DIY inexpensive round feeder prototype
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)

    Default DIY inexpensive round feeder prototype

    After deciding that I need more feeders, seeing some of the catastrophies can happen with a poor feeder design, and not wanting to shell out any more $$$ that I have to, I created a prototype for a new feeder design based on inexpensive materials that can be readily purchased online. Below are pictures, but here are some of the interesting points:

    - The main body is a disposible 10"x3" bundt pan, purchasable on Amazon for $10 in a pack of 10 (
    - The "cone" is actually a double-cone design made from 3 pieces of 1/8" hardware cloth
    - Not easy to see, but there is an inner cone that fits snugly over the central riser on the pan, with 3 legs that stick up 3/8" of an inch, and then the outer cone forms the outer wall
    - The 3rd piece of mesh is just a round part that forms the top of the outer cone
    - The inner cone has multiple gaps that will allow the bees to travel up the riser, through the gaps in the inner cone, and down the outside of the riser between the screens to get a drink
    - The inner cone also fits snugly over the riser, so it creates a better textured surface for the bees to crawl up on in the event of falling into the syrup
    - All parts of the mesh are held together by standard 9/16" heavy duty staples, formed over by hand and then tapped down with a hammer and anvil
    - The inner cone is held down onto the base by friction
    - The metal riser is somehow crimped to the pan base, and seems leakproof. For insurance though, I might run a quick bead of caulk around the riser of each of them
    - The gap between the inner and outer cones is 3/8", and the gap over the top of the riser to the top of the outer cone is also 3/8"

    - When it is pushed down all the way, the outer cone is flush on the bottom of the pan, so nobody can belly-crawl under
    - Overall the pan is quite flimsy (called heavy duty lol), but it seems like it will be fine since I won't be carrying it around full of syrup. Ideally I can also fill it with water in the summertime
    - The whole contraption just sits on the top of the hole in an inner cover, and is enclosed by a shallow or medium super body
    - Might be better if I created a big screen that covers the top of the whole deal, so when I take the lid off during inspections I don't get a bunch of tourists that decide they want to go swimming
    - The open screen cone is an advantage over the Rapid feeders in my view, since this allows ventilation, and I can keep a quilt board above it. Rapid feeders seem to always have solid plastic cones that won't vent
    - In cold weather, it can be refilled easily from the top, without allowing bees to escape, but shouldn't let out too much heat either
    - If the pan gets trashy, lift off the cone, drop it on a shiny new pan, and away we go

    Questions, comments? Primarily this design comes from a combination of impatience to receive ordered materials, my perception (right or wrong) of design flaws in available products, and altogether cheapness that demands I not order things if I have any reasonable capability to make them myself. I suspect that I may have some kindred souls out there in our midst, what do you think? If there is interest I can scan and upload dimension of the cone patterns.

    IMG_20200522_165715712.jpg IMG_20200522_165935267.jpg IMG_20200522_170000763.jpg
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

  2. Remove Advertisements

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Mooresville, NC

    Default Re: DIY inexpensive round feeder prototype

    When reading about some of the other feeders, there were some material shifts because of some interactions with the feed between the hardware cloth and the aluminum and the feed itself. I am not sure what the specific problem was, but it was in the video where they show the ladder going into the Sterlite "shoe-box" instead of the aluminum lasagna pan. Otherwise it looks a lot like the plastic one that Barnyard bees is doing. Nice thing it has is a lid. So they can feed dry sugar in it as well. Also. it is possible you don't really need the hardware cloth. In theirs, they just have ridges on the overcup that gives the bees a grip area.

    Here is the barnyard bees one if you check their youtube channel you can see them use it, and alternatively use it with the dry sugar.
    Here is Fatbeeman's hive top feeder where I think he mentions about changing from the aluminum to plastic and why they changed material.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Elkton, Oregon, USA


    Looks very similar to the ones I bought from GloryBee for $7


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts