Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not necessarily junk, but not what I thought...

I wont say that it is junk, but let's just say that I'm not all that excited about the hive-top feeder I bought from Dadant.

Everyone I talk to tells me that I really need to ditch my Boardman hive-front feeder. I know that the front feeders encourage robbing, and that's the last thing I want with my young colony. But since they're so new, I have to keep feeding them, especially with the almost monsoon-like weather we've had here in North Carolina, and the fact that I got started later than usual.

I went to the local Dadant office and purchased the hive-top feeder pictured right) that I saw in their catalog. Actually I bought two, one for my active hive and one for the second one I have in storage for next spring. When I got them home, I put them together (the white inner sections snap in place to keep your bees from drowning) and waited for several days to install it.

So I work my hive, checking for eggs and work going on...and when I finished my inner hive examination, I decided to put the feeder on, fill it with syrup, and leave. Everything was fine -- or so I though -- until I noticed some of my bees coming out of the back of the hive. Thinking that I must have done something wrong, I started checking and found a 1/2 inch gap on the back of the hive...from where the feeder doesn't sit flush on top of the brood box. It was so wide, I could see the frames in the brood box. Front side? Same thing! Needless to say, I was irritated by the whole thing.

After saying a few select words which I won't repeat here, I carefully pulled the feeder off, making sure not to spill any syrup, and put the Boardman hive-front feeder back on again.

I plan to keep them. I know, I know..I should return them. After all, I am about 45 minutes from the Virginia warehouse of Dadant & Sons. But I like the overall design and maybe I can weight them down and use a heat source to bend or mold the plastic flat so I can use it on my hives, especially for use this winter.

Most everything I own in beekeeping equipment came from Dadant. They've been really nice to me and helpful. But this is one piece of equipment I would never buy again or at least bring home without checking it out first.

Until next time, bee-have yourselves!

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