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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Amanda, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Has anyone made wooden top feeders? I have made one and coated the inside with wax which was not the easiest thing to get the wax to soak into the wood. I have now made 4 more and was wondering if anyone else has made any of these and what you have used to seal the inside of the feeder. If wax was used then how did you get it to soak into the wood. I heated up the wax and tried to brush it on and it sat on the surface then I used a torch to heat the wax and wood to get it to soak in.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    I made a few of them last season and used a heat gun to keep the wood warm as i sloshed the melted was around. It worked, but by the end of the seaason, the wax was bubbling up in some places. I have, more or less, abandoned them in favor of open feeding. for the colonies i feel the need to feed directly, i have gone to using mason jars. I'd really like to pull the trigger and make up a bunch of the jar lids with the small diameter brass tubing, but i jsut have my doubts about it dripping, and i havent heard any first hand tales of success/woe. I don't like to base my decisions on second ahnd information.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Silicone calk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Langley, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    I put tin trays in them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    My favorite tool for melting wax to apply to a surface is a heat gun. Works great for just about everything to apply it to. I just waxed 4 wood top feeders I got from someone. Worked great. In the deep freezer now to kill pests.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Gutter caulk would work to. I personally am not a fan of silicone caulk. Seen to many rolled up edges. As a painting contractor.
    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    be sure and use dry wood when you build them, that is where you have to start.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    890

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    I've build these for my DCoates 5 frame nucs and I seal the joints with silicon calk, then I hit the bottom and sides with melted beeswax. I won't worry too much about if it's soaked into the wood or not. I just want a barrier that the syrup can't easily go thru and as long as I don't scrape the bottom too hard the wax stays in place. No leaks to speak of since I went to this method. I wouldn't mind figuring out how to put a tray in mine to avoid the issue all together, but don't know if I'm that talented. LOL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    I've build these for my DCoates 5 frame nucs and I seal the joints with silicon calk, then I hit the bottom and sides with melted beeswax. I won't worry too much about if it's soaked into the wood or not. I just want a barrier that the syrup can't easily go thru and as long as I don't scrape the bottom too hard the wax stays in place. No leaks to speak of since I went to this method. I wouldn't mind figuring out how to put a tray in mine to avoid the issue all together, but don't know if I'm that talented. LOL
    i have made a few 5 frame nuc top feeders using the fatbeemans design. they work great but, they dont hold much volume.
    ive also thought about using spray in bed liner to seal them up as well. but the chems worry me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunBee View Post
    Silicone calk.
    That's what I used. One thing I'd mention is to be sure to let your spar varnish cure for a week or so. I put on the silicone caulk too soon and it never cured. Was a bear to scrub out and replace.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    I used paraffin and a 200F oven to warm the feeders until the chunks of paraffin were melted inside of them. By gently turning and twisting, inside edges were also sealed.

    Final touch ups were done with paraffin melted in a rice cooker and a brush.

    If you're accident prone or easily distracted I would use a different technique...
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 03-25-2014 at 11:43 AM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Amanda, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I used paraffin and a 200F oven to warm the feeders until the chunks of paraffin were melted inside of them. By gently turning and twisting, inside edges were also sealed.

    Final touch ups were done with paraffin melted in a rice cooker and a brush.

    If you're accident prone or easily distracted I would use a different technique...
    I had considered using this method. I'm glad that someone else has tried it and reported that works.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    I use a polyester resin to totally seal the feeder. Water tanks are made out of polyester resins so it is totally safe for the bees once it has hardened.
    It is virtually indestructible under normal conditions and will keep the feeder sealed year after year.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Amanda, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    I use a polyester resin to totally seal the feeder. Water tanks are made out of polyester resins so it is totally safe for the bees once it has hardened.
    It is virtually indestructible under normal conditions and will keep the feeder sealed year after year.
    Eric

    Where do you get the resin. I have seen some like at a couple bee conventions and I do like them.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    The polyester resin will give off strong odors for a very long time. I'm not sure the bees will appreciate the fiberglass smell.

    Silicone on all of the joints would be my second choice after paraffin.

    The resin can be purchased at Home Depot.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    It is sold in auto part stores under the name of "fiberglass resin". I've seen it in WallyMart and Home Despot, too.
    I cut fiberglass cloth in 2 inch strips to cover all of the seams on the feeder. I mix a batch big enough to do several feeders. Use a disposable brush to wet the wood with resin, especially at the seams. Then, I put the fiberglass strips over each seam and use the brush to push the strips into the resin. Cover the strips with more resin so they are covered completely. After the resin hardens, I fill the feeder with water and see if I miss any seams. If I find one, I mix another small batch of resin and touch up where the water is leaking from.
    Some critical things that are necessary to consider. Temperature should be 65 degrees or warmer. The warmer it is, the faster the resin hardens. Quantities of resin must be measured. Don't eyeball. Use a digital scale and measure quantities exactly.
    Also, I always mix a test batch of one ounce to see how much hardener needs to be mixed and how long it takes to harden. Then, I scale up quantities after that is known.
    Resins are a breeze to work with once you get the mix right.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    The polyester resin will give off strong odors for a very long time. I'm not sure the bees will appreciate the fiberglass smell.

    Silicone on all of the joints would be my second choice after paraffin.

    The resin can be purchased at Home Depot.
    I have not experienced that. If the resin is mixed properly, it will harden completely and have no smell, whatsoever.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    I have not experienced that. If the resin is mixed properly, it will harden completely and have no smell, whatsoever.
    I have had years of experience with both polyester and epoxy resins in boat repairs... I'll stand by my original statement.
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 03-26-2014 at 04:42 AM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Meadows of Dan, Virginia, United States
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    I use silicon caulk on the joints and any knots. I never have any trouble with syrup leaking through the bottom or sides.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Amanda, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Wooden Hive Top Feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by canoemaker View Post
    I use silicon caulk on the joints and any knots. I never have any trouble with syrup leaking through the bottom or sides.
    Have you noticed any ill effects on the exposed wood by the sugar syrup, like mold, mildew, or rot. I'm not sure how long unprotected wood will last.

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