Finding the right bee feeder is one of the most important steps to ensuring your hive is healthy. Sugar water or syrup has long been used by beekeepers to help increase the number of field bees. Feeding sugar to your hive will also enhance their pollination and give much-needed energy to exhausted bees. During winter months, when food is less available, it is epically important to provide an alternative source of food that will help prevent bee deaths during the cold season.

There are many different feeders to choose from, each providing a different service from the next. For example, if you live somewhere that experiences cold winters, an internal hive-top feeder or external hive-top feeder may be the best option. However, if you live in an area that experiences summer or spring like conditions year round, an entrance feeder may be all that you need. We compiled an in-depth assessment of a variety of bee feeders to help you decided which one is best for you and your hive.

 

How We Reviewed

We reviewed all products based on a variety of essential factors. In order to make the most comprehensive list, we assessed products based on price, durability, quality of materials used, and the​ type of bee feeder. We also looked at what weather conditions the products could withstand as well as if there was any presence of anti-drown mechanisms in place.

 

Overall Price Range Of This Product (And Similar Products)

Most bee feeders lie within the price range of around ten to thirty dollars. Entrance bee feeders are typically the cheapest type of feeder, but these types of feeders can also only be used in spring and summer and are not suitable for winter conditions. External hive-top feeders and internal bee feeders are more expensive because they often require more materials and are normally heavier than external feeders. External hive-top and internal feeders also offer the unique advantage of being suitable for winter conditions and year round feeding.


What We Reviewed

  • Mcupper - Honey Entrance Bee Feeder
  • Harvest Lane Honey Entrance Bee Feeder
  • Mann Lake Entrance Feeder
  • Little Giant Farm & Ag FRAMEFDR Frame Feeder
  • Boardman Entrance Feeder
  • Toughtimbers Beekeeping Bee Hive-Top Feeder
  • Homestead Essentials Ultimate In-Hive Feeder
  • Ceracell 2.5-Gallon Beehive Top Feeder
  • Rapid Bee  Round Hive-Top Feeder
  • Blythewood Bee Company Motherload Frame Feeder
  • Harvest Lane Honey In-Hive Bee Feeder
  • GLOGLOW Plastic Bee Water Feeder Bowl
  • Toughtimbers Entrance Bee Feeder

Features

The Mcupper Honey Entrance Bee Feeder is made out of plastic and comes in a light white color. The product comes with ten pieces each with a width of approximately 76mm and length of 160mm. The Mcupper is perfect for feeding your bees without having to open the hive and is one of the most popular methods for feeding bees. Plus, it can quickly be refilled without disturbing the colony.

                                      Pros

  • Light material     
  • Reusable
  • Nondisruptive 

  Cons

  • Only one color
  • Made of plastic 
  • Difficult to connect

Type of Feeder

The Mcupper is ideal for those looking for an entrance feeder that does not disrupt the colony.

Features 

The Harvest Lane Honey Bee Feeder is strictly an entrance feeder. The product is manufactured in the United States and made out of highly durable and easy-to-use materials. Beekeepers must place the product at the entrance of the hive; however, it is not recommended for winter feeding. They also recommend using sugar water to better feed the bees.

                                      Pros

  • Simply design 
  • Easy to use
  • Glass jar

  Cons

  • Best for small hives
  • Not suitable for winter use
  • Cheap materials 

Type of Feeder

This product is an entrance feeder to be used during spring and summer but not during winter. 

Features 

The Mann Lake Entrance Feeder is easy to use and easy to install. This entrance feeder offers a unique advantage because it allows one to view the level of feed without having to disturb the hive. This entrance feeder is also incredibly easy to clean. The product does not come with the mason jar and should not be used for winter feeding.

                                      Pros

  • Easy to clean 
  • Monitor feed levels
  • Quick assembly

  Cons

  • Not suitable for winter feeding
  • Cannot keep ants out
  • Mason jar not included

Type of Feeder

The Mann Lake is specifically an entrance feeder.

Features

The Little Giant Farm will fit into a standard deep body hive box and hold approximately three quarts of syrup. This frame feeder is ideal for feeding bees when outside sources of nectar are unavailable. Inside the frame, there are small inner ladders and grooved sides to assist bees in getting access to the syrup without drowning.

                                      Pros

  • Closed ladders     
  • Suitable for winter feeding
  • Affordable price

  Cons

  • Lacks instruction manual
  • Flimsy parts
  • Difficult to assemble

Type of Feeder

The Little Giant Farm feeder is a division board feeder which is inserted into the hive itself in order to feed honeybees.

