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  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    I just purchased a few 2 gallon feeder buckets to use this spring. I only used 1 gallon buckets before. My inner covers are from Dadant and are made of the masonite type wood and are slide into a 1 inch wood frame, then placed on the hive. I am concerned that the weight of the 2 gallons of sugar syrup will be too much for the inner cover to hold up and will not leave enough room under the inner for the bees to crawl on top of the top bars. And in the end will slow them down from being able to easily feed. I thought of placing small sticks under the cover for support but that seems like some messing around and will block access to the buckets as well. What are your thoughts? Thanks, juzzerbee

  2. #2
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    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Juzzer,
    I also use 2-gal pails for feeding, and I have only one of Dadants masonite-type inner cover. It did not hold up well to the weight of the bucket full of syrup, so I just placed a couple 5/16" sticks under the inner cover to support the bucket, and that worked out great.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Okay thanks. That is probably the best way of doing it and avoiding any problems later. It will be nice having 2 gallons instead of filling a gallon more often. What is your sugar to water ratio for 2 gallons. The bee shop by me said they do 10 lbs. of sugar to 20 cups of water. I weighed 20 cups of water to find it weighs about 10 3/4 lbs. I guess that is a fairly close ratio of 1:1 for Spring sugar syrup. Thanks again, juzzerbee

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    I fill each bucket up halfway with sugar, and then fill them the rest of the way up with hot water and mix the sugar in to dissolve it. One 25# bag makes 4 buckets, or eight gallons.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    One 25# bag makes 4 buckets, or eight gallons.
    That would be +/- 3.125 pounds of sugar in each gallon. Isn't that very thin syrup?

    I have been making 5:3 with 25# bags of sugar. The yield is approximately 3 1/2 gallons if I'm not mistaken.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Isn't that very thin syrup?
    I guess it may be; I never really thought about it. That's the way I've made spring syrup for the past three years, and the bees draw foundation quite well with it. I fill the bucket 3/4 the way full with sugar for fall feeding. I am probably measuring by volume and not by weight. Is there a significant no-no to what I'm doing? Thanks for the warning, BC.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Wbk, if I increased the water to make 1:1 my volume would increase by 10 pints (1 1/4 gallons) for a total of 4.75 gallons, if I'm correct in my estimations. That would result in there being about 5.25 pounds of sugar in each gallon of syrup. Which would be roughly 68% more sugar than what your method is yielding.

    Some of my colonies can be up to 22 miles away from my home. For Autumn feeding I want to make as few trips as possible so I want the syrup to be adequately dense without crystallizing. 5:3 works well for me.

    If the wax drawing is as nice with 1:1, the bees woud have less water to evaporate out of the hive.

    The thin syrup will ferment more easily...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #8
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    The thin syrup will ferment more easily.
    True; this is the only downside I noticed, but that doesn't mean there are more! Fermentation isn't a problem in the spring because they take it so fast, but later on it can be. Should I be worried about the need for them to evaporate the excess water? Wyoming isn't exactly a humid state at all.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    Should I be worried about the need for them to evaporate the excess water?
    They could be gathering pollen or building comb... instead of fanning. IMO
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 04-10-2013 at 11:40 AM. Reason: IMO
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Thanks for the advice, BC.

  11. #11
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    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
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    438

    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Instead of the 2 gal pales have you thought of trying a different style of feeder juzzerbee? I'm a huge fan of the profeeders from mannlake with the cap and ladder system. http://http://www.mannlakeltd.com/be...es/page45.html Last year I used the 1.5 gallon feeder which took up a little to much room for my liking so this year I'm switching everything over to the 1gal feeders, however I doubt I'll feed this year seeing as how my hives overwintered very well.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    I checked them out on mann lake's site. I am not quite sure how they work. I assume the bees crawl up a ladder and some how feed off of the surface somewhere. I think that I will do a bit more research on them. The bucket feeders are a good and bad. Easy to bring syrup to the beeyard, I don't disturb the hive by pulling out the feeder, the bucket in the center of the hive makes it easily accessible to the bees from all areas. The buckets are a pain when it drips overnight when temps. drop fast, and it makes a mess. What are the pros/cons of the pro feeder style. I might try one out and see how I like it compared to the buckets. It seems like the pro feeder really makes a tight fit in a 10 frame box. Thanks for the tip, juzzer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
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    438

    Default Re: Weight of 2 gallon feeder buckets.

    Biggest draw back with the profeeder that I've found (and this was before the cap and ladder system) was that the feeder itself would warp in warm weather (or just from the heat of the hive) and especially bad when the bees would attach comb to it. The new cap and ladder system makes the feeders top quite a bit stiffer (the cap being the wooden part).

    The way the feeder works is you fill up the plastic feeder (which takes up the space of a single frame if you get the 1 gallon feeder, the 1.5 and 2 gallon feeders take up 2 spaces) and the bees enter through the holes in the cap. Inside the cap is a plastic mesh sock that allows the bees to climb down inside the feeder and retrieve the syrup then safely climb back out without any drowning. Last year using the cap and ladder feeders I had ZERO drownings, however, after the feeders were emptied the bees started building comb inside the ladders that I'm going to have to clean out some time this year. Or just fill around it I suppose, the bees are still able to get in and out =P
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

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