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Set the feeder on top of the colony, fill with syrup, cover with the inner cover, and replace the top. There are two separate compartments both of which have plastic floats to keep the bees from drowning. Center access insures bees can always reach syrup. Capacity is about 1.5 gallons.
Note: It is important that all upper entrances be closed when using a top feeder. Robbing bees entering from the top and fighting is often the cause for excessive drowning.
Had the feeder on for a week and lost a 1/4 of my hive to the feeder. Thousands of dead bees is a understatement almost killed my new nuc any longer would lost my hive. Thousands of dead rotting bees with fly maggots what a mess you have been warned.
- DERRICK, FL
I am honestly shocked at the negative reviews of this feeder. Perhaps the floats have been altered since the oldest reviews? I have never had any trouble getting the floaters to float. At most there might be one or two drowned bees, but drowning has never been a significant problem in my case. As for the heaviness of the product, I just dont move it when its full. The bees make quick work of the syrup. Unless youre going into your hive every other day, the feeders will be empty by the time you check your hives again after setting up the feeder--in maybe 1.5 weeks. In my experience, this has been a terrific feeder.
- Gyorgyi Voros, VA
Very impressed & happy with my order!
I ordered an 8-Frame Hive Top Feeder w/ Floats and was very impressed & happy with the quality & service. You never know what youre going to get when ordering on the interwebs, but this feeder was well made, sturdy and after about a week of use, no drowned bees! Definitely worth $25! The shipping seemed a little slow, luckily I was in no hurry, but that would not deter me from ordering from Brushy Mtn. again!
- J Quillen, MI
The box is great, the floats are useless
I was a lifeguard for my bees! The floats dont float, the bees get drenched and cannot climb out and I have to scoop them out and set them on dry ground to clean up. I hope some are eating and bringing it to the hive but I really dont know, the syrup is not going down! The bees trying to get syrup are so wet they cant move and die. I put cork floats with twigs between them on top of the NEW DESIGN floats to rescue the wet bees. When I check on them, I have to take out the cork/twig lifeline and shake them on dry land at least they arent drowning I will do this until I can get the old style wooden floats or I get out the old plastic feeder My other 2 hives are going thru syrup like crazy with wood slat floats or the plastic insert with the screen in the middle, but these guys cannot even get food to eat because it is like quicksand for them. Poor guys. I have requested the old style floats to replace these new ones. if Brushy does not have them, I will try to make some or just add additional pieces of wood under the plastic so it does not sink into the syrup. BAD change - You should go back and please help me rescue my new hive!
- Marla Wishau, WI
Well made, but kind of heavy
As always, the quality of the construction is outstanding. I wish that the unit had the indented side grips to help you pick it up, like the supers. Pros--holds a lot and we saw a reduction in the number of wasps hanging out in the doorway when we had a front feeder. Cons--yes, there were some drowned bees but the screening took care of that. My chief complaint is that it is heavy and kind of cumbersome but I am fairly short. I would buy it again.
- Kim, FL
AKA Bee Cemetery
I got it despite the bad reviews. I followed some of the reviews who said that because the plastic float is made out of the queen excluder, bees could fall through so get the plastic mesh from the craft section to put over it. So it had the floater with the mesh on top of that, was still floating and I still had a huge number die. In just 2 days. Taking it off and will only maybe use it for a candy board. I dont know how they drowned, but Im not going to risk it. If I could upload the photo of the mass of dead bees, you wouldnt use it either
Too many drowned bees
hundreds of bees will drown in a very short time - a day or two. I dont know what causes it - are the spaces too large and the bees fall through? I have Italians.
- Bill McDonald, OH
A fix to stop drowning of the bees
Im a new beekeeper, and I bought this feeder. Lots of drowned bees - maybe a 1/2 cup of dead bees each week. Just like Dwayne says, the floats are made from plastic queen excluders, so bees can squeeze under. I put a plastic mesh over the top of the floats - from a crafts store, they use them for embroidery. Used dabs of hot melt glue. No drowned bees since. And now this feeder is great.
