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Thread: Homemade feeder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    276

    Default Homemade feeder

    Hello everyone,

    I am planning on making some contact feeders out of some plastic pails. The lids fit tight and they don`t leak when turned upside down. I was wondering how many holes should I put in the lid and how big should the holes be? The lids are 5½ inches square. The pails hold about 50 fluid ounces. I`ll be putting them over the inner cover which has a centered hole of about 4 inch diameter.

    Also... what magic keeps the syrup from just running out and flooding the hive?

    And finally, how long will it take the bees to empty one of these? (They will be used to feed nucs that I will get in early May.)

    BTW... great forum. This is my first year and I will surely have many questions as I go along. This forum has a lot of experienced people and I like the response you give to newcomers.

    Thanks

    MM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    4,208

    Default

    My holes are all smaller that 1/32". I put between 3 and 30 depending on what I want to accomplish. A vacuum (plus a bit of surface tension) is what holds the syrup in the bucket, so leakproof is important. You may get some minor leakage from the sun's heating of the bucket. I place mine toward the front of the hive and tilt it slightly to the front. If it leaks, most of the syrup runs down the front of the hive instead of soaking the cluster.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    The container must also be sturdy. If the vacuum caused inside can collapse the container walls, all the syrup will pour out. That's why many people use glass jars.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Default

    I use 2 gallon plastic paint buckets from HD. They hold up well and don't require an empty box to cover them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    michilin man ask:
    how long will it take the bees to empty one of these?

    tecumseh replies:
    I think the three important variables are 1) existing size of cluster 2)proximity of feed container to cluster 3) number of holes.

    a quart jar placed over a modest sized cluster here typically last from 4 to 5 days. on some jars I place 3 holes and some 5.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    276

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    michilin man ask:
    how long will it take the bees to empty one of these?

    tecumseh replies:
    I think the three important variables are 1) existing size of cluster 2)proximity of feed container to cluster 3) number of holes.

    a quart jar placed over a modest sized cluster here typically last from 4 to 5 days. on some jars I place 3 holes and some 5.
    Thanks Tecumseh,

    Existing size of cluster is a nucleus. I think its like 2 pounds of bees. The feeder will be above the cluster on the inner cover. So I`m guessing it`ll probably last a week or so by your estimate. But 3 holes doesn`t sound like much... I guess if it lasts too long I could just make a few more.

    MM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Default

    I've seen a 2 gallon bucket emptied in a day with a strong 2 medium hive and 20-30 holes. If you want to FEED them, put more holes. If you want to stimulate them, put less.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Smile Feeders on the Atmospheric Principle

    http://books.google.com/books?id=i0P...EofaCZPQ&hl=en

    The ABC And Xyz of Bee Culture - Google Books Resultby A. I. Root - 2005 - Nature - 740 pages
    Feeders on the Atmospheric Principle The practice of giving chickens water on the atmospheric principle has been applied to feeders for bees. ...
    books.google.com/books?isbn=1417924276...

    Page 270 of the ABC and XYZ of beekeeping
    Regards,
    Ernie
    Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Default

    This one was emptied in 2 hours.....
    http://www.myoldtools.com/Bees/beefeeder.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
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    3,599

    Smile This one was emptied in 2 hours.....

    Ross,
    What type of sugar do you use and what is the ratio for mixing?
    Good photo!

    Regards,
    Ernie
    Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Default

    I just plain old Wal-Mart white sugar. My mix is: Fill a bucket within an inch or two of the top with sugar, add hot water and stir, ending up about an inch or two from the top. It's certainly not scientific.

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