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Getting Started in Beekeeping

Different Feeder Types

6 Weeks as a beekeeper...


Feeders:Feeders are a great option for beekeepers to provide their bees with sugar syrup when nectar flows are low. It also offers a great opportunity to medicate your bees.

  • It is best to use either a pail feeder or entrance feeder for new colonies. The closer the sugar syrup can be to the colony the better .
  • If there is a strong nectar flow the bees will ignore sugar water. Remove promptly from hive and check periodically to make sure they do not need it.
  • It is not recommended to feed when honey supers are on the hive. The bees will simply fill the supers with sugar water.

During the fall they will accept feed until it begins to get too cold out. Once it gets cold enough they will begin to cluster. Keeping a top feeder through the winter months is helpful to the bees.

In late winter and early spring, you need to begin emergency feeding and continue until the bees start to bring in their own food supply.

On those rare warm winter days, you can check their honey stores to make sure they have plenty of honey or stored syrup.

There are three different type of feeders: hive top, division board, and entrance feeders.

Hive top feeders
are placed above your colony and include entrance reducers or floats so your bees are safe. This is an easy feeding method that you can fill when needed without disturbing your bees.
Division board feeders are a great way to bring feed directly into your hive by replacing a frame. They includes floats or textured walls as safety precautions.
Entrance feeders are another way of making feed available to the hive. They consist of either our plastic feeder which includes a tray with an upside down pail that allows for easy removal and replacement without taking your hive apart or our wooden entrance feeder which uses a regular mason jar.

Syrup Recipe:

  • Spring (stimulate colony growth) - 1:1 ratio of sugar to water
  • Fall (overwinter stores) - 2:1 ratio of sugar to water

    Boil the water and then remove if from heat. Wait for it to cool to about 140 degrees (F) and then dissolve the sugar in the water.