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My hTBH in Quarry Bank
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BuffBum
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:08 am    Post subject: My hTBH in Quarry Bank Reply with quote

It's made to Phil Chandlers plans (48") and it's nearly ready to be positioned in it's spot, bit later than I had hoped.
The entrance holes, I've stuck with three on the long side and one at each end on the back, got some corks ready. To start with, shall I leave the front three open and plug the back ones?
I've prepared twelve top bars with string down the middle secured secured with bees wax. These go mid position with a follower each side - yes?
The inside walls of the hive and followers have been rubbed with bees wax, and I am hoping to attract a family naturally, is there anything else I can entice them with?
If all fails I have found a guy not far from me who knows is stuff and attends reported swarms.

We will see how it goes.
Bee good.
Lance
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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
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Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Lance. You could try putting a few drops of lemongrass on some cotton wool in a small ziplock plastic bag with a few small holes in it. If you can get some healthy old comb from your friend , put some in the TBH and it should help attract a swarm. I would only leave one hole open too.
Ingo
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my first meeting, I learned my friend has National Hives, he gave me the bees wax I have used so far.
After extracting the honey the comb he melts down and exchanges for new frames with foundation. I would assume some comb from this type of hive would be OK, if I can get some.
I see I can get Lemongrass Oil from the interweb, is that the easiest place?
Bye
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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
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Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lance get some old comb and as long as it is disease free just put some in your hive. You should be able to get Lemongrass oil on the high street from Holland and Barrett or similar in your area, it's not expensive and lasts a very long time.
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matey is off to South Africa this afternoon, best wait till he comes back Laughing
Regarding mesh floors......While I have time to turn the hive over, I've been reading about them on the forum, great site BTW, and I'm going to stick with a mesh floor for now. I tried some breathable groundsheet but realize the holes are far too small, so now I am wondering whether to go for a woven metal mesh instead of plastic because we don't have any Badgers but we do have a Fox/s that visits the garden. Will this attack the hive Question
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's it......finished messing.......so I've put my post code under the roof/lid so Bees know where to come back to if they get lost Laughing..... assuming I can attract some that is (not got any lemongrass oil yet).......and todays date.

Put in eight alternating top bars of waxed string and wax filled grooves from the middle to the left between the followers, I'm a lefty, think I've read Honey Bees are as well.

Because we have a visiting Fox(s), I've replaced the plastic mesh with metallic, just to be on the safe side.

Also made a removable floor I can use in the winter and glued some 3/4" bobbins on the other side so It can be turned over in the summer for ventilation if needed (or reduce light levels).

Also just finished reading all the posts on the Horizontal top bar hives forum.....my brain hurts, all good stuff and very friendly, which makes a refreshing change.

So that's all folks..

Lance

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Last edited by BuffBum on Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lance

Well done on finishing your hive, although I'm going to make a few suggestions that may mean you want to tweak it a little more.

Firstly and by far the most important is comb guides. The waxed saw cut in not reliable enough and some people have also had problems with the waxed string. To my mind, the single most important thing about top bar beekeeping is having good comb guides, especially for a beginner because correcting cross comb is daunting for many and comes with a risk of comb collapse. If it can be prevented by making better comb guides, then it is a simple adjustment that may make your beekeeping experience and the bees lives less stressful. Most people now use a triangular profile wood moulding for comb guides with much greater success. In my experience there definitely needs to be a clear physical line and ensure the guide goes right to the edges of the hive rather than stopping a couple of inches short, as the ends are the places where the comb is most likely to be curved onto the next top bar.

You are obviously working from Phil's original plans and I wonder what width top bars you are using? Most people now use 1 1/2 inches for all bars and have some thin 1/4 and 1/2 inch shims that can be added in the honey storage area as and when required, if the combs are running off centre.

As regards the mesh floor, I would strongly urge you to keep it covered if you want to attract a swarm. That's not to say that you can't open it up a bit after they have been in situ for several weeks and have brood but many of us have moved away from open mesh floors as we have experienced bees voting with their wings and swarms absconding from hives that they were put into with open mesh floors. My oldest and happiest colonies have solid floors and are in full sun with no problems and I personally think that open mesh floors are responsible for more colony failures than any benefits that may be gained from them.
Many of us are currently experimenting with an idea Phil had of recreating the sort of environment that would be found in the bottom of a tree cavity.... rotting wood, leaves etc.... as there may be a beneficial symbiotic relationship between the insects and organisms and fungi and the bees that would naturally inhabit such areas.

Also, in a cold climate, end entrances may be better than centre entrances, as the honey is sometimes stored on both sides of the brood nest in a hive with centre entrances. This may mean the beekeeper needs to rearrange the honey stores before winter, but it's a minor point at this stage.

