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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    1,976

    Default Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    I made up some feeders this fall from gallon paint cans.

    I punched a bunch of holes in some, and just a few in others.

    The ones with a few didn't seem to offer the bees enough flow, and they took a long time to take the syrup.

    The ones with a bunch of holes ran out and made a mess in the hive.

    Is there a trick to it?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    I use canning jars and just use the sharp point on my cheapo paint scraper 'hive tool' to punch the holes. The holes aren't all uniform but I've never had any issue. They do not have to be exact. -js

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,341

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    The holes should be "small". The syrup should not drip unless the hole is too big. I have successfully used a drill bit sized 0.05" for this. You can test the feeder with plain water outside the hive to verify that it doesn't leak.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    Temp change will cause a pressure change inside the container and push out more then you want from time to time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    If the jar/can is sealed I don't believe there wil be leaking with most small holes
    I have taken a knife an made a slice in a top,it did not leak
    They all will drip when first turned over but once the vacuum kicks in they stop

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    I made up some feeders this fall from gallon paint cans.


    Adam
    Paint cans? Really You are not worried about the paint residue? As far as the holes, good advice given already. Paint cans?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Paint cans? Really You are not worried about the paint residue? As far as the holes, good advice given already. Paint cans?
    One can buy new one gallon paint cans at walmart.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    Thanks lazy shooter, My heart and mind, can now begin working again

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    Fieldsofnaturalhoney:

    I know these things because I bought some paint cans to make into feeders. I never got them to work. It was a miserable failure. That's how I have to learn from time to time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    I just take an ice pick and pop 3-4 holes, less than 1/8". If you get the lid sealed, they don't leak. If the bees are active and want the syrup, they can empty a gallon can through 3 holes in half a day or less. If they aren't active or don't want syrup, it will sit there awhile.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    The paint cans were brand new, epoxy lined gallon cans as recommended by Mike Palmer. They're pretty great, really. It must've been temperature change that caused all the leaking - it was late season feeding.

    Thanks,

    Adam

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,215

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    That's my guess - temp changes with the remaining air in the container. When it’s warm the hive temp stays close to the same, and if it does leak a little bees drink it up quick.

    Even with a mason jar and small holes they leak when the weather get crazy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,212

    Default Re: Holes in the feeders - Is there an optimum that keeps it from running out?

    Adam, the same thing happened to me. I was considering moving from 1 gallon plastic pails to 1 gallon epoxy-lined paint cans, but I had the same issue. I was looking to change because when topping up my nucs for fall I have previously added syrup through a bucket resting on a top cover with a hole in it - bucket outside in the elements. I wanted to go to putting the can directly on the frames in the style of MP, and then use a shell to cover it; I didn't have any shells, and so I tried the paint can on top of the lid. I didn't like it because 2 out of the 5 had an unpredictable leak, and when sealing a couple I was kind of ham fisted and ruined them. I am not complaining, as this is the only tip from MP that hasn't worked out. I want to do the feed-on-the-frames-with-a-shell-thing and so the next thing I'll try is the 1/2 or 1 gallon mason jar; Whichever of those that will fit in my 9 inch wide nuc. I hadn't had the same issue with the plastic pails - funnily enough the opposite as the bees have sometimes propolized the holes shut.

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