My Modified Baggie Feeding Method

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Last year as I was preparing for my first hive, I did a lot of research, and one of my main interests was feeding methods.  After listening to other bee keepers list the pros and cons of a number of feeding methods, I couldn’t decide what would be best for the bees, and I was not happy with the suggestion that I do what what was easiest for me.  I finally decided to combine and modify the baggie feeding method I saw online.  Primarily, I wanted to eliminate bee deaths from feeding and avoid limiting the bees movement inside the hive.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Add syrup to quart-sized freezer ziploc bags.
  2. Place the bags on top of the inner cover (this allows the bees to move freely between frames).
  3. Poke holes in the bags with a toothpick (cuts down on mess compared to making slits).
  4. Add a 3″ shim.
  5. Place a screened inner cover on top of the shim (allows for more ventilation).
  6. Add the cover.

There are two main downsides to the method:

  • the ziploc bags are not reusable
  • the method may not scale well.  I have used it with four hives, but I imagine with a lot more it could be hard to maintain.

The bees seem to like it, and I have never lost a bee to feeding!

from the top of the hive, you see the baggie feeders and hive entrance through the screened inner cover

Honey Bee Suite has a great summary of other feeding methods (opens in a new window): http://www.honeybeesuite.com/what-type-of-honey-bee-feeder-is-best/

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