Ideas are constantly changing and different modifications work better in some areas and climates than others, so it's important to be able to recognise when something is not working for you and your bees and be able to adapt your hive accordingly.

Good luck with your hive and attracting a swarm.

Regards

Barbara
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BuffBum
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Barbara,

Yes my top bars are 1.5" wide and yes I forgot about some shims, will get that sorted.

The string and groove guides on the bars do go to the edges of the hive sides, but I will now make some with a triangular profile as you suggest and use those instead.

I must say I am not very optimistic about attracting a swarm to my hive, which is my intention, but I will give it a go.

Thanks
Lance

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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: attracting swarm Reply with quote

Hi Lance.
I'm trying for a swarm too this year. there are a few bee keepers around here soo hopefully one swarm may make it up the hill to me.

My moto is ' If you don't ask .. you don't get' In other words if you don't try for a swarm and put that hive out ready you wont get one. Ive just finished making a bait hive and will also bait my empty hives just in case.

I hope you catch one anyway and good luck. They do say putting old comb in helps allot but when you haven't got any its not easy. I'm using lemon grass oil for now and perhaps I might get a comb later in the year to add to the bait hives.

Ollie
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BuffBum
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ollie,

Lemongrass oil and old comb are on the shopping list.

I found a local beekeeper and when he returns from his hols, hopefully I can beg some old comb from him.

Cheers
Lance
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BuffBum
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ollie,

Just did a search on the forum "Bait hive build" now I know something else about beekeeping. Smile

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BuffBum
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was trawling through the htbh forum I came across a hive where plate glass sides had been used in the construction.
As is the norm I can't find the thread now but that aint important.

I've seen some double glazed units near me that are roughly the size required for a 48" htbh.

Idea
So I was thinking, build these units into wood ends with entrance hole(s). Use wood along the length of the top to provide support for 17" top bars and along the bottom for fitting either a mesh or eco floor and hold the ends together. Some open-able covers for the outside of the glass. The remainder legs, roof etc as Phils plans. Rolling Eyes

Just the ramblings of a newbie, I'll get my coat.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mused many a time on the possibilities of a Totally Transparent Top Bar Hive, but that's as far as I got with it. Obviously, it would need to be covered in normal use, or indoors, at least.

Transparent followers would be useful, allowing quick checks with no opening. Easy to make from acrylic or glass and definitely on the list for this year.

Please post pictures if you build it!
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right then, I'm off for a couple of weeks but I've spoken to the seller and if he still has them I will get on with it.

Thanks for that Phil, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not.

adios Amigos Wink

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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea regarding transparent TBH, but would have to cover it to provide the darkness of a normal hive. Perhaps a mini nuc would be easier to build? Let us know how you get on Lance.
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ingo
The roof and ends would be timber and the glass covered with removable or hinged boards of wood or something similar on the exterior to keep out the light. The double glazed sealed units I'm interested in are nearby, cheap as chips and new, they were ordered the wrong size but will only make a full size hive.
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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
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Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lance, please post some photos of your construction stages when under way.
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AugustC
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Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to get my two pence worth in I agree with Barbara the comb guides are absolutely key. The way you have prepped your top bars would work fine for a colony already drawing straight comb on top bars but I would not want to gamble it on a swarm. If I were a betting would put 10p on them drawing comb across the bars. I would recommend a topbar with a comb guide that sits proud of the bar surface. I have had 100% success just nailing dowels to the top bars. This is easy and quicker than melting wax in.
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, I'm back from the sunny Canary Islands.
Matey is back from S.A. and says I can have some comb.
I did make up and install some triangular top bars, but put some melted wax on as well, was that a mistake, should I scrape the excess off?
And I will contact the glass seller to see if they still have the double glazed glass.

Better pop down the garden and see if the hive is still there Rolling Eyes

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BuffBum
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using an old polystyrene food box as a bait hive, it's the right size and volume.

Only thing is it's been down the garden for years trying to persuade a local cat to use it as a bedroom at night in the winter.
The cat preferred to sleep next to it under the conifers in the leaf litter Rolling Eyes .

However it smells of Fox even thought I have washed it out and smeared melted beeswax on the walls.

I don't think I would like to adopt it as a temporary home, so am I right in thinking bees will steer clear of it as well.

What is the opinion of peeps on this form, I have to ask as can't find the answer elsewhere.

