Bee Smart Designs Ultimate Bee Feeder Review

Last year I wrote a review for the Bee Smart Design's "Ultimate Hive Cover".

Today I'm reviewing the Bee Smart Design's "Ultimate Bee Feeder" and the "Ultimate Hive Top Feeder" products.

Ultimate Bee Feeder:
The feeder, like the company's other products is made of high quality plastic that is sturdy and durable.

The new and improved Ultimate Bee Feeder uses a new white cap that includes jail bars, side guards and top flange to keep bees from getting in. They also include a valve protection ring, improved flow interior and high lift valve for improve flow.

The Ultimate Bee Feeder has only 3 pieces to it (shown below). They include the removable tank, the automatic valve and feeding/dispensing tray.

The removable tank holds up to 1 gallon and is easy to see through so the beekeeper can easily see how full the tank is.

The feeding tray has large steps and channels which fill with dispensed liquid and provide the bees a place to land without drowning. The liquid dispenses evenly all the way around the tray so that bees can feed anywhere on the tray without crowding.

Below is a picture with the automatic valve sitting in the feeding tray without the tank.

Here's a the same picture in a cutaway view.

If you're interested to see just how quickly you can put the feeder onto a hive and have syrup available to your bees, check out the following 30 second video.

This feeder sits inside the hive and can be directly on top of frames, or placed over an inner cover as shown below to prevent bees from building burr comb around the feeder.

An extra medium hive body is require (not provided) to surround the feeder before adding the cover back onto the hive.

Requiring only an extra "medium" body to surround the feeder means that beekeepers who run "all medium" boxes can use this feeder with their existing equipment quite easily.

The cost of this feeder is only $21.50 and can be purchased from many bee suppliers and catalogs.

Ultimate Hive Top Feeder:
The Ultimate Hive Top Feeder includes the improved 8 or 10 frame cover with screw studs for the Hive-Top Feeder hold-downs and the alignment spacers for the 8-frame boxes.

With the Hive-Top Feeder you can now monitor syrup and fill the feeder without opening the hive or disturbing the bees which make it great for Spring build up, packages, nucs, splits and queen rearing.

The package contains a 1 gallon tank, a perforated dispenser that sits over a hole in the cover, an outer cover, mounting screws, a cap that can be used to seal the cover when the feeder is not in use and instructions on how to assemble.

The beekeeper removes the mounting studs from the package and screw them onto the outside of the outer cover using the screws provided. The mounting studs allows the feeder to lock into place securely.

Then the beekeeper can fill the tank, screw on the cap and mount the feeder to the outer cover by placing the tank over the mounting studs and turning 1/4 turn to lock the tank into the mounting studs.

Above is a picture of what the feeder looks like from the bees point of view. They will move up through the frames, through the inner cover and retrieve syrup from the perforated feeder.

Below is a picture of the feeder filled with syrup and locked into place on the cover of one of my hives.

Here is a cutaway of what the feeder looks like when  it's locked into place on the cover.

If you don't want the feeder outside in the winter, you can put it on a piece of insulating board with a hole in the center over the inner cover inside a medium box. This will keep condensation off the inner cover, provides a bit of insulation and allow the feeder and syrup to stay a bit warmer.

The cost of this feeder is only $21.50 and can be purchased from many bee suppliers and catalogs. Also being offered is a ‘Ready 2 Use’ system which includes the feeder and a cover with pre-drilled hole with a list price of $39.50.

Both of these feeder types can be a great option for beekeepers who are looking for an easy and inexpensive method of feeding their bees.

In addition to providing syrup to the bees, the feeders can be filled with water during hot weather months to provide a water source for the bees. In fall and early spring, feeding supplement or stimulant like Honey-B-Healthy can be added to either feeder type.

Honesty/Transparency Statement: Bee Smart Designs provided a free "Ultimate Bee Feeder"  and "Ultimate Hive Top Feeder" for my reviewing purposes. If you're interested, continue reading on how you can have your product reviewed and posted on this blog.

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Courtney pankhurst says...
Date:   October 30, 2016, 11:42 am

I bought three in hive feeders for some weak hives, to feed sugar syrup honey b healthy. My problem is hundreds of bees would get inside the tanks???. The tank valves as sent from the factory provide such large opening into the tank that hundreds of the bees get into the tank through the valve opening and die. The user guide says nothing about reducing the valve seat opening so that the bees can not get into the tank. I am disappointed in the lack of instruction in the user guide. I finely figured out how to adjust the valve seat.

Chris Strong says...
Date:   August 27, 2017, 2:50 pm

I am having a terrible time with this hive feeder. My bees are getting inside the tank and drowning. The sugar water is not flowing properly no matter how I adjust to make it as level as possible. Bees gather in the center of the blue base as well and drown. Courtney Pankhurst, how did you figure out the adjustment on the valve seat??? Even if I can adjust it...I may stop using them. I find it a very difficult system so far....

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