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The 7 Best Bee Feeders for Your Beehives

You may not have ever considered it before, but an important aspect of raising your own bees is making sure they’re properly fed.

While they will mostly rely on pollen, nectar, and their own honey stores for sustenance, there are times when you will need to provide food for them. This may be in the winter, first thing in the spring, during a dearth, and in the fall before winter hits.

While feeding your bees is relatively simple, you still want to look for the best bee feeder. The right feeder will give you peace of mind that your honey bees are being well cared for.

Keep reading to learn about all the different kinds of feeders to find the best bee feeder for your apiary.

Best Bee Feeders

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:
Plastic Bee Entrance Feeder

Best Open Feeder:
Navaris Bee Watering Station

Best Frame Feeder:
Pro Feeder for Bee Hive

Best Budget:
Broprege 6 Pack Bee Feeders

Best Overall

Plastic Bee Entrance Feeder

4 Pack Plastic Bee Entrance Feeder Beehive Feeder Water or Sugar Syrup Feeding Equipment

If you’re just starting out with honey bees, you’ll probably want to start with one that’s a great starter bee feeder for new beekeepers.

You don’t need anything fancy yet, and this model screws right onto any standard-size mason jar. It’s available in a four or six-pack, so you can always have a fresh jar of feed ready to go and swap out empty jars easily.

It also sits right at the entrance to your hive, allowing you to easily monitor how much feed the bees have at a glance. You won’t even need to open the hive to check or replace their feed.

This bee feeder is also super easy to use. Just fill your mason jar with sugar water and screw the feeder on tight. Flip it upside down and insert it just inside the front entrance of the hive.

Your honey bees will be able to safely consume the sugar water without accidentally drowning. It’s also quick and simple to clean with hot water and soap.

Best Open Feeder

Navaris Bee Watering Station

Navaris Bee Watering Station - Ceramic Bowl for Feeding and Watering Bees, Butterflies, Small Insects - Decorative Water Station for Gardens and Yards

This open bee feeder is great for beekeepers and bee lovers alike.

It’s definitely the best bee feeder if you aren’t able to keep your own honey bees, but want to help nearby populations and welcome them to your yard. It’s also great for open feeding, which can keep other insects away who might be looking inside the hive for food. If you’re in a heat wave and want to make sure your honey bees stay hydrated, you can also fill it with plain water.

This bee feeder is a nice addition to your yard and has a decorative ceramic look.

Included with the feeder base are 80 glass marbles. The marbles will make sure your bees have somewhere to stand and drink without falling in.

All you have to do to set this feeder up is add the marbles, then fill it with water or sugar syrup. Make sure to only cover the marbles about halfway to ensure there are plenty of places for the bees to rest.

Place the bee feeder a little bit away from your apiary to prevent potential robbing.

It’s important to keep it clean so the bees aren’t ingesting fermented sugar water. To clean, simply wash the feeder and marbles with hot water and soap, and it’s ready to use again.

Best Frame Feeder

Pro Feeder for Bee Hive

Pro Feeder for Bee Hive

This type of bee feeder replaces one of the frames inside your hive and holds a lot of sugar water so you aren’t constantly refilling it.

Being integrated into the hive itself makes it convenient for the honey bees to feed whenever they need to. There are safe tunnels into the feeder so the bees can get in and out without the risk of drowning in the sugar water.

You’ll have to monitor the water level in this bee feeder a bit more closely since it’s kept within the hive and isn’t visible from the outside.

Best Budget

Broprege 6 Pack Bee Feeders

Broprege 6 Pack Bee Feeders Beehive Entrance Feeder Beekeeping Water Dispenser Honeybee Hive Feeder Beekeeper Tools Equipment

Beekeeping isn’t a cheap hobby, so you might be looking to save money wherever you can. That’s why we’ve included this as the best bee feeder for beekeepers on a budget!

