Warre Hive Feeders

Just trying to get a little more prepared for when some bees finally decide to make home here.  Do you have any details for what sort of feeder I should use for a Warre hive?  Are they commercially available or is it something I would have to knock together myself?

Many thanks

Graham

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5 Responses to Warre Hive Feeders

  1. FollowMeChaps says:

    Graham
    I would just ask why are you thinking of feeding them? I presume that you mean sugar syrup as you won’t have any ‘safe’ honey. Feeding bees unless in an emergency can cause as many problems as it solves. Our group mostly uses Warrés and hardly anyone feeds them – I have 3 and certainly don’t myself. Feeding is a hang over from conventional beekeeping where they think that the more you feed, the more you can harvest.

    Trust the bees – they know how to look after themselves without our help and have been doing so for >50m years.

    Robin

  2. simplebees says:

    Whether you need a feeder very much depends on circumstances. A good swarm will come with its own stores sufficient to get started and, provided the weather is decent, will not need feeding. On those rare occasions when it might be needed, one way of giving feed is to put a simple feeder in an empty Warre box underneath the colony. A shallow bowl with straw spread over the syrup (to give the bees foothold and stop them drowning) will suffice. You will see an example of this with skep hives at the beginning of the video here. Others use a tupperware type container with small holes drilled in the lid upturned in an empty Warre box above the colony. The bees gain access to the container through a hole cut in the top-cloth. A top feeder can also be bought and I know some Warre beekeepers who use a bought feeder above a hole in the top cloth.

    Gareth

    • Thanks for the comments. Robin, I was really just thinking in advance should we have another significant period of bad weather over the summer. I am certainly not in favour of default feeding but also wouldn’t want to have a colony starve if I could lend the occasional helping hand.

      Graham

      • Ali Twigg says:

        Graham,

        If your colony is not able to survive without human intervention then it isn’t meant to survive. You would be ‘propping up’ a weak colony, which would then probably breed and weaken further colonies. Also, there is a school of thought that 1 in 3 swarms survive, the remaining two set up home for a prime swarm to take up residence later. Yours could be one of the two ‘Suzy Home-makers’. Patience! Let nature take its course.

        Ali

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