Bee Hive Top Feeder

bee hive top feeder

When bees don’t have enough honey stores to survive, supplemental feeding may be necessary. A bee hive top feeder is an easy solution to provide this necessary nourishment without opening up the cluster or disturbing its contents.

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To use a top feeder, place it atop your hive with an empty hive box surrounding it. This shields the feeder from sun, wind, rain and robber bees alike.


Entrance feeders

Entrance feeders are an ideal solution for beekeepers who want to provide their bees with food without disturbing them by opening up the hive. Not only are these easy to refill, but you can monitor syrup levels from outside as well.

Boardman entrance feeders are a popular option for this task. They consist of a small-mouthed mason jar and feeding tray that sit at the entrance of the hive.

Mason jars hold syrup that drips into a feeding tray, providing bees with access to food right from the jar. Plus, it’s simple to take apart and clean so your tray stays spotless!

This feeder works especially well when there’s no other food source for bees, such as during a dry winter. Furthermore, it can help hydrate them during hot weather.

Internal feeders

Bees typically forage on their own during most of the year, but certain circumstances (like shortages in resources or periods of dearth) can prevent them from finding food. In such cases, beekeepers may need to supplement their colonies with sugar syrup.

Feeders come in many varieties and each has their own advantages and drawbacks. Generally speaking, feeding is done to promote colony growth, sustain your bees during times of scarcity or build up enough stores for wintering.

One way to feed your bees is with an internal hive top feeder, which fits onto the upper deep brood box of the hive. This type of feeder has an open receptacle for bees to climb into and access sugar syrup without having to leave their home hive.

Hive top feeders come in many different styles, each with its own distinctive design. Some feature ladders or floats to prevent bees from drowning while they climb up and down for accessing syrup. On the other hand, some may simply provide bees with an open base to stand on while they access the sweet nectar within.

External feeders

Top feeders are an ideal way to feed your bees during the wintertime. They provide them with convenient access to syrup without having to open the hive, giving you peace of mind that their needs will be taken care of quickly and efficiently.

These can be especially helpful if your colony is still small and newly installed, or if you recently installed a nuc and the bees haven’t started foraging yet. They also act as protection from robber bees and protect the hive from weather extremes.

A bee hive top feeder sits atop the upper box in the hive and offers shelter from external elements. This makes it easier to assess remaining food supplies and make sure your bees have plenty to eat.

Some beekeepers opt to use a hive box around their top feeder as another means of protecting their bees from robbers and the elements. It also makes it simple to inspect how much food remains without opening up the hive itself.

Choosing a feeder

A bee hive top feeder is an indispensable piece of equipment for any beekeeper. Not only do they provide convenient access to sugar syrup during times of low nectar flow or when temperatures drop, but they are also great to have on hand when winter approaches and nectar flow is limited.

Selecting a feeder for your bees is an important decision that should be done with careful consideration. Factors like climate, honey-to-brood ratio and your bee’s strain all need to be taken into account when making this choice.

When starting a nuc or package bee colony, it is often wise to install a top feeder as soon as possible in order to help the bees establish quickly. This is especially true if they lack sufficient resources during their early days of existence.

Once a beekeeper feels confident their bees can survive off of their own resources, they may opt to stop feeding them temporarily. It should only be done as an interim measure and not an ongoing practice. Feeding in autumn or as winter approaches is usually not necessary but may help them if they’re starving.