This is my Beemax top feeder; it was part of my initial beekeepers starter kit. The advantages of having a top feeder:
- Ease of inspection – I’ve learned how much my bees will tolerate my presence. It’s also a good idea to learn the signs of when the bees have had enough of it. It’s especially important if, like in the video, you are not wearing any beekeeping defenses.
- Quick refill – Lift and pour in the syrup, it doesn’t get any easier than that.
- Provide large amount of syrup. – It’s hard to see that there is anything in the feeder. The best sign is when I dip the leaf in it. Believe it or not, there is over ¾ of a gallon in the feeder.
- Sloped feeding chamber - Which I noticed for the 1st time while making the video, it’s sloped towards the bee’s feeding area by at least ½ inch. The syrup is always going to flow the proper way.
The bee at the end of the video is one I rescued from one of the water moats. She was flying from behind me coming around my right towards the entrance of the hive. I lifted the top and she flew right into it and then bounced right into one of the back moats. A rescue was the only right thing to do. I ended up placing her and her pollen load (what was left of it) on top of the hive, where she began to dry herself.
Quick review of why I’m feeding.
- Create an artificial honey flow to trick the hive into building up before the real natural flow. ( about 4 to 6 weeks away)
- My purchased queen should be here the second week of March. At that time the hive should be strong and more than ready for a split. The current hive should have ample time to recover from the split, and be ready for the real honey flow.
- The split I’m creating I will try to introduce to my TBH
Advantages can also create disadvantages. Nothing is perfect.
- It makes it too easy to inspect which is just an invitation to go intrude, set a camera and video tape.
- Notice all the bees at the syrup level. Pour more syrup too fast and all those bees are going to go for a swim.
- Large amount of feed is an invitation for everyone like the Small hive Beetle in the video.
- I’ve never seen a bee drown in the feeder, but after video taping the one bee struggling to get out, I can see how it could be very possible.