The box is both a shipping box and a storage box. It was designed specifically to keep your feeder safe when not in use.
Close off the front entrance hole whenever you think you should by simply inserting the yellow plug.
Allows you to ensure your hive is ventilated and view your bees at the same time.
BFF - Bee Friendly Funnel
Used to introduce a new package of bees into your hive without too much shaking.
Used to attach the Bee Funnel for new package installs and to secure your hive by strapping it together.
Introducing a new queen into your hive is simple. A recessed section on the underside of the B.B.Feeder is specifically designed to allow you to introduce a new queen.
Simply remove the cork on the candy end of the queen cage as you normally would. Place the queen cage across the middle frames approximately 3 inches in from the front of the hive. The queen cage screen can either face upwards or towards the rear of the hive.
Position the B.B.Feeder over the queen cage and onto the hive body.
Install the yellow bee escape plug closing off the front entrance hole. This reduces any drafts that may come through the bee entrance when introducing a queen in cooler temperatures.
Install the plastic fluid barrier and the observation screen.
Add approximately ½ gallon of sugar syrup to the fluid chamber.
Do not fill completely because less fluid will make it easier to check the status of the queen in 3 days if there is less fluid in the chamber.
Check the status of the queen after 3-5 days.
Once the queen has been introduced, remove the empty queen cage.
You may now remove the bee entrance plug to allow access and provide additional ventilation.
The dry feed chamber is accessed by the bees from the underside of the feeder. The chamber can be used for pollen, pollen substitute, dry feed supplement or granulated sugar.
NOTE: When the chamber is empty, the bees tend to use it as a “hang out”.
If you are concerned about your bees food supply, you can add granulated sugar, sugar chunks or fondant to this area.
On those occasional warm days during the winter, bees can break cluster and feed from this area. However, If the temperature is too cold, the bees will not go inside the dry feed chamber to access the emergency food supply.
The bees are separated from the sugar syrup by a plastic barrier which is BPA safe, cold temperate safe (subzero) and made in the US.
The closely engineered tolerances between the polystyrene chamber and the plastic barrier, reduce bee drownings and keeps the bees from constructing comb between the plastic barrier and the chamber walls.
The Fluid chamber is tapered towards the center using gravity to ensure all the liquid flows to where the bees are feeding.
The tight tolerances on the bottom of the chamber help to prevent bees from accidentally entering the fluid chamber when it is empty.
If the plastic barrier gets “stuck” when attempting to remove it, try twisting the plastic barrier. That usually does the trick. If that does not work, warm water will take care of it.
I wanted to make the feeder capable of supporting approximately 50 + pounds of downward pressure. (just in case someone used a couple of cinder blocks on top of the hive)
Overkill ? – Perhaps, but I would rather over engineer than not. The feeder is a single molded unit made of hi-density polystyrene.
There are 4 perimeter feet which serve serve 2 purposes.
So, what about the other feet?
The space on the underside allows for movement of the bees in-between the top of the frames and the feeder.
An inner cover is not used when using the feeder. For new package installs or winter preparation, the front, rear and side gaps provide space for pollen patties, sugar patties, or fondant.
The dry feed cover is ventilated to allow moisture to escape.
With the dry feed cover installed and the liquid barrier installed, you can observe your bees at work when removing the outer cover.
It’s a great way to see at a quick glance how your bees are doing.
If the plastic barrier gets stuck from the sugar syrup or crystallization and you are trying to remove it, try twisting it.
If that does not work, some warm water usually does the trick. Clean the barrier by hand with warm water. Do not put in the dishwasher. The feeder can be washed with warm water.
The simple answer – ants.
The ventilation slots in the feeder are small enough to keep bees out, but not ants.
The sealing tape, the plastic rim and the ventilation tape are installed simply to reduce the number of ants from getting into your sugar syrup.
Bees will do what bees will do. Bees will propolize the bottom of the feeder to the top of your hive body. Use your hive tool on one of the back corners to pry the feeder loose.
Yes, this may create an indentation in the feeder, but it will not affect the functionality.
Monitoring the internal temperature and humidity of your hives is a great way to get a feel of what’s going on inside. This is especially helpful during the winter and early spring, but it is useful anytime.
A recessed section on the underside of the B.B.Feeder is specifically designed to install various style temperature and humidity sensors that are on the market today.
Depending on the number of hives you have, how far away your hives are from your home, and the technology used, will help determine which sensors are worth considering for your apiary.
There are sensors on the market specifically designed for hive monitoring, and other sensors which also work well in a hive. (in my opinion)
If you have 1-3 hives, and your hives are within 150 feet of your house, there are 2 very inexpensive sensors that work well and allow you to monitor from within your house.
If your house is out of that range, then you can still use the sensors, but you will have to protect the receivers from the elements. I have used plastic “locking” sandwich containers with great success.
ACCURITE makes sensors with 3 different channels (hence the “1-3 hives”) which can be purchased on line, at Lowes, Home Depot or other big box stores.
If you really like to monitor the weather, you can go for a full weather station and have up to 5 sensors from ACCURITE.
Check the ACCURITE link but do online comparison shopping, as the prices of the weather stations vary considerably. I personally use the ACCURITE 5 in 1 weather station and love it.
I use it with MyACURITE and the IPhone app to monitor the weather station from anywhere. I had used it to monitor 5 hives, but have since switched to SensorPush because my apiary has grown.
If your hives are remote or you have a lot of hives, then you may want to consider something that runs on Bluetooth.
The BroodMinder units are very nice and do not require the special cutout. The feeder design ensures the BroodMinder sensor does not block the the liquid feed access chamber.
For more information on the BroodMinder, please click on the link.
I use mostly Sensor Push, but I also have some BroodMinder.
Sensor Push is a small Bluetooth device. Sensor Push makes a WiFi-hub. If the WiFi hub is within range of your hives, then the data is available via the app remotely. If not, then you can simply be near your hives and they will sync the data with the app via bluetooth for reading the data.