New bees, feeding, and roof alignment

Hello all,

So I have my new hive setup and all the bees seem to be taking to it nicely. Right now, I’ve got the inner cover siting over top of the brood box and have one of those top round style feeders over the hole. I then have placed the empty Flow super over the feeding area and then the roof on top of that.

The problem I run into is that the Flow super was really designed to have the inner cover over the top of it to give the roof enough clearance to not rest directly on the part that swivels to keep the rear door/shelf in place. Without the inner cover in between, the roof sits at a bit of an angle. If I turn the swivel part to get it out of the way of the roof, the shelf and cover piece just stand there waiting to fall off at the first breeze or earthquake.

What do people do in this situation? Do you add a shim to raise the thing up a bit? Do you just let the outer cover sit at a bit of an angle? Do you use something else instead of the super to enclose the feeder? Do you just leave the feeder in the elements?


Hey Dom! Congrats on your new colony. I will often use a plastic ziploc bag filled with sugar water as a feeding method that fits neatly under the Flow roof and on top of the inner cover, with no shim needed. If you want to stick with the jar, I guess you could either get another inner cover or a feeding shim, both of which will come in handy as extra equipment as you progress in beekeeping anyway.


Hi! I am a brand new beekeeper and will be getting my nuc and setting up my hive this week end. Eva…can you please give me a bit more info on using the zip lock bags? What size holes do you put in the bags…where are the bags positioned…etc? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Hey Ellen, welcome to beekeeping and the forum! Here’s the step-by-step for feeding with ziplocs:

Plain white sugar (not raw, brown, or powdered)
Very hot water
Apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
Large pitcher
Large or medium sized bowl
Half gallon or quart sized ziploc bags
Razor blade

Bring the water to a boil and allow to cool slightly, or use hot tap water. Do not heat or boil the mixture on the stove. Mix 1 part sugar with 1 part hot water in the pitcher. Depending on your total quantity of liquid, add maybe a teaspoon of ACV. Stir in pinch of salt, stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. (Recipes and more advice abounds if you search ‘sugar water recipe’ here.)

Allow the mixture to cool to room temp. Open a baggie and rest it in the bowl. Make two if using quart sized bags. Pour your sugar water in to about 3/4 full and zip closed. Suit up and carry the bowl with your bag(s) plus the razor out to your hive.

Lay the baggie flat under the Flow roof, onto the top of the inner cover, next to but not totally covering the center opening. Bees will be interested and possibly defensive so breathe deeply and move slowly :relieved: Now take the razor and make two or three slashes across the top of the bag, no more than 2-3 inches long. Carefully push remaining air bubbles out to create a vacuum. This will prevent bees from moving into the bag and getting trapped. Voila! You’re done, and the baggie will be sucked dry in a week unless there’s a strong nectar flow on.

A tip for when it’s time to remove the baggie: bring a bowl or pitcher with you & kind of fling the bag into that - sometimes there’s a decent amount of sugar water left in it and the slashes make it very tricky to remove without making a mess! If there’s a lot left, it’s best to lift off the inner cover and dump the bag off into the bowl away from the hive. If you have any big spills, wash them off with a wet rag. Your bees will most likely be able to take care of smaller spills before robbers would catch a whiff.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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The roof will be sitting slighted proud but will have fully sealed your empty super.

I’ve a flow hive at work in the same set up just now.

Its not an issue.

Or swivel the locking bar to allow the roof to drop down. The flow frame rear cover shouldn’t fall out. Its a snug fit or stick a piece of tape over it

Tape? On my bespoke hive? For shame! Thanks for the thoughts.

Hi Eva,

Thank you so very much…this is exactly the info I was needing. I do think I am going to try the ziplock bag method…seems easier to me.
Thank you again!

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Hi DomLazz
Here is what I am doing in preparation for a five frame nuc that I will pick up this weekend.
Brood box ready for 5 frame nuc

Bought an extra inner cover dedicated for feeding and modified

Bought jars with lids and modified lids

Place a brood box over it

Then, simply put your normal inner cover on top, then the roof.
With these 2 jars, I can put a gallon of syrup in the hive and the bees have 2 fairly good size areas to feed from.


Great photos, beautiful preparation. The only suggestion that I have is to take the empty frames out until after you have put the nucleus frames in. That way, you are less likely to “roll” any bees (or the queen).

Beautifully done, thank you for the pictures :blush:

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Thanks for the ideas!

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Duly noted and will do :sunglasses:

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Your welcome :+1:t4:

Thanks for sharing this. This is what I want to do – although I’d like to use square 64oz plastic jars. (I have to carry them down the slope, and glass jars are heavy!)

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They are a little heavier than plastic, but they aren’t too bad.
Just checked the feeders again. They are low in both hives already. Guess we’ll be filling them again tomorrow.

Do the bees actually puncture the plastic baggie to get the sugar water or just drink from the slashes made across the top?

They drink from the slashes.

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My question may have seemed humorous to stupid, but I was having a hard time seeing bees land on a baggie with slashes that might seem unstable at those edges. I guess they manage it.

Bees are real lightweights. They can walk on the plastic without it wobbling. Surface tension can easily overcome their weight… :wink:

Make sure not to cut too close to the edge of the bag (like I did)!


Not at all, it was a fair question for a learner!