The Best Bee Feeders on the Market

by Elaine Gaertner
Last Updated: 18/08/2020
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Bees are known to sustain and nourish themselves. However, some situations call for human intervention to provide additional food resources. A bee feeder is a tool used by beekeepers to provide food in or on the hive. 

Bee colonies go through a period of starvation and food shortage hence the need to use a bee feeder. It happens during the colder months as well as summer. It is your role as a beekeeper to monitor the hive for food during these periods.

A bee feeder, therefore, comes in handy to prevent bees from starving during these specific seasons.

Here are reviews of the best bee feeders on the market today.

The Best Bee Feeder

1. APIS Rapid Bee feeder

APIS Rapid


The design of this bee feeder suits 10-frame supers.

Key Features

  • 1-gallon capacity
  • Clear cap
  • High-quality plastic 
  • Measures 15.5 x 13 x 3 inches

The feeder is one of the best if you are looking for a hive-top design. It is super easy to use and clean hence suitable for regular feeding. It comes in a durable plastic material that is safe for bees.

With the cap, this feeder prevents bees from drowning as they feed on syrup. You can place it over the inner cover or central holes for easy access by the bees. It is a quality feeder, however, it needs modifications to prevent bees from drowning.

2. Rocket Hardware Rapid Bee Feeder 

Rocket Hardware


If you are looking for a functional bee feeder on a budget, this one from Rocket Hardware is an ideal choice.

Key Features

  • For 8 or 10-frame supers
  • Clear cap
  • Measures 10.5 x 2 inches
  • High-quality construction

This round feeder is a great hive-top option. It is suitable for 8-frame and 10-frame supers. As a hive-top design, the feeder is ideal over the inner cover and the central hole. This location is easily accessible by bees for feeding.

The feeder has a clear cap that comes in handy to reduce the risk of drowning. You will love that it is lightweight, small, and compact to use. The plastic material is easy to clean and lasts long with regular use.

It is important to note that this feeder is small. You might need to refill it every few days, depending on the hive’s population.

3. Mikimiqi Beehive Entrance Feeder

Mikimiqi Beehive


This beekeeping feeding equipment is essential to sustain bees and prolong their lifespan.

Key Features

  • High-quality construction
  • Easy to use
  • Wide application
  • Easy to observe

The feeder comes in high-quality plastic material. It is lightweight, safe, and nontoxic to the bees. The drinking nest is easy to observe and monitor, so you know when to refill and clean. This entrance feeder is easy to install, and bees can easily access.

It is easy to use, thanks to the simple design. You can make use of it during the summer, spring, or any other season. It slips water automatically, which saves you time and energy.

When using the feeder, you need to ensure it lays flat. Otherwise, it might tilt on the side and spill the liquid.

4. Foxhound Bee Company Entrance Honey Bee Feeder

Foxhound Bee Company Entrance Honey


The feeder comes as a set of two giving you the best value for your money.

Key Features

  • Plastic material
  • Ideal for Langstroth bottom boards
  • Multistep entrance 
  • Fits most jars
  • Easy to use

The feeders are suitable for use at the entrance of the hive. You can use a jar to hold the sugar syrup and pair them with the lids in the package. The feeders can be used as Boardman entrance feeders or as a top feeder.

This design works by screwing a filled, small-mouth canning jar onto the included lid. Once you invert the tray, the liquid flows smoothly without dripping out of the holes. It is essential to ensure that the jar you use seals tightly to prevent spillage.

Setting these feeders can be a challenge, however. But, with the right jar, you can achieve a tight seal and use the feeder correctly.

5. BlueStone Entrance Feeder

BlueStone Entrance Feeder


It is one of the best entrance feeders that you can use in your hive.

Key Features

  • Easy to use
  • Two-part design
  • Easy to monitor
  • High-quality construction
  • Ideal for beginners

Using this feeder is as simple as twisting it onto the can and placing it upside down. The design allows you to monitor easily for timely refills without disturbing the bees. The design features two parts; a lid and a base.

