There are lots of different options out there for feeding your bees sugar water. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks and we’ll be looking at several different types over the next few posts.
Today we’ll look at the entrance feeder.
This feeder uses a typical canning jar with holes punched into the lid although there are other types that might use different kinds of containers. It sits at the front of the hive at the entrance and thus can be put on without having to open the hive. Like every other option there are benefits and drawbacks.
- You can see exactly how much sugar water is left without opening the hive
- You can put on more sugar water without opening the hive
- Bees can’t drown with this type of feeder
- It can be used with Top Bar hives and is small enough to be used for nucs as well.
- Because the sugar is so close to the opening of the hive it can increase instances of robbing from other bees or attract wasps, ants and other problems
- In the winter the bees may be clustered up above and not be able or willing to move down to the entrance where cold air is coming in to get the sugar water
- When the bees really need sugar water you’ll be filling this almost daily
- Because it’s at the front of the hive you run the risk of being stung by guard bees
- The syrup sits in the hot sun meaning you can’t use medication with this type of feeder
In general this option is probably best for emergency situations where you need to get bees sugar water in the warmer months but can’t use any of the other options we’ll talk about later. It is certainly not a good long term solution for many hives.