Tom from Ohio
not user friendly
more trouble than its worth. used it once and did not like it.
You will destroy your hive with this feeder.
They should offer life jackets for your bees with this feeder. I was SHOCKED to see how many of my bees drowned in this feeder. If you want to destroy your colony than buy and use this feeder. You will not be disappointed with how fast it will kill all of your bees!
Top feeder with floats
I also am not pleased with this feeder. After several months and many dead bees I will try replacing the plastic with aluminum screen.
- Wayne Cooper, NH
Best top feeder
I was surprised at the reviews that said that they had lots of drowned bees. I placed mine on a eight frame box and had a reduction drowned bee by ten fold. I dont know what they did different. But I just ordered a ten frame feeder to replace my other major bee killer. Thanks Brushy Mountain for developing a great product.
- Jim Burgin, TX
Space between feeders encourages burr comb building
Cracked my hives open today to find comb constructed in the feeders, eggs and all, a COMPLETE mess. Extrememly disapponted with this product. Do not recommend.
- Hollace, OH
Well Built, but Application Needs Changing
When I purchased this feeder, I was hopeful my colonies would feed at a faster rate, but when I placed the feeder on my hive, I came back in a week and found a shockingly high number of drowned bees. I am guessing some were trampled or slipped on the smooth wooden walls, but still I couldnt believe the amount of dead bees. The construction of the feeder was top-notch, as all other items I receive from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. Maybe include grooved inner walls to give the bees more grip when attempting to feed in mass numbers. Not happy, but not irritated either.
8-Frame Hive Top Feeder
I am new to bee keeping and we purchased this top feeder and discovered drowned bees, to my surprise I noticed the grating on floats is made out of queen excluder screen that worker bees can climb or fall through the top of screen to gain access to syrup but can not get back to the top, I removed the queen excluder that was stapled to the floats and replaced it with a plastic canvas you can buy at Wal-Mart for about $1.00 and bees can not fall through this, the screen holes are just big enough for the bees to get their tongues through. Do not use queen excluder for worker bees to fall or craw through!
Best hive top feeder I own.
Pros- Outstanding Workmanship.
Cons- I wish it was a little deeper.
This feeder is very well designed and built. The corners all knuckle together in such a way that warping and leaks are rare. I wish it was a little deeper though. It holds less than 2 gallons of syrup which means refilling at least every other day.
- Walter, NC
The top feeder leaked so I took some glue now it is okay
best feeder ever!
I havent lost 1 bee to drowning un like another feeder Ive tried, but I LOVE IT! just make sure you gently use your hive tool to unstick and totally remove the floats pour in the sugar water then place the floats on to and BOOM done! again great feeder im very pleased!!!!!!! :
- bobby sue jabat, GA
Try these 2 tips
The side walls were so slick I had to add some wax foundation to them so the bees could climb in and out ,
I also turned the float platform over to so the bees could not get trapped under it as it lowers, Saved a lot of bees
- KOGA, NC
Not exactly sure why so many drownings are reported. Might be they are refilling without unsticking the floats first. I just pick them up with a hive tool once and they float fine. No bees under them when its done right and almost none drown.
- Dan Long, GA
Will kill your bees
This product drowned my honeybees by the hand full. If you like killing your bees and wasting your hard earned money on a crappy product then buy this feeder. But if your looking for a quality product that works as advertised then buy something else.
- Aaron Harbuck, GA
very unhappy with feeder
as a 1st time beekeeper - I thought I put them together wrong it was so bad -- they swell, I shave sides so they float, they swell, etc. 5 & 6 times. 3rd time about 100 bees died -- sadly the poorest review of any product.
- Lurane Ryerson, MA
Hard to manage, too many drownings
Probably with a little creativity, this feeder could be more effective. I personally have had lots of issues with them.
First, they are weighty when full, and so working your hives is more of a challenge, due to the need to move them. That is an issue, but it can be handled.
Second, the bees love to build comb on the underside and its a problem when you move the feeder. Too much comb and it is hard to put them back on. Again, it is an issue, but it can be handled - you have to remove the comb, which makes the bees mad.
