OK, all. How many of you have used or are using those white, plastic pail invertible hive feeders. They are sold by various bee supply companies in 1, 2 or 3 gallon sizes. I am particuly interested in those of you who are using them now during the cold months. HAS ANYONE FOUND THAT THEY DO NOT LEAK!! I would be extremely intersted to find a type that does NOT. They seem to work OK (not leak) during the warm months but when the daily temperatures start to cycle below freezing, they seem to inevitably do so. I would like to solve this problem in that I like the concept of invertible feeders over the hive-top feeders for 2 reasons:
1) The syrup source is closer to the bees (they have to travel less distance away from cluster warmth to retrieve it).
2) No drowning
Anyone who has ideas as to why the leaking occurs and practical ideas to solve this problem is more than welcome to share them here. I have my own ideas but want to see what you all may have to say first.
I never had a comercial pail feeder, I have and had used one gallon jars with holes punched in the lids, both glass and plastic.
I would suppose that the contraction of the pails due to contraction and expansion from the temperature rising and falling changes the internal pressure of the pail. When the negative pressure is reduced, more fluid is allowed to escape.
Another condition for the escape of fluid is wether the lid is touching anything. Try this, while the pail is inverted, touch the holes in the lid. Doing this will release fluid and your finger will get wet. I think that they will seep no matter what the temperature is if they are in contact with anything.
I use the miller feeder. I have the type that has the screen wire wraped over the edge for a good footing for the bees. I don't lose many bees to drowning. Unfortunatly, it's opening is at one end.
If you want to keep the feed close to the bees, try the one that has the opening in the center and do not use an inner lid.
[This message has been edited by BULLSEYE BILL (edited January 21, 2003).]
The feeders I use from Beeworks have all the advandages of being on top with the added advantage of checking and refilling without facing any bees. They are the best I've found. They have all the advantages of a hive top feeder that has a screen to keep the bees out of the upper chamber, but with less capacity (1/2 gallon) and less cost. However I find 1/2 gallon is plenty big enough for me almost all the time.
Hi Guys, In the book 50 yrs. Amoung Bees, Dr. C C Miller shows a feeder made from a 1 Gal. metal paint can with holes punched in the lid. Has anyone used this type of feeder and what is your opinion of them? Dale
We use the 1 gallon plastic pails. I get them from Groebs here in Michigan and then have to drill holes in the lids. We order double the number of the swarms we are running so we can fill at home, then replace in the field. A pail lid remover comes in handy with these and we have no problems with leaking. Just place over inner cover and place an empty deep over it. I have tried them all also from entrance to frame, to even plastic baggies. (Although the plastic baggies I did like the best, but not economical or ecological when dealing in larger numbers)
The 1 gallon pails that you use: Have you or are you using them in the winter? I found that these feeder pails do NOT leak during the warm months but seem to do so when daily temps cycle below freezing. I typically use them about now to start stimulative brood rearing feeding but it seems both my 1 gallon and 3 gallon invertible plastic pail feeders leak with the freezing temps. That is why I ask.
Same question for Bullseye and the feeders you mentioned. Cold/wintertime leaking? Did you ever have the glass break due to expansion during freezing?
The plasic feeders from Beeworks never leak freezing or not.
If you are asking if they leak from freezing and cracking John, we havent had a problem with them as yet, but then again we will start the feed in mid February.
ToBeClear: Does your previous post indicate that thus far, you have NOT used the plastic pail invertible feeders during freezing (and below) temperatures yet? The "cracking" part pertained to glass 1 gallon feeders (like deli pickle jars). Plastic was just for the "leaking" part.
To restate, I wanted to know if the glass one-gallon jars break in the freezing winter temperatures due to fluid expansion when temps are in the 20s or lower. I wanted to know if the plastic 1,2 or 3 gallon invertible plastic feeders leak during the same temps. I'm very interested in ones that do not - if they exist. Mine are exclusevley from Mann-Lake and THEY ALL LEAK - 1 and 3 gallon ones.
I DO understand that there are hive-top feeders out there which will probably "solve" my dilemmas, however, I am interested in the invertible feeders for the reasons stated in my original post. Has anyone really played with these invertible feeders to find out how/why they leak?
I think the daily temperature variations of the vacuum above the syrup and the syrup temperature itself are responsible for the vacuum/fluid equilibrium being disturbed and therefore, leakage. Is this it? Are there no cures for the invertible feeder? This, in essence is what Bullseye was talking about in his post.
Mike: You mentioned half gallon plastic invertible feeders from bee-works that do not leak, freezing or not. Sounds good, but for me, if I want to feed a hive, my philospohy is, feed as much as possible at one time. This way: I reduce the number of times I must service the feeder. This applies to both stimulative 1:1 feeding in Feb. and 2:1 feeding in the fall when I note that some hives are going into the winter lite on stores.
Regarding Russ's post about the 1 gal paint cans; I have never tried them, but this idea sounds viable IF I find that one gallon glass pickle jars crack during freezing and below temps and I can't find a plastic invertible feeder (> .5 gallons) that doesn't leak.
>Same question for Bullseye and the feeders you mentioned. Cold/wintertime leaking? Did you ever have the glass break due to expansion during freezing?
I used the glass feeders the first two years to get my packages going. I set them on the top of the frames in an empty deep brood box. I got tired of the mess, too much wasted energy building comb on the sides of the feeders. I had one gallon jug that was plastic, for some reason it would cave in and fall over.
I had thought that I might try, and I did buy, two one gallon plastic chicken waterers. I was going to put screen in them and use them the same way I did the gallon jars in the empty deep. I nixed that idea and bought the wooden hive top feeders. I like them best and they hold about two gallons, and have some other benefits too.
I checked my hives Saturday, and noticed that there was no ice in the syrup. I was certain that there would be since we have had some extended cold weather lately. This week has ben down to nearly 0 and not above freezing all week. saturday it got up to 45 and I popped the top off to take a quick look and saw no ice.
You might mix up a batch and put two quarts in a jar on the porch and watch what happens, inside the hive would be warmer, but this way you would know the worst case senerio.
Last week, I put a one gal jar on the porch with 2:1 sugar syrup. It was in the teens at nite, It did not break (even tho I expected it to). I will try a 1:1 syrup this week - same temps predicted and see what happens.
In the meantime, I've been using the "leaking" inveritble feeders on the hives. I place the feeders "forward" of the inner cover center oblong hole so that when they leak, they do not leak directly on the cluster. In this position, when they leak, the syrup leaks out of the inner cover front hole due to hive forward tilt. What I do is use a coffee can with a hole in the lid and a nylon string reacing from the top of the front upper super handhold down into the can to direct the leaking syrup into the can rather than see it drip down on the front of the bottom board. This seems to works OK in recovering the leaking syrup. I also screen the inner cover hole to prevent robbing when the temps warm up. This is especially important when using Honey-B-Healthy.
i use the plastic one gallons,above an inner cover,i place it to the one side and have a thin wood slat running across the top of the inner cover which prevents the drippage from going down through the hole and into the hive(it creates a shallow pool the bees lap up),i also stick boardman feeders up above inner covers, surrounded by an empty deep and lid of course.i've found bigger buckets sometimes get skanky before being emptied completely.