the roof fits on. A hive top feeder sits above the brood box, with the inner cover above it. This one fits the Flow hive:

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And keep in mind that if you are using a complete Flow Hive (Screened bottom board and brood boxes) an entrance feeder won’t fit.

Thank you Dawn for the advice! I ordered four of the top feeders and shall post a photo once I install them on my complete Flow hives

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Here is a photo of one on my Flow hive. It takes up to 1 gallon of syrup per side:

Dawn, I don’t see the slatted rack on the bottom?

I took the photo before I put the rack on. :slight_smile:

Some of those reviews were fairly negative on those top feeders?

Well, I think @Red_Hot_Chilipepper and I both think they are pretty good. Yes, I lose bees, but not that many. Just about any feeder is going to cause bee death, but not feeding them causes even more death if they really need the food. It is all about balance.

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My opinion doesn’t count for much as a newbee, but a Baggie resting on the inner cover, tucked so it doesn’t cover the hole, fits really nicely under the Flow outer cover. No drowned bees here yet.


Of course your opinion counts! If you have done it, you have experience and that can help others. I have zero experience of baggie feeders - I never trusted them enough to seal, but they do sound good and simple.

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I’ve used the newer version of the frame feeder with the solid wood lid and ladders that go down into the syrup to prevent drownings. Only issue is you have to open the hive to feed… but the one i got held a gallon and did well. I switched to a mason jar that i poked 4 holes in with a tack. Works great.

I have used two separate baggies with no deaths either time, so I second the baggie method as being a quite good option.

I used quart bags to limit my exposure in case of disaster, but even though the second bag was slightly over filled and leaked a little bit at first there were still no casualties. Definitely follow the advice of not filling the bag more then 1/2 full.

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Good advice, @adagna.

@Dawn_SD thanks for the props! :blush:

Another tip for those interested is to be sure that your Xacto or box cutter blade is new & sharp (for making slits in the bag that the bees will feed from) so you don’t end up pressing so hard you go all the way thru to the other side or put too much pressure on & burst the seal.

The only thing I dislike about these is using & having to throw away plastic. I never buy these anyway, just keep bread bags & reuse, or aluminum foil & recycle. Come to think of it - I wonder how a masking tape patch would hold up for a refill? Could test it inside first to see if it sloshes too much on removal…

Sorry for the silly question but… what rack are you guys talking about?

Not a silly question at all. Here is the one I have:

And here is a little article to give you some idea of why they might be useful:

As masking tape is usually paper based, I wouldn’t use it. I might try duct tape though. If I was going to do that, I would set up a trial in my kitchen first, with the resealed baggie on a cookie baking tray in case it leaked.

While I tend to agree with you on this one. I will likely only use 3-4 bags ever unless something out of the ordinary happens. I suppose in more inclement weather areas there might be more need to feed more often. I would probably only use a bag twice if you do, duct tape the slit on one side then flip it and slit the opposite side. That way you have the weight of the syrup also holding it all together. I don’t thinkI would trust it after the second use not only structurally but they will be difficult to clean and sanitize as well. I’m not going to feed enough to worry about it though.

thank you for all this info.
Would you please advise where do you put the slatted rack, between the brood box and the feeder? Or between the screened bottom board and brood box? The (great) article you posted says between bottom board and brood box. But does not mention a feeder…