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Title: Feeders....
Description: What are people using?

Beebass - June 19, 2010 02:37 PM (GMT)
The title says it all really.

Feeding in a conventional hive is a piece of cake but it's not so easy in a TBH.

What are people using?

Paul - June 19, 2010 06:45 PM (GMT)
Nothing yet, however I'm thinking of either adapting a follower board or inventing some type of undulating/corregated tray thing that can easily slide under the comb.

Janco2 - June 19, 2010 07:16 PM (GMT)
We are also wondering what to do about feeding should it be necessary.
We are interested in the ideas others may have.

Tavascarow - June 19, 2010 07:45 PM (GMT)
I've not tried it, but many of the American natural beeks use a zip lock poly bag on the floor of the hive with a few pin prick holes in the upper surface.
I would put it in a shallow tray so nothing runs through the mesh floor, or it will encourage robbing.
It wouldn't be difficult to make an entrance feeder like this one.
(Or buy one from Thornes, where I pinched the image).
user posted image
Advantages are you can see how much feed they are taking without opening the hive.
Fitting it to a follower board would be better as the entrance is much smaller on a TBH.

Beebass - June 19, 2010 08:18 PM (GMT)
I'd love to see one of those things in the looks to be very small?

If it's held in place by leverage and gravity it can only hold a cupful surely?

Everything I've seen so far seems to be a bit Heath-Robinson, I'm sure there must be a solution that isn't just cobbled together....

Anyone who invents an effective TBH feeder will go down in the halls of there's an incentive for you constructive types :D

Tavascarow - June 19, 2010 10:17 PM (GMT)
It's just machined from a block of cedar.
Slots into the entrance, or through a slot in the follower board.
Takes a honey jar, or any jar that the lid threads to.
Modified the image so you can see better.
user posted image

Tavascarow - June 19, 2010 10:20 PM (GMT)
Another way is a rapid feeder over the bars with gapped bars or a feed hole drilled between two bars.
One advantage of a raised roof.
I shouldn't be encouraging feeding syrup.
But if July & August turn out like the last two years we may all have to.

Paul - June 20, 2010 08:44 AM (GMT)
Often wondered about the finer details of these feeders; the photographs explain all. I can build a hive but if I were to attempt to make one of these, I have a feeling the finished article may only have a passing resemblence. However, if I can make something that works, that's all that matters I suppose.

Tavascarow - June 20, 2010 09:00 AM (GMT)
THIS is a very informative post from the natural beekeeping forum with regards to feeding.
Gareth is one of the beekeepers there who I have a deal of respect for.

Beebass - June 20, 2010 02:20 PM (GMT)
Steve, thanks for explaining how that feeder worked, I had no idea a jar was involved...:rolleyes:

Good link as well, definitely food for thought. I tend to only feed new colonies or established colonies that have probably lost most of their flyers following a swarm. My feeding is probably as erratic as the nectar flow however, so I can't imagine they'd come to depend on it :)

Tavascarow - June 23, 2010 01:07 PM (GMT)
Been giving this some thought, & I've come to the conclusion that I don't like the feeders like the one above which rely on the bees feeding through fine mesh.
With thick syrup they are fine but with thin syrup there's a risk of them losing it & running through the mesh floor, encouraging robbing.
Drew this up based on a conventional ashforth feeder like this one.
user posted image

freebeeatst.tudy - June 23, 2010 10:39 PM (GMT)
Will show you a feeder John has made on Sunday, it is basically a plastic jug that you can fit into the TBH at either side, with a lid and enterance hole for bees to get in and a polystyrene or wooden floater to go down as the syrup is eaten. You can put a lot of syrup in at one go, and we won't hopefully try it out until winter when the hive is reduced in size.

JohnP - June 24, 2010 11:32 AM (GMT)
user posted image

This is my feeder in action. It's a simplified (better!) version of one seen on another forum. Feeder sits on hive walls under two top bars. Covering top bars just lift out for observation and refilling. Bees access through slot in top of dummy board and feed on floating raft with wells. Sorry I didn't get construction photos, will do more when I have it out of the hive. ;)

Paul - June 24, 2010 10:18 PM (GMT)
JohnP, I like the look of your feeder. Would be interested in some more construction details, however I've got the general gist of it though. Looks like some form of ply, is that correct?

JohnP - June 27, 2010 01:58 PM (GMT)
user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

Here are more views. Made from bits of ply and timber I had knocking about. Glued and clamped. Coated with beeswax.

Vee - June 27, 2010 05:27 PM (GMT)
My home-made Boardman feeder features in the pics Steve M pirated to put on this site (3rd one I think) - can't remember the title but something like Trip to Vini / Truro.

And if you follow this link I hope you will be able see one in situ ready for bees: javascript:showImageAtIndex(8)
The jar was donated by my local fish and chip shop so it's good and big - cos those bees hack through the syrup at the rate of knots. No trouble with either thin or thick syrup.

However, now I've got gapped bars I can feed with either a rapid feeder or a 1/2 gallon gauze bottomed plastic job inside a deep roof space. This roof makes the hives look awfully heavy but using WRC they're fine.

All the best, Vini

Vee - June 27, 2010 05:31 PM (GMT)
Mmmm - tried the link and it was rubbish, so with apologies I'm trying again:
cheers, V

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