also called an Autumn feeder. sometimes a colony just doesn't have enough honey stored up to make it through a winter. if stores are low at the end of Autumn, a top feeder is a great way to give the bees what they need to survive the dormant season. its location at the top of the hive keeps feed warm and liquid and prevents robbing. the design prevents drowning, but allows quick storage of the feed. syrup made of the bees' own honey is best, but honey from other colonies known to be free of disease and chemicals can also be used. failing either of those, white sugar syrup works in a pinch.