Bee Feeders

Betterbee offers bee feeders to supplement your colony when the temperature is too hot (over 100 degrees F) or too cold (below 55 degrees F) for foraging. Find honey bee feeders in a variety of styles, including:

The BeeMax Feeder comes in 8, 10, and BeeMax sizes. It's our favorite at Betterbee. Place it directly on top of the brood frames without an inner cover and refill without opening the hive.

Pail Feeders come in 1- and 2-gallon sizes. Place the pail feeder on the inner cover. If the inner cover is notched, we recommend covering it to decrease robbing. When the lid is inverted, bees can access the syrup through an embedded screen in the center. Enclose the feeder by placing an empty hive body around the pail followed by the outer cover.

Boardman Feeders use a small-mouthed mason jar to hold feed and are placed at the entrance of the hive. They're quick to refill and easy to monitor from outside the hive. One disadvantage is the significant distance between the feeder and the hive, leading to increased robbing opportunities in weak hives. Consider putting an entrance reducer beside the feeder to help the bees defend against robbers. We often use these above an inner cover inside an empty hive body. This moves the feed closer to the bees and reduces the invitation to robbers. Always close the notch in the inner cover to prevent robbing. Boardman feeders require frequent refilling as hives can consume over a gallon of feed per day when preparing for winter. They are not efficient in cool weather.

Division Board Feeders go inside the hive and replace one or two frames. These feeders have a cover and a ladder-type structure inside to prevent bees from drowning. You must open the hive to refill a division board feeder.

The Ultimate Direct Feeder sits on top of the frames in the hive. Use one or two in the bee hive. Place a medium super around these like you would with the pail feeders.

How to Make Sugar Syrup for Your Bee Feeder

For spring feeding, make a 1:1 syrup using 1 pound water (2 cups) to 1 pound sugar. For fall feeding, make a 2:1 syrup using 2 pounds sugar per pound of water. Water must be very hot to dissolve sugar. We do not feed sugar syrup during cold weather when bees are not able to take cleansing flights. Some beekeepers recommend adding Honey Bee Healthy or apple cider vinegar for mold reduction. It’s important to remove feeders with moldy syrup and clean them well before reapplying the bee feeder and feed.

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