Features 

The Boardman Entrance Feeder allows beekeepers to monitor sugar syrup levels without having to disrupt the beehive, making it a very convenient product for those who want the least amount of impact on their hive. The Boardman is made out of durable metal and wood and requires an inverted glass jar. The glass jar is not included and must be purchased separately.

                                      Pros

  • Strong materials   
  • Monitoring capabilities
  • Effective design

  Cons

  • Glass jar not included
  • Not suitable for winter feeding
  • Requires constant refilling

Type of Feeder

The Honey Hive Farms Boardman is an entrance feeder.

Features 

The Homestead is the ultimate hive feeder for beekeepers. There is a large feeding area that is equipped with narrow channels and steps, making it easy for bees to access the food without overcrowding. The narrow channels and steps also help prevent drowning. The one-gallon tank is also easy to fill and replace when needed.

                                      Pros

  • "Jail bars" prevent drowning
  • Translucent container 
  • Easy to refill

  Cons

  • Leaks occasionally
  • Alignment issues
  • Syrup flows too quickly

Type of Feeder

The Homestead feeder is an external hive-top feeder that is placed over the entrance of the hive.

Features 

The Ceracell is a heavy duty plastic beehive feeder. It holds about 2.5 gallons of feed and is optimal for both wet and dry feeding. The feeder has five areas for bees and is designed with a "no-drown" feeder to prevent bees from getting stuck in syrup. A unique feature of the Ceracell feeder is that it alllows feeding in the winter without exposing bees to cold, unmanageable conditions.

                                      Pros

  • Suitable for winter feeding  
  • Durable material
  • Five feeding areas

  Cons

  • Only one size
  • Bees still drown
  • Requires drilling

Type of Feeder

THe Ceracell feeder is an external hive-top feeder. 

Features 

The Rapid Bee Round Feeder is made of high quality and durable plastic safe for bees and allows them to access feed through the center. The feeder is lightweight and fits a medium eight to ten frame hive and holds roughly a half a gallon of syrup. The feeder is also suitable for winter feeding.

                                      Pros

  • Feeding during winter   
  • Safe materials
  • Visibility

  Cons

  • Inner cap cracks 
  • Limited feed 
  • Only one size

Type of Feeder

The Rapid Bee Feeder is an external hive-top feeder.

Features

The Blythewood Motherload Frame Feeder holds two gallons of feed and is made of black polypropylene. They textured the inner walls of the feeder to help bees better navigate to feed and prevent drowning. This product is easy to assemble and fill.

                                      Pros

  • Suitable for winter feeding 
  • Easy to fill
  • Textured walls

  Cons

  • Only one size
  • Small feed capacity
  • Leaks easily

Type of Feeder

The Blythewood Bee Frame Feeder is a division board feeder. 

Features

The Harvest Lane Honey In-Hive feeder holds around ninety-six ounces of liquid bee feed, sugar water, or syrup. The product includes both ladders and caps to better help bees climb in and out of the feed and prevent drowning.

                                      Pros

  • Simple construction       
  • Lightweight
  • Drown prevention 

  Cons

  • Limited capacity 
  • One size
  • Cheap materials

Type of Feeder

The Harvest Lane Bee Feeder is a division board feeder.

Features

This beehive drinking bowl is easy to install and refill. The small hole design is easy to inject feed. To use, one simply needs to put the drinking bowl in front of the entrance of the beehive.

                                      Pros

  • Easy to refill  
  • Bright color
  • Simple design

  Cons

  • Not good for liquid feed
  • Not suitable for winter 
  • Only one size
  • Only one size

Type of Feeder

The Beehive Drinking Bowl is an entrance feeder. 

Features

This Toughtimbers entrance feeder, like all of their products, is made out of high-quality wood and offers a sleek design. The feeder requires a glass jar which needs to be purchased separately. This bee feeder is ideal for spring and summer conditions but not suitable as a winter feeding option.

                                      Pros

  • Quality materials    
  • Highly durable
  • Simple construction

  Cons

  • Wood can split 
  • Glass jar not included
  • Leaks feed

Type of Feeder

This Toughtimbers product is an entrance feeder.

Comparison Table


Verdict

After an in-depth review of all the potential bee feeders, we believe the Boardman Honey Hive Farms Entrance Feeder offers the best package. What sets this entrance feeder apart from the rest was the level of high-quality materials used; unlike most entrance feeders, the Boardman uses metal and wood rather than plastic, making it sturdier than other products we reviewed. Although this product is not suitable for winter conditions, the price point, quality of materials, and no-drown technology make it the best option for any beekeeper. For more information on how you can sustain a healthy hive visit beekeepbuzz.com today!

 

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