The lid works well with most small jars and mason jars. You can easily remove it, clean it, and use it repeatedly. With the quality of materials used, this feeder can last a long time with regular use.

The feeder is too small for high-population colonies but works perfectly for beginners with small hives.

6. Gravity Products Round Bee Feeder

Gravity Products Round Bee Feeder


This rapid round bee feeder has a simple design that is ideal for both beginners and expert beekeepers.

Key Features

  • For 10-frame supers
  • Measures 10.5 x 2 inches
  • Premium quality plastic
  • Clear inner cover

If you are looking for an easy-to-use bee feeder, this one works perfectly. It has a clean inner cover and works well with 10-frame supers. You only need to place it over the hole in the top of the hive where bees can access easily.

The quality of this feeder is outstanding and lasts a long time with regular use. With high-quality plastic material, it is easy to clean and is safe for the bees. Note that this feeder is small and might need refilling every few days.

7. HRC Rapid Hive-top Bee Feeder 

HRC Rapid Hive


The 10-inch round bee feeder works well as a space-saving option on the hive. It is a hive-top bee feeder that is easy to use for every beekeeper.

Key Features

  • For 8 and 10-frame hives
  • Easy to monitor
  • Transparent cap
  • High-tensile plastic 
  • Measures 10x 2.2 inches 

The design of this feeder makes it easy to fit over the beehive inner corner. You can easily refill from the top and monitor levels without disturbing the bees. The feeder entrance is coarse for an excellent grip.

With the high-tensile plastic, this feeder is durable, reliable, and safe for the bees. It comes with a hive tool giving you the best value for money.

What to Feed the Bees

Honey remains to be the best food for bees. When bees make honey, they intend to store most of it to maintain their food supply. But since beekeepers are after the honey, the need to provide additional source of food comes in. However, hives with excellent honey producers might not need supplementing even in the colder months.

Here are alternative bee foods.

Sugar Syrup

Sugar syrup made from white table sugar can be a great alternative. You can prepare the syrup by mixing two parts of sugar and one part of water.

Fondant Sugar/ Granular Sugar

For beekeepers living in areas where the temperature falls below 50°F, this is a great alternative. Sugar syrup in such an environment will freeze when temperatures hit a minimum.

Table Sugar

Table sugar is another alternative bee food. However, it does not have micronutrients that honey has. Therefore, you should add feed stimulants that are rich in essential oils to make up for this.

What Not to Feed the Bees

Honey From Other Hives

As much as honey is the best food for bees, you should avoid using honey from other hives. You want to avoid introducing diseases from one colony to the other. However, if the source hive is disease-free, then it is safe to use the honey.

Types of Bee Feeders

Bee feeders come in different designs and sizes. Here are the most common ones:

Open Air Feeders

These are useful out in the open. They attract other animals and insects other than bees. Open feeders are not advisable since they can spread diseases and parasites. Additionally, bees using an open feeder tend to fight, leaving the weak hives weaker than before.

Entrance Feeders

This type has two parts- a feeding tray and an inverted syrup container. The container fits into the tray but remains on the outside of the hive. These are easy to monitor the feed level and are easy to refill.

However, these feeders might not be the best for cold weather. The liquid in the container may freeze, or the bees may not be able to access it.

Division Board Feeders/ Frame Feeders

This type comes in plastic material and is roughly the size of a brood frame. It is inserted into the hive to take the space for one of the frames. The feeder is entirely inside the hive, which eliminates disease transfer and pest infestation. Additionally, they are easy to fill and carry a significant amount of food for the bees. 

However, these require close monitoring. Bees can easily drown as they feed. More to this, when the feeder is empty, bees can build comb inside. Some types of division board frames get wider when you fill them, making it difficult to move frames.

