Ultimate Hive Feeder Honey Bee Feeding Prevents Robbing Boosts Your Bees BeeSmart Design 1 Gallon

okay so today we have something to talk
about that’s very important this time of year the weather is breaking and we just
went from record cold temperatures to new record high temperatures in our
County in northeastern United States and I’m going to do a review of this
Drinker that I’m gonna use for open feeding and also I’m going to show you
how to use it inside your hive this is from be smart designs .com and this is
an improved version there are lots of features here that keep the bees out of
the nectar and the sugar water that you’re going to put in it it has a nice
raised lip here around the circumference that did not exist before and that’s to
keep the bees from climbing up in and getting into that sugar water reservoir
and here’s the mechanism that allows the gravity feed to dispense the nectar down
into the reservoir base it’s pretty simple there’s a spring-loaded release
here and then there’s a nice soft seal that goes on the inside and they’ve also
increased the number of little bars that stick up around the edges that also will
prevent bees from me able to get into this reservoir it seals nice and it’s
nicely made actually this thing is nice heavy plastic and again here’s the
mechanism we’re just looking over and I’ll show you how it goes into the base
and once it’s pressed down of course it uses the weight of the nectar to hold
this down the release pops up and it gravity feeds into the trough down below
also the entrance here is blocked off too and has little appendages sticking
down that prevent honeybees from getting in through the trough if the water
should get completely low so this is good for water or nectar of course I’m
using sugar water right now because we’re still in early spring the material
is nice and heavy nice and thick I think this is gonna
last for a long time these are available in Amazon I’m going to give you a link
down in the video description and again just a close up make sure and wash it
off first with water there were some little bits and pieces from fabrication
that we’re in there seal it up nice and then of course its distinctive as to how
it should line up and you’ll notice that I’ve drawn with a black sharpie here on
the lip of it so that even when we can look down from
the top we’ll see exactly where the dispensing side is good complete set of
instructions and cautionary stuff how to install the feeder maintenance cleaning
stuff like that very important here and why I drew the black marks on is to make
sure those black marks go to the low end so if your hive is tilting forward make
sure the black marks are on the low side so it doesn’t leak out it’s about 10
inches in diameter good size this is going to fit into a
medium super box and it just gravity seats on here make
sure it’s nice and level or as level as you can get it it’s about six inches
tall so again fits into a medium super I’m
gonna take it outside and use it for open feeding because there’s a lot going
on in the bee yard right now going from record cold to record heat the bees are
all going to come out and they’re going to be hungry and so when we put this
outside you want to make sure that the Scout bees that are heading out have
places to go and things to get and that’s why we’re gonna open feed right
now we’re given just the details from the embossing on the bottom of the
trough here be smart design again made in America and the feeder comes in a pack
of two here we are outside once you fill it with sugar water or regular water if
you want to seal it up and it doesn’t leak so pretty good you can carry it by
the handle it holds a gallon and that’s pretty much it it’s ready to go there’s
little drips on it cuz I did wash it off first and I’m gonna use this as I
mentioned before for open feeding I want those Scout bees instead of robbing each
other out to be finding sources of sugar water again this time of year because
it’s highly likely that we’re gonna freeze again right away I want to make
sure that sugar content is high so roughly the two to one something near
that notice here all the activity on these be landing boards this is not the
time to take away your entry reducers keep them on because there’s a very high
potential that the stronger colonies will now rod
the weaker colonies and we want to protect them I know it’s nice when warm
we actually hit 70 degrees here and that caused all of the clusters to break out
the scouts are out there’s a lot of hovering around the hive bodies too and
that’s because we have a lot of new bees in here that don’t know their way around
they’re doing orienteering flights and if you look at the entrance – how do you
know this is not a robbing situation look at all the activity and how many
bees are pouring out but did you see that one they just pulled out a dead bee
bees are robbing a colony do not clean up that colony you would see a lot of
detritus and other materials that are just dropped as it’s being robbed these
bees are just active in foraging and taking advantage of this warm spurt so
we want to get as much carbohydrate into these hives as we can now because it’s
going to freeze again and this is the thing that happened last year when we
went from freezing to a warm up the bees got active when we had this warmup and
then it froze again and the bees had already started laying eggs and once
that Queen starts to lay eggs the cluster is gonna sit on that frame where
the brood is and they won’t move and that’s why they starve out without
moving the cluster to where the honey is so we want to take an opportunity to
really boost them with carbohydrates whenever they have a warm snap like this
we want to give them plenty to get we want to give the foragers plenty to do
other than scout out other hives and attack them so we’re open feeding but
I’m also going to show you how the system goes inside just let you sit and
watch these bees for a minute and see this look at them pulling out
the dead bees are inside the colony here so they’re doing a rapid cleanup this is
one of my strongest colonies if you may remember from the fall going into fall
they actually tried to swarm and we managed to stop the swarm and keep them
here so this particular colony is extremely strong and probably one that
we’re going to be working with this year as far as making splits from it because
they’re just so well acclimated to the cold here in the northeastern United
States and they’re going to do extremely well in the coming summer so this is
definitely a colony that I plan to work with extensively this year and here I
got the camera so close that there’s actually heat coming out and it fogged
the lens that’s how it’s just there is a flurry of activity as I said it went all
the way up into the high six he’s here it went down in the valley below us it
was actually up to 71 so we hit a record high and that’s what inspired them all
to come out of their colonies and start seeking around but the weather’s gonna
change it’s gonna go bad again in fact tonight it’s gonna drop into the
30s so watch the weather at the time that we did this we had a 12 mile an
hour wind 65 degrees Fahrenheit outside like I said before that’s going to
change dramatically but when it does warm up like this you want to make sure
and get sugar water feed out there for the bees so they have something to bring
in and we want to offset their desire of course to overcome smaller weaker
colonies don’t pull out those entry reducers keep them small because this
time of year they still need to be able to protect themselves they have not
built up yet and I had no problems with the leaking that some people reported on
these as long as you keep it level if you can’t keep it perfectly level
remember up with these black marks on there you want to keep the black marks
on the low end because it’s gravity-fed and that will stop it from leaking out
completely now I’m going to show you on a ten frame box exactly how it might fit
in there you’re going to put it right on top of the inner cover and you’re going
to make sure not to obstruct that hole so the bees can come through and feed
without leaving the colony and this is again now we have a medium super just
the box around it to show you that it is small
enough to fit in there so you’ll have a gallon of sugar water in it I’m very
confident that it’s not going to leak inside and we can fit also three frames
of drawn comb if you want to give those be something to cling to and if they
want to do some storage right there they can so it does fit nicely it’s a pretty
good setup I’m happy with it I would say and then of course you just leave that
empty super on there put a cover on it and protect it from the weather don’t
forget to put weights on it or strap it down so thanks for watching this video
and I hope that we don’t have a repeat of last year which is when we got like a
solid week of really warm weather in fact it extended into almost a two-week
period the bees came out the Queen started laying and then we had a cold
snap so we returned to winter and then the bees often died in place and people
lost up to fifty sixty percent of their colonies take care of your bees happy
beekeeping get a good drinker out there and in the hives thanks for watching!