Third, the floats stick and dont always float. It can be dealt with by using less formula, but the wood does swell a bit and the floats do stick. Annoying and it contributes to the drowning problem.
And thats the big problem - these feeders are bee-killers, pure and simple. I have had way too many drownings. I have not tried the pine-straw trick mentioned in these reviews and maybe I will in the winter. For now, the feeders are down and I will use entrance feeders instead until the bees are getting mostly nectar.
If I find a way to make these feeders more effective and safer for the bees, I will update this review.
- Rique Santiestevan, VA
Too Many Drowned Bees
I put this feeder on for the first time and after 7 days there were too many drowned bees under the floats to count. Took it off immediately! I see two problems. First the plastic piece on the floats appears to be made of the same material as the plastic queen excluders, so worker bees can go right through the openings where they end up coated in syrup and then drown under the floats. Second problem is the length of the floats is slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the feeder which is necessary so the floats can move up and down freely as the level of syrup goes up and down but the gap there is big enough for bees to end up in the syrup. I will not put this feeder back on until I modify the floats in some way to prevent drowning.
- Marcel, VA
Hive top feeder
I have had this feeder for 2 years and the only problem I have encountered is when refilling the feeder you have to pour slowly so as not to wash bees off of the float. I have also learned to not let the feeder get completely empty before refilling so the bees will not be all over the bottom of the feeder. Otherwise I have lost fewer bees with this feeder than with any other kind I have tried.
- JEFFREY DAVIS SR., SC
drop drowning bees
I am a new beekeeper and have used this feeder for several months. At first I was devastated by the number of drowned bees I found each time I went to refill. I have discovered that if you put just a little bit of pine straw on top of the float the bees do not drown. I guess they are able to climb out better if they go under the float, or perhaps they stay on top of the float better. I do change the pine straw each time I refill. Now I never have dead bees!
- Sarah, NC
I have 6 of these feeders and this is my 2nd year using them. My 1st 2 have wooden floats, the 2nd 2 have plastic floats and the last 2 have plastic with wood sides on the floats. I have had lots of dead loss over and over again. Ive tried everything from filling them full to filling them with only just 1/4 a gallon. Ive also tried blocking the top entrance. Nothing has worked. The only time it seems to work is when my hives are really full like 2 to 3 brood boxes full and they finally get the idea but than it is time to take the feeder off. When I put them on in early spring after winter or for fall feeding I get lots of dead bees. Also when I put them on a new hive after installing a new package I get lots of dead bees. I have to take them off and dump out the dead and live bees everytime before refilling. I dont recommend this type of feeder and I am very disappointed. Going to try something different.
- Mama Boggs, OH
Top Feeder 8 Frame
I have 4 of these feeders. I have both styles of floats and both work well. I like the wood with plastic a little better. I dont lose alot of bees with either style. I would recommend purchasing the robbing screen with the feeder. Overall a nice piece.
- Ed, NJ
I used two versions of this feeder this fall to heavily feed both of my hives that were very low on stores.
The first version I used had two lightweight, plastic floats that allowed the bees to access the syrup without drowning. Unfortunately, depending on how I placed the plastic floats, I would lose 2-3 bees, or 1-2 dozen bees, sometimes more. The second version has wooden sides to the plastic floats, to expand it to the sides. Whats nice about the wood on the floats is that it gives enough space underneath for bees that get trapped to climb out instead of getting stuck, crushed, and dying. Overall, I did not lose a lot of bees, so I like this feeder and will use it again in the future.
Its nicely made, both feeders I bought were sealed well. Youll need to paint the sides to protect it from the elements. The only negative, aside from losing some bees, is that when I want to refill, it takes time to shake out the bees that are still in the feeder or pour the syrup over them, drowning them. I only have two hives so I take more time to lose less bees, but it may not be the best feeder for bigger operations.
Overall, Id recommend this feeder. The bees were able to put away the syrup well, and went into the winter with lots of stores! Thanks Brushy Mtn. for making an 8 frame feeder!