The Bee Space

Warre Hive Spring and Summer Feeder – How to Feed Your Honeybees Without Freezing Them


In one of my recent posts I talked about feeding your bees in the early spring. Well, my method works fine if the weather is warm enough for your bees to be flying around outside the hive.

But, how can you feed your bees if the weather is too cold for them to leave the hive?

Emile Warre solved the problem in his book, “Beekeeping For All.” On page 62 he describes the Spring and Summer feeder. He states:

“To feed colonies that are short of stores in spring and summer, and to stimulate comb building in weak colonies, we have another feeder. It will hold 200 g syrup.”

Warre Hive Feeder Description:

Build the Warre Spring and Summer Feeder

This feeder is simple to build. It is just a (very) short hive stand with one end open so you can slide a feeder box with syrup under the beehive.

The feeder surround should be built to be 34 cm long by 30 cm wide. These are the external dimensions of the Warre Hive Box. Leave one end of the frame open as in the picture above.

The feeder drawer does not need to be complex. You can build a small box with a flat bottom and add some strips of wood inside the box for the bees to stand on. You can add a piece of wood to the front of the box as in the picture above…but this is optional.

The Warre Feeder is great for both spring and summer feeding

You can also add some small pieces of light wood to the trough. When filled with syrup, the wood will float and create a landing place for the honeybees.

Build this feeder, fill the trough with some syrup. Fill until the syrup almost covers the float, but not quite. The bees should be able to stand on the wood float to feed.

Now, slide the whole feeder assembly under your Warre beehive. Your bees can stay inside the hive in cold weather and feast on the food you provide.

To refill the syrup, simply slide the feeder drawer out from the surround, pour some more syrup into the trough and then put the feeder drawer back.

Your honeybees will thank you!