  1. Your videos are so easy to watch. I think we should get one of these. We are now just putting it in a bowl with gravel.Hopefully both hives will make it. This is our first year keeping Bees . You capture such wonder footage of your bees thanks again.

  2. The temps are really crazy in this area right now. Parts of my yard are still frozen, but other parts are not. It was crazy warm yesterday, but the ground feels nearly frozen this morning. I am really going to look for videos like this, especially from you Fred since I live in the same area and I might very well get my first hive this year. It is really nice to see what others are doing in these specific situations.

  3. I cannot partake in apiology where I live, however, would there be benefit to open feed in my area to encourage what's already in my area?

    I already try to keep my property pollinator friendly due to my small number of fruit trees.

  4. Wonderful presentation ! This is going to make feeding bees a snap in the winter…. I hope to add warm water with the sugar….. I use Thermohives from Apimaye-USA I think it should fit ….in the hive….

  5. 👍 Do you keep feeding syrup if / when it returns to winter? … right till when there is natural foraging for them. I leave a 1 to 2 kilos of fondant on top of the frames in Autumn. Sometimes it’s all gone by spring, sometimes hardly touched. One thing is for sure,,,, as soon as we are definitely over winter, I’m going to feed the heck out the ones near the moor, then stop feeding early April, so to hopefully get Bilberry honey. Yum

  6. Im on betterbee right now and was looking at these feeders considering them. Then i see this… You're some kind of mind ninja! I do, however, think i'll stick to pail feeders for now. (cheaper)
    But seriously, mind ninja… I get my wife a robo dwarf hamster, next thing i know you're uploading hamster cage reviews.

  7. We had three weeks of 75f days and that sparked the trees. We are now back to 55f days and 35f nights. The Bees are active and very interested in the other Hives to rob.

  8. 6:05 Do you know why they tried to swarm and what did you do to prevent it? Thanks for the awesome beekeeping vlogs and keep up the good work! 🙂

  9. Really enjoy your videos your very knowledgeable I want to start but listening to you tells me this is very more than honey it can be a lot of work and a lot can go wrong and I would hate to do anything wrong and cause any bees to die!

  10. It really get hot here in ax in June July August sept October .. oh my yet people do raise bees in some parts of AZ
    Even my shade is too hot ! I still would love to try..

  11. Have you had any problems with this feeder? I use a very thick 4:1 ratio that my bees absolutely love. Will a very thick syrup have any effect on the valve? I have been using gravity screen type feeders, but the screens crystallize to fast and make feeding difficult.

    Thank you.

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