It comes in a pack of 6 with everything you need included. That makes it really easy for you to swap them out as needed without making a big investment in multiple feeders. If you have an especially hungry hive, you can also give them more than one feeder at a time.

You’ll appreciate how easy to clean it is, and it’s also perfectly safe for your honey bees. The textured landing pads keep bees from drowning while giving them easy access to the feed.

If you’re a new beekeeper, this is also a good option for you to try while you get the hang of feeding your bees.

To use this bee feeder, simply fill it with sugar water and insert it into the front entrance. If you’re worried about robbing, you can also put it a little further from your hive where the bees can easily reach it.

Swess Bee Rapid Feeders

Swess Bee Rapid Feeders, Beehive Round Hive Top Water Feeder Drinking Bowl for Bee Drinking Equipment & Beekeeping Supplies(2Pack)

Beekeeping can be a complicated endeavor, and sometimes it helps to simplify as much of it as you can.

This very simple design is perfect if you’re looking to make your apiary a bit more convenient for you while still providing for your bees. They can be refilled and swapped out quickly and easily as needed.

You can place these bee feeders on top of your hive inside an empty hive body, which allows the bees to eat without leaving the hive. If you rest it on top of your inner cover, you can replace it with fresh feed without disturbing the bees in the hive.

This is another feeder than can sit outside the hive for open feeding as well.

It’s made of plastic, making cleaning a breeze. Honey bees can access their feed through holes in the lid, so you don’t have to worry about them finding their way inside and drowning.

Use this feeder outside the hive for open feeding or within an empty hive body inside the hive.

Benefitbee Langstroth Plastic Bee Feeder

benefitbee Plastic Bee Feeder Langstroth 10 Frame Beehive Top Feeder Bee Supplies 4.5L Bee Hive Top Water Feeder for Beekeeping

Hivetop feeders are a great way to keep your bees consistently fed without having to leave the hive.

The plastic construction of this feeder makes it easy to clean and offers honey bees six different access points for the bees to safely access sugar water.

Refilling is no big deal. All you have to do is bring your fresh sugar water out to the hive in a bottle and pour it into the empty feeder. You can even leave the hive closed to avoid bothering your honey bees unnecessarily.

This bee feeder can hold about 4.5 liters at once, so it will last your bees a while before they’re able to eat it all. This model fits on a 10-frame Langstroth hive.

BeeCastle 8 Frame Beehive Candy Board Feeder

BeeCastle 8 Frame Beehive Candy Board Feeder Assembled for Winter

Many people prefer to use dry sugar, especially in winter. This is easiest if you have a dry sugar bee feeder.

Bees can easily access the sugar, and it also helps absorb extra moisture in the hive when the weather is cold. You can even use this feeder to make a dry sugar board.

High-quality steel mesh and cedar will last a long time without rusting. This feeder fits on an eight-frame Langstroth hive.

Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Bee Feeder

As you can see, there are tons of different options for bee feeders depending on what your needs are.

Explore all the different types to decide which ones you like best. There are many considerations to make, from size and budget to functionality and how they’re refilled.

The type of hive you use may also inform what feeder makes the most sense for you. Some beekeepers will even use a few different kinds at once throughout the year or when different hives have different needs.

What to Consider

As with all other aspects of beekeeping, you have to take a look at your specific setup to help you determine what the best bee feeder will be.

Bees Feeding

Your budget may be a factor for you, although generally, these feeders aren’t pricey anyway.

Understand how the bees will access the feed to make sure it’s safe for them to eat from. Also, think about how you’ll have to refill the feeder and what you’re comfortable with. Do you prefer to quickly swap out empty feeders, or refill a single larger one? It’s completely up to you.

Pick the Best Bee Feeder for Your Apiary

You have a lot of great options for bee feeders to choose from.

It may depend on your setup or just personal preferences. Since many of them are inexpensive, you may even want to try a few different kinds to find the best bee feeder for you.
For help with all the other aspects of beekeeping, head over to our honey bee page!