Internal Hive-top Feeders

The design of these feeders is simple. They fit on top of the boxes but under the cover. They can hold a large amount of syrup and are super easy to refill. Each model of this type of feeder has ways to prevent bees from drowning but still require constant monitoring.

One of the challenges you might find with this feeder is that it limits access inside the hive. You will need to lift it up, and the syrup might slosh easily.

External Hive-top Feeders

External hive-top feeders are containers that you invert over an entrance hole in the inner cover. Some designs sit on top of the hive while others are enclosed in an empty super. The containers of these feeders are quite large, and it is advisable to cover them.

One of the downsides is that the container can be too heavy when filled with syrup.

Baggie Feeders

These are some of the common feeders most beekeepers use. A baggie feeder is simply a spacer rim that leaves space to lay a plastic bag filled with syrup. Once you place the bag in place, you can use a utility knife to slit it for bees to access the liquid.

This type is the least harmful to bees as they do not drown in the liquid. The heat from the cluster prevents the fluid from freezing during colder months. One downside, however, is that once you slit the plastic bag, you cannot reuse it.

Bottom Board Feeders

This type comes as a simple dam made from a block of wood. The feeder goes on the bottom board near the entrance. It comes in different sizes to occupy more or less space on the bottom board. These feeders, however, tend to drown a lot of bees and are not suitable for use with weak hives. Also, bees may not find the feeder since it is at the bottom.

How to Make a Bee Feeder

You can make a bee feeder using readily available materials at home. One of the easiest feeders to make is the Boardman bee feeder. You will need:

  • A container
  • A lid wider than the container

When choosing the container, you need a favorable size to hold a significant amount of syrup. The lid should not close the container to ensure syrup flows out seamlessly. Additionally, the cover should not be too shallow as the syrup will overflow. A deep lid is not advisable as it will hold too much liquid, and the bees might drown.

To use the feeder, add the syrup into the container. Invert it over the wide lid to allow syrup to flow all around the container. If the syrup flows out slowly, you can make a small notch by placing a matchstick between the container and lid. The space will ensure the syrup flows out as bees drink it.

This DIY bee feeder can work well at the bottom or top of the hive. Placing it on the top is favorable for easy access to the feeder when refilling. When placing it, ensure it levels to prevent tipping that could result in spilling. 


Where do you put a bee feeder?

The specific place where you place the bee feeder depends on the design. For example, hive-top feeders work well on top of the hove. Frame feeders are suitable inside the hive beside the frames.

What do you feed bees?

Bees feed on pollen and nectar as the primary sources of food. However, in situations where the hive is weak, and food supply is less, then you can supplement with sugar syrup. It is one of the common supplements beekeepers use since it is readily available and easy to use. However, sugar syrup is not suitable for cold winter months, especially if you are using a hive-top feeder.

When should you feed bees?

Usually, bees have enough storage of honey to feed. But, when you harvest all of it, then bees might not have enough food supply, especially when there is poor nectar flow. In such a case, you will need to supplement and feed them. Also, a new colony might need feeding to prevent starvation in winter.

When should you stop Feeding the Bees?

One of the key indicators to stop feeding bees is if they have stopped feeding. Close monitoring of the feeders is necessary to ascertain whether the bees are feeding or not. However, if it is towards winter and feeding is slow, you might want to leave the feeder for a couple of weeks.

Why is bee feeding necessary?

Feeding your bees from time to time ensures they have enough food and prevent starvation. For example, when there is a nectar shortage, and you just harvested honey, bees might not have enough food. In such a case, you would need to provide food and sustain the bees. Feeding bees helps to save weak, dying hives as well as new colonies.


Bee feeding is crucial to sustain bees and keep the colony alive. Bees require supplement food during the onset of cold months since nectar and pollen are in short supply. Feeding is also necessary to regulate food intake and ensure food safety for a long time.

With the right feeders and food, you can ensure your colony survives. This article is a great resource; hopefully, it guides you through the bee feeding process.

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