As nights get cold, it gets more difficult to feed the mating nucs I plan to overwinter. At 350' in elevation it was 36.5 degrees here yesterday morning. Quite a nip in the air. Montana/Idaho was 16 degrees this morning. There's no doubt winter is right around the corner.
An inverted mason jar on the screened innner cover works well for feeding in warm weather, but not so well when nights are cold. These mating nucs need warmth as well as feed and a big empty void over the frames does them no good when you're trying to get them to build up their populations. Here you can see Where I used the mason jars and covered them with a burlap sack to retain warmth. But I was short a couple divided deeps and started making them a new way with a one gallon interior feeder. It takes a little more time to construct, but once I got the measurements figured out and my parts all cut out, assembly was reasonably fast.
And the new version:
I staple a 3/4" x 1" rim around the bottom as a spacer for the attached bottom board:
When using a pine divider, I leave it a bit long to allow for shrinkage. Plywood would be more stable, but I don't like milling the top with a laminated material.
A few staples permanently attach's the bottom, but since the entrance's are small, I also drill a few small drainage/air holes in the bottom board. But not until after it is painted or you'll just plug them up.
Screened divided inner cover. I staple the center divider to the screen, but do not staple to the frame, so if the center divider in the hive body is a little tall or short, I can float the inner covers divider to match it.
You get 8 new frames each side with a 3/4" gap.
Here are the parts. I use 3/4" plywood for the bottom for insulation value + I'm able to salvage used 3/4" plywood scraps fairly regularly from job sites.
Feeder needs to be removable for cleaning, so I just put a couple dabs of clear silicone on the irregular spots and added a small tight fitting filler piece. After the sicilone dries, it acts like a fitted gasket and can be pulled off when needed.
The only small downside to this is you can't easily tell if one of the nucs is not taking up feed. Feed uptake is something I pay attention to.