9 responses

  1. David Lansing
    October 24, 2010

    Drowned bees are always a sad sight but fortunately, as you said, it won’t be the demise of the hive.

    If you’re interested I can send you some info from the methods used by the instructor & some of the local beekeepers here in the Okanagan for a different feeder design and feeding that apparently helps with drowning. Let me know, I have a sketch and some recipes.

  2. Jeff
    October 25, 2010

    Can I get a sketch of that too.

  3. Phillip
    October 25, 2010

    If you’re interested I can send you some info from the methods used by the instructor & some of the local beekeepers here in the Okanagan for a different feeder design and feeding that apparently helps with drowning. Let me know, I have a sketch and some recipes.

    No problem. I can use whatever info you have. The more I know, the better.

  4. Sam Smith
    November 3, 2010

    You can modify that feeder to loose almost no bees. Feeders with large open pool of syrup like this always kill bees, if you install a screen spaced 1/4″ away from the wall and then screen them so they have to navigate this 1/4″ space they rarely drown. I think the bees enter from the center space? Then I would make a upside down U insert screen spaced with 1/4″ wooden slates to prevent them from getting into the large pools of syrup.

    Looks like you got snow the same time we did :)

  5. Phillip
    November 6, 2010

    You can modify that feeder to loose almost no bees.

    I was planning to make similar modifications to these feeders before I installed them, but I was too busy to go shopping around for screen. I’ll do it next spring, or sometime over the winter if I have time.

  6. Tim
    December 13, 2011

    Hey there, if you place some straw in the feeders it will prevent a massive loss of bees. the straw allows them to get out if they fall in. but if found the best feeders are these ones
    http://countryfields.ca/images/pricelist/trayfeeder.jpg
    they have a cover over the funnel and don’t let heat escape and prevents the bees from drowning

    • Phillip
      December 14, 2011

      I’ve since solved the problem of the drowned bees by stapling screen to the top of the reservoirs and floating craft sticks (or Popsicle sticks) in the syrup so the bees don’t drown.

      http://mudsongs.org/first-spring-feeding-with-top-hive-feeders/

      My big problem with the feeders is they leak. I kind of hate them. I tried using the plastic “insert feeders,” but the bees completely ignore it. I would try out the feeder you linked to if I knew it wouldn’t leak.

      I’m looking for feeders that aren’t made of wood and are therefore not likely to ever leak. Trying to seal up the leaking wooden feeders has been a big pain.

      • Amanda
        April 27, 2012

        Phillip–You’ve probably found a feeder by now, but just in case: BetterBee.com sells “BeeMax” hivetop feeders that supposedly don’t leak. They’re a single piece of styrofoam, so there really doesn’t look like there’s any place for it to leak from. (I have two, but I just started out so can’t really attest to their leak-proof-ness.)

  7. Tony Dasher
    August 26, 2013

    I built a feeder that works with no drowning. I tried multiple commercial feeders but ended up with an alarming number of dead bees. I think our drought contributed – not a lot of natural forage so they just kept piling on top and ultimately drowned everything from the bottom up. This is a dog waterer that I filled in most of the bowl then covered the filler with a mesh (a plastic mesh that you can buy in the paint section of any hardware store). Use epoxy to glue things in place. I can feed up to 2 1/2 gallons and lose not bees due to drowning. Inexpensive and it works. For a picture:

    http://goo.gl/FgJvWu

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