Cheers

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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Difficult to say. Things that we find unattractive may not be so to bees. I know they find the smell of mouse urine attractive and I don't! Confused Presumably you will be baiting it with lemon grass oil or similar and old comb and, at the end of the day, it really isn't costing you anything to utilise it by the sound of things, so there is no harm in trying it. There really is no telling what bees will decide is appropriate to live in. There was a forum member in Texas on here last week who had been sent to deal with a colony in an old 50 gallon oil drum.... you really would assume that would be an unpleasant home for them.... hot, fumes, lack of support for comb, but apparently they were doing very well in there. I would have said "no way" if someone had asked me.... so the best answer is try it and see.
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

haha.... Buff I asked Barbara a very similar question only a short time ago... though my poly box doesn't smell of fox...... But my old saying.....

'If you don't ask... you won't get!'

Nothing to loose , only to gain either a swarm or the knowledge that they don't work... Ive got mine up....

Good luck...
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trekmate
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BuffBum wrote:
it smells of Fox

Try it and let us know the result. You might discover a new swarm lure! Cool
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Beewrangler
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Joined: 03 Mar 2016
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Location: Le Val d'Ajol(88), Lorraine, France

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lance,
I'm in Kingswinford throughout June so I could pop over for a coffee and chat if you would like.

Just restarting at my new house here in Lorraine after a couple of years moving around too much to have bees. My best year was when I was up to seven TBhives.

Regards Steve
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AugustC
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Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The advice I got from this forum for using food poly boxes as bait hives was that the bees would likely strip the polystyrene out over time as it is a different density to that used for poly hives. coating the inside with several coats of propolis (or shellac if you don't have propolis) would help with both that and the fox smell.
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beewrangler wrote:
Hi Lance,
I'm in Kingswinford throughout June so I could pop over for a coffee and chat if you would like.

Just restarting at my new house here in Lorraine after a couple of years moving around too much to have bees. My best year was when I was up to seven TBhives.

Regards Steve


Hi Steve,
You're welcome any time, I'll PM you with a phone number.
Cool
Lance


Last edited by BuffBum on Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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BuffBum
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
The advice I got from this forum for using food poly boxes as bait hives was that the bees would likely strip the polystyrene out over time as it is a different density to that used for poly hives. coating the inside with several coats of propolis (or shellac if you don't have propolis) would help with both that and the fox smell.


Laughing Strip the polystyrene out?........dunno about the bees.....I put some lemon grass oil on a pad in a holed zip placky bag and some old comb inside the box..........as suggested and also smeared a tiny amount of the oil around the entrance hole......big mistake the oil has dissolved the area where I applied it!!!!!!!!. Not too much damage and hopefully the bait box will only be used for a short time anyway..
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My hTBH has bees, feeling good at the moment.
I went to see some of my friends National hives today and he suprised me by offering me a small box containing a queen and family doing what bees do.
So tonight at eight o'clock I went and shut them in and took them to my place.
Friend suggested putting the box into my hive after reducing the space with the followers, then take the top off the little box and replace my hive topbars.
Only a few bees escaped and some found there way back to the entrance hole on my hive, amazing. Some others I persuaded to climb onto my bare finger and once near the entrance hole joined their colleagues eagerly. I like this.
Even had a couple of bees have a peep in my nearby bait hive (fox smell didn't seem to put them off), which didn't seem to have seen any activity previously, hopefully they will rejoin the others.
I assume if in the days to come if bees are seen moving in and out then the procedure has worked.
Wondering how long I should leave them before checking to see if they have started building comb on the topbars.
Friend said it might also be a good idea to feed them.
Cool


Last edited by BuffBum on Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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BuffBum
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Joined: 10 Nov 2015
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Location: Quarry Bank, West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made a syrup feeder from a food container and plastic waste pipe components.
Does the team think it will work?

The pipe fittings are pushed together not solvent glued and the pipe that enters the container and dips into the syrup I have drilled lots of holes in for leg holds.
The other pipe goes throught the thickness of a top bar.

That aside, Bees are using the access hole in the hive side, but are still clustered in their little hive, and are also exploring their new bigger home.

Cool


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Barbara
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review would be overly complicated and chances are the bees will not find it and if they do, may drown. Sorry to be a party pooper!

A simple inverted jam jar with small nail holes punched in the lid or I use a Nutella jar with a plastic lid as tiny holes can be drilled through without any corrosion issues that metal lids can have. I have a stand for it which consists of a piece of wood with a hole cut in it that the jar lid sits over and 2 x 1/4 inch runners underneath to allow the bees to access the hole and I stand that on a piece of scrap wood which sits crossways in the hive right next to the cluster (not behind a follower as often the bees don't find it if it is not right under their noses.) I move the follower board back every other night, refill it and they barely notice I've been or sometimes after a few days they are sitting waiting for the refill. If comb building is nearly touching the jar I move it back a couple of inches.
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