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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Using the Rapid Feeder

The cone in the rapid feeder sits over the center of the angel food cake pan type container. The bees come up from the hole in the inner cover and can walk down the ridged surface of the cone to the height of the sugar syrup.

When Jeff and I fed the bees last week, the feeders on the hives were empty. In the photo below, Jeff begins to pour the bee tea into the rapid feeder.

In this picture you can see the bees through the cone cover going down to the height of the bee tea. We had to pour slowly to avoid drowning bees and to allow the bees time to crawl up to dry ground.

The leaves floating in the bee tea are thyme, by the way.

The level rises and the bees crowd the top area of the cone.

As the bee tea gets higher, the bees are forced to move up even higher.

When the container is full, the bees can't go down the sides to get syrup, although as the amount of syrup is brought into the hive, the levels will diminish and the bees will be seen more on the outside of the cone.

Just thought you might enjoy these up close and personal pictures of the bees endeavoring to take in the bee tea.

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  1. What is the purpose of the thyme sprigs?

  2. Thyme has a negative effect on varroa.

  3. Linda, saw the Rapid Feeder on a Canadian site and became intrigued. Looks like a good solution. But I'm not crazy about dealing with customs and cross-border commerce. Is there a source for this item in the USA?

    1. Anonymous4:03 PM

      This is the company we buy from https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FNW2VDB

    2. Pigeon mountain carries them also

  4. this would be a snap to fabricate from a plastic bucket, a length of pvc pipe and some silicone sealant

  5. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Similar to a standard top feeder, only round not rectangular.

  6. Anonymous1:40 AM

    Looks like it could be made from a jello mold.

  7. Anonymous6:47 PM

    I found I had to drill a large circular hole in my inner covers to accommodate these feeders. Did you have to do that? Or am I missing something?

  8. I have no idea why you would need to do that. The rapid feeder fits right on top of the hole that is in the center of the inner cover. The bees come up from there and crawl into the center of the cone and easily access the syrup

  9. I am having some bees drown in my rapid feeder...any idea why? Could I be doing something wrong?

  10. The only time bees have drowned in mine are two: 1. When I poured the syrup in too fast and the bee drowned in the rising sugar water and 2. When I failed to push the center cup all the way down so it wasn’t properly positioned. Oh, and once I had a bee fall into the syrup as I was putting the top on the container and I didn’t see her.

  11. I just put it on when I installed my nuc on Monday so I don't think option one is an option, I thought I pushed the cap down all the way? Does it need to click or does it just set on the lower grooves? Could it be too full?

  12. The liquid shouldn’t go all the way to the top. They have to be able to get their footing

  13. I'm doing a hive inspection Saturday, I'll have to look at it more then, maybe take some photos. I though it was about half full. It was difficult to see with my bee suit on honestly.

  14. I've just switched over to these for the winter on my 11 hives. Was wondering if the inner cover goes on in the same "this side up" position or if turned over is better to allow venting of hive?

  15. Keep it in the up position. A potential robber bee will enter to find an inaccessible rapid feeder (the top is on the feeder) and an inaccessible hive (the inner cover opening is blocked by the rapid feeder). If you turn the vent toward the hive, you are allowing robbers to enter the hive itself.

  16. I wonder where to place the feeder as I have a Maisemore Polly hive ( brood + 2 supers) and there is no circular hole anywhere which you mention for the feeder.


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