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hi. We're having a bit of a debate at the moment. Partner wants to change all our 2 frame feeders to top feeders to help avoid drowning losses.

I think it was partly due to feeding cold syrup, we are fixing that by getting a pump that heats the syrup. I also think the cold syrup finishes off bees that were weak anyway. Keen to hear other opinions.

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have look at my video.

I discuss a few options. It is not what the bees want, rather what the beekeeper wants. Cost is about the same for top feeders and frame feeders.

I prefer top feeders.

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Hi Nikki,

 

We have moved from the old style of feeder to ManLake feeders. These feeders have plastic ladders which sit in the feeder so the bees can climb in and out easily without drowning. We have found since moving to ManLake feeders that drowning numbers have reduced.

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Partner wants to change all our 2 frame feeders to top feeders to help avoid drowning losses.

I think it was partly due to feeding cold syrup,

sounds like it's worth posting more details on how you're currently using the two frame feeders

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Our inhive feeders have ladders and still some drownings as a little gap right in the end but!!we have fully eliminated this problem by putting a small manuka stick down.

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sounds like it's worth posting more details on how you're currently using the two frame feeders

We have a mix of guttering ladders and bracken. We store our syrup in 20ltr containers and just poor it in. I believe feeding the cold syrup contributes to the deaths as it chills older bees in spring that might already be weak.

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I believe feeding the cold syrup contributes to the deaths as it chills older bees in spring that might already be weak.

maybe if your in SI in late autumn. its just not that cold here.

i doubt the barrier gets cold enough to cause issues.

 

bees drown because they get in where they shouldn't.

if the bees are weak you need to fix the actual cause not an effect thats happening later on.

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maybe if your in SI in late autumn. its just not that cold here.

i doubt the barrier gets cold enough to cause issues.

 

bees drown because they get in where they shouldn't.

if the bees are weak you need to fix the actual cause not an effect thats happening later on.

Yep, that's why I don't think it's worth spending money on new feeders.

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Yep, that's why I don't think it's worth spending money on new feeders.

depends on if you can fix the old feeders.

don't forget removing frame feeders will gain you a few extra frames. depending on how you run things that can be very beneficial.

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I think if we can improve the bee health in spring then the drowning problem may be fixed. We usually overwinter as singles so perhaps top feeders will be better after all. Too many options.

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I think if we can improve the bee health in spring then the drowning problem may be fixed.

its not a bee health issue. even the most healthy bee will still drown.

 

 

We usually overwinter as singles

that makes it a no brainer. top feeders with cap etc is a win-win.

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its not a bee health issue. even the most healthy bee will still drown.

 

 

That makes it a no brainer. top feeders with cap etc is a win-win.

Stink, that means James gets to spend $$$$

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If you are running singles then its money well spent we do a real mix double nucs with separate 5 frame supers,double full deeps,full deep and a ¾ and singles with a feeder

 

Our singles come through spring better than some doubles

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its not a bee health issue. even the most healthy bee will still drown.

 

 

that makes it a no brainer. top feeders with cap etc is a win-win.

Caps are only good if your hives are level.

 

I would go with top feeders stuffed with bracken

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Easier to say than do but when you feed and how you feed is very important getting your hives ready for winter so you don't have to feed them in the cold will pay off many times over

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If you want to have strong healthy bees, leave honey on, yes it will cost you money - but it will cost you a lot more if your hives die or are weak next season.

I leave honey on all my hives, I'll only feed them if I got it wrong or it's an especially bad winter.

The best food for bees is honey.

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Caps are only good if your hives are level.

 

I would go with top feeders stuffed with bracken

if its not level the bees can't get to the last bit of syrup. which can be a lot if its way off and your to lazy to block the hives.

but ceracell has the feeders with the corner tabs which fixes that. there is also the old school feeders which have the feeding part at the front. Ashforth Feeder to suit British National Bee Hive

things like bracken take up a lot of space and can reduce the amount you can feed. also no guarantee of bees not drowning in them.

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Level hives and capps OCD wife but I never have to pick up a hive of angry stingy things when they get top heavy .

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Lol, damn it all my bracken took up so much space I could of had a whole other 100mls in there! I really feel cheated.. :rofl:

I don't think I've once put 9ltrs in a 9ltr feeder

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Drowning bees is usually because you don't have enough bracken/straw or whatever you use in your feeder. It needs to be heaps and it needs to come above the level of the syrup.

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those top feeders with caps. Break off a few tabs (the plastic has slits along edge); break/bend two so you create a bee space so bees can travel in and out once level is low- they get all the sugar then. But, these feeders can allow a lot of evaporation meaning that when you come back after a big feed there is a layer of white dry sugar left behind. Warm under the lid through sun + strong hive heating the sugar up causing the evaporation of water. Big feeds take the bees longer to draw down which allows a longer period of evaporation . Can be very waste full. Autumn issue.

 

The top feeder versus internal. It's a debate for me also. Got Mann Lake ones but a bit low on volume, as a I remember not quite the volume as advertised with the wood cap on top and you need to get the nozzle into the down pipes to avoid spillage- top feeders you can fill easily. The tops add height and you do need to move this item to access hive. But easily removed for honey flow.

 

Heating sugar syrup would be nice but for us probably not important enough.

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I don't think I've once put 9ltrs in a 9ltr feeder

hive needs to be level to get a decent amount in.

if hive is on to much of a lean you can't get much in and you need to refeed which means another trip etc.

i've seen them where they are on such a lean they only had 0.5-1 liter in them.

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hi. We're having a bit of a debate at the moment. Partner wants to change all our 2 frame feeders to top feeders to help avoid drowning losses.

I think it was partly due to feeding cold syrup, we are fixing that by getting a pump that heats the syrup. I also think the cold syrup finishes off bees that were weak anyway. Keen to hear other opinions.

As a hobbyist I really like top feeders.

I can feed cappings and stuff from extracting my honey from that hive straight back to the bees easily .

And I have a nice strong base to stack boxes on when I go through my hive.

Lids are hopeless.

If I need to feed I can just lift the corner of the top board and pour in syrup without disturbing the hive .

But if a hive was really weak I would use a frame feeder close to the bees .

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