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. 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.
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!