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Sugar water feeders


my hive slurps through 200 mls (6.7 ozs) of sugar water (50/50) per day…but its not a new nuc and I’m not so sure I need to or should even be feeding them anyway, I thought it may give them a boost along, but my mentor suggested that they’ll just store it in with the honey.


treecamper, thanks for the tip on the rapid feeder. that’s the best one for sale i’ve seen so far. i like the no mess, no drowning & easy refill combo. too bad as they don’t seem to be available in the states. your bees are slurpin’ somethin’ fierce.

redneck, that’s also about the amount mine are slurpin’. 4 frame nuc i got, but more like 3-3 1/2 in reality. yes, from what i understand, you want to stop feeding sugar once they’re ready to make honey for harvest, unless you want bee-processed liquid sugar (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).


Do you know how bad the robbing is if using a top entrance with a Top Feeder w/ Floats from Brushy?

The only reason I ask is that I put in my 5 Frame NUC on 5/21 and then 7/3 I found that Deep (8 frames - 5 NUC and 3x Foundationless) was about 90% built out (not 90% filled, but about 90% was comb), so I put on my 8-frame Medium on and then since inspection on the 17th and again today I can tell they are closer to 95% built out in the Deep (Need to update photos in my one post - just need half a day) and nothing is going on in the Medium except for them hanging out. So I starting to think about giving them some feed until they get this Medium and another built out with comb.

I’m in western Nebraska, USA and well we can have mild winters (20F-40F, with some over night 0F) or horrible ones as bad as -30F for several weeks).


I don’t use top entrances, so I am afraid I have no idea. :flushed:


I have the same brushy MTN float. For those concerned with drowning bees ( I had a few in the beginning ) I took a gallon zip lock bag and cut it into strips to fit the floats. Put the strips on top of the float grids and used a razor knife to cut slits in the plastic. Safety of the baggie feeder with the capacity of the float feeder. I’ll take a pic next time I am out


We have a similar feeder with a ventilated top cover. What cover do you use and do you find the flow hive roof fits well? I have a new package of bees and I’m finding a lot of bees getting up under the roof and hanging out on top of the ventilated top cover, unable to access sugar or enter hive. No comb building yet but just wondering if that was normal or how your roof fit. Thanks!


Hi Craig,

I use the Flow hive inner cover, but I block off the hole in the middle with a flat tile. The flow hive roof fits just fine. If you put Honey-B-Healthy or bleach in your syrup, that may making more bees hang out up there. Just close up the hole in the inner cover, and don’t use a cover with an upper entrance. :blush:


It’s the sides of the roof that are too big. That’s where they are
accessing the top of the feeder. I’m trying not to disturb the bees too
much this early on but I’ll take a look at it again today.


Could you take a photo? They shouldn’t be getting in, so it would be helpful to see your set up.

I am assuming that you have the inner cover on top of the feeder. If not, then that is your problem - the roof is not meant to be bee-tight. Only the inner cover can do that if you close up the hole.


Well this is saying my pictures are too big and I’m not sure how to resize them on my phone but I think I got it. Our miller feeder came with a ventilated top cover that was not fitting well with the flow roof. I covered the feeder with the flow inner cover then flow outer cover(roof) and seems to be Fitting snugly now. Drowned a couple girls changing those out… :sweat:.


I built a couple top feeders with floating pads. Very simple to make, and I coated the inside with a layer of epoxy to waterproof the wood. Working very well, after a week only one bee drowned.


So I have a question –

What is the advantage of that type of feeder over, say, a simple bucket feeder? I know the front entrance feeders can promote robbing and some of the top-box feeders can be an ant problem, but I’ve seen several iterations of the type that @sbaillie built and I think I’m missing a piece of the puzzle…


Capacity. The largest buckets hold about a gallon of syrup. Those Miller-type top feeders hold 2 to 3 gallons. Some people have trouble with buckets leaking and dripping too. A well-made top feeder like @sbaillie shows will not leak or drip.

Beautiful craftsmanship, thanks for the photo! :blush:


As Dawn says capacity is number one; also I put a screen over top of it so I don’t need to suit up when refilling. I can refill it with my shorts on by pouring straight through the screen.

FYI for anyone that makes there own; I used 1/4 to 3/8" gaps between all the slats in the float pads and they seem to work very well.