Yes I was just wondering which feeder mod for sugar water is everyone using with there flow hive, need some idea here. pic please
Oh and I’m sorry, I’m Zab and I live in US from Pa, I order a flow hive and excited about that, been reading all the com chatter about the flow hive here on the forum and been enjoying ever bit of it from you good people. Keep up the good work!
I’ve been feeding bees with a half gallon fruit juice jar on the lid for many years. It is completely easy to monitor (I can see if they need feed from my back door!), easy to replace with more feed (rarely even wear a veil to put on a new jar), avoids tempting robbers like the entrance feeders do, you don’t keep drowning your bees like the inside feeders do, and the apparatus is essentially free.
I make my own tops out of plywood so that I can use a feeder hole. However, this method might not work with the top of a Flow hive.
There is a hole the size of the jar’s cap in the hive top that the jar rests in. You have small holes in the jar cap for the bees to drink the syrup from. You tip the jar, cap down, into the hole and it rests there very securely. It doesn’t drip because of the suction inside the jar. The bees have to actively suck on the syrup for it to release.
In fact, my bees are going through about half a jar a day. I have
to replace the empty half gallon jar every two days. The picture shows
an empty jar that I’m about to replace with a full one. I think you’ll
find this by far the easiest and most efficient way to feed them syrup.
I don’t think you need a sugar feeder with a flow hive (flow frames). If you feed sugar you will end up with sugar, instead of honey, in the flow frames!
The flow frames are for collecting honey (nectar) and you wouldn’t put them on unless expecting a honey flow. Otherwise, when you need to feed bees just use any number of normal feeders that are compatible with a lang hive.
Here in Texas the honey flow doesn’t last long. So, you need to have a raging, large hive ready when the blooming starts. The only way to get the bees to build that large population is to feed them sugar syrup well in advance of the flow.
My flow will start in about 5-6 weeks. So, I’ve put down a queen excluder and my new Flow super right under the top feeder. Since the bees are having to travel through the Flow super to get sugar, they are all in the super and getting used to it. I’m hoping that they even start storing some sugar syrup in the Flow super to get them even more used to it’s purpose. Also, adding the Flow super early will reduce crowding and, hopefully, prevent swarming.
When my nectar flow starts, I’ll drain whatever is in the Flow frames and remove the syrup. That way all the honey in the Flow will be from our wonderful wildflowers.
It’s interesting to see the different ideas beekeepers have in regard to feeding bees. I can only use ‘in hive’ feeders as it is very windy at times where I live. If I used a jar on top…it would soon be blown aside and smashed. All my hives have to be strapped down too.
I use what is essentially a 1/3 lang box with a 9lt feeder within it (more of a typical commercial feeder I think). This just sits perfectly on top of my lang hive and can be strapped down. No jar to blow away! This leaves all the space in the brood boxes and supers for frames. Works well, but tricky if you have to go into the hive when it is full because spillage is a problem…
I have a contact feeder. I needed to inspect a colony when it was on. I went to lift it and the bees had stuck it down. The lid distorted and about a pint of syrup cascaded through the colony. They recovered…but I have never used it since. I use rapid feeder in an eke or the frame feeders or fondant.
It’s a learning curve!
Here is how I setup my feeder on the brood hive.
Because the entrance is not horizontally straight as the standard ones, I had to set some blocks underneath.
Also I used a piece of untreated wood to cover the entrance and made a little hole as it’s a brand new colony.
I hope this help you.
Located in Charlotte, NC
Thanks for the reminder, Pablo! I took some pictures of my two feeders.
This is the pail feeder (contact feeder in the UK). It is placed on top of the inner cover (crown board). I have a picture of it right side up, then another of it inverted over the inner cover hole:
Here is the top feeder. Each “side” of it can hold one gallon maximum. Quite helpful if you have hungry Italian bees!
Here is what the top feeder looks like with the roof in place:
thank you all for the pics of your feeders, hey Pablo_Gonzalez that the front entrance feeder right? how do you like it?
oh almost for got, my flow hive arrived on the 26Mar16 just as I was leaving for vacation but im back now and can’t wait to start putting it together, Bee’s are order and will be pick up in 3 week’s wish me luck. Newbee here!
The front entrance feeder is very handy. Easy to refill with another jar and when you want to encourage the bees to search food by themselves, you can retrieve it without making any disturbance.
As mine is a new colony with a new queen, I’m planning on feeding them for a week. Because I see a bunch of ants around, I’m only feeding them during the day and at night I take it off and close the entrance with a board and a small space for them to go out and in.
I read somewhere that it’s best to don’t feed them much during spring and summer. They need to fly and search for natural food sources. Providing a bunch of benefits to the health of your bees and better honey quality. In late fall, winter and early spring it’s best to feed them, as they might not have enough strength to fly and it’s too cold out there.
Don’t be discouraged if something goes wrong. Give them the attention needed, educate yourself and learn from other’s mistakes. You will do just fine!
Robber bee have an open invite, should be behind the guard bees in the hive, or in feeder entrance type.
Sugar water will start the hive going before the flow of flowers come so hive must build up, they need all the help they can get here in California with no rain (water for flowers) and fires and thefts.Sugar help build the hive a kick start so to speak to get it going.
I’ve built a very low cost Boardman feeder to fit the Flow Hive screened bottom board. If there’s any interest, please let me know and I’ll post DIY photos and dimensions.
Yes, could you please provide the measurements and materials you used? Thanks!