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Discussion Starter #1
I just received and tried out this 2 3/4" forstner bit. from MLCS via Amazon - $19.95. I was a little bit concerned that the hole would be too tight because it would be more accurate - but it is perfect for your standard quart jar lid. Tight but not too tight - also very clean and speed only limited by the power of the drill press. This particular bit has a hex shank - which you need with a bit this large to keep it from slipping under load - many forstner bits do not.

I ordered this bit because I am preparing to build a batch of nucs with feeder holes, and hole saws are painfully slow.
 

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Yep, that's exactly what I did this winter with a bunch of inner covers. I decided to get away from the elongated opening, and go this route. Now, my inner covers serve as feed tops and just plain old inner covers. A handy tool those blades are. I actually went with a 3" though in case of swelling. There is some wiggle room, but not so much that bees sneak by.
 

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with no intent to hijack this thread, could you (BeeCurious) elaborate on feeder? What kind of dripping you experience, overall impressions, and anything else you can share. I like the idea of a small hole in the cover much more than a large hole.
 

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with no intent to hijack this thread, could you (BeeCurious) elaborate on feeder? What kind of dripping you experience, overall impressions, and anything else you can share. I like the idea of a small hole in the cover much more than a large hole.
Here is a thread on the subject...

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?282703-HELP-ME-jar-feeder-with-brass-insert

It's amazing how fast the bees can empty jar of syrup through that one little hole.

"dripping " hasn't been a problem.
 

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Yep, that's exactly what I did this winter with a bunch of inner covers. I decided to get away from the elongated opening, and go this route. Now, my inner covers serve as feed tops and just plain old inner covers. A handy tool those blades are. I actually went with a 3" though in case of swelling. There is some wiggle room, but not so much that bees sneak by.
Don't you have trouble with no outer cover when it rains...or don't you get rain?
 

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Don't you have trouble with no outer cover when it rains...or don't you get rain?
Good question. We get quite a bit of rain. I actually put an empty super over the jars to cover them up. A bucket will work too, but I have extra boxes, so I just use them. It keeps out the rain and robbers.
 

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This brings up a question , is anyone using bee escapes in the inner cover anymore , if so I don't hear of there use ,and if not, why ?
 

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I did the 2 3/4 hole route last year and was pretty happy with it. But I did notice that after 30 or 40 holes it was punching a slightly smaller hole that was becoming too tight... I suspect the teeth were worn down a bit and even with wallering the bit around, I was needing to take a rasp to the hole to get a comfortable fit.

This year I'm going to try a 3" hole with #8 wire under it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The tight holes used to bother me, but I have found that if you twist the jar into the hole it will go right into even the tightest ones without much trouble. And with age they loosen up of course. If you go the hardware cloth route you just have to turn the jar lid wrong side out so that the bees can reach it. It actually works very well - you can change jars without having to deal with bees at all - it just requires extra material and labor to make. Not much, but it adds up if you make a bunch at a time.

Either way, a self-feed or forstner bit will cut the hole a lot quicker than a hole saw. And if you order it they aren't too expensive - $20 - and should last a long long time. Resharpenable too.
 

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Yeah the fostner bits make for fast, clean and neat work. Jar feeders on top make quick work of feeding. If the bottles and caps are set up ahead of time, it takes well under a minute per nuc to feed. Mine can get a little fiesty during a dearth (I get nailed occasionally changing bottles or have them boil up into the feeder hole) so being able to feed without dealing with bees is the incentive. Agreed the 3" hole and #8 wire is a little more of my time to build, hopefully it pays off when a few of the family and friends who want to get more involved can feed without the need to don a veil or gloves.
 

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Good question. We get quite a bit of rain. I actually put an empty super over the jars to cover them up. A bucket will work too, but I have extra boxes, so I just use them. It keeps out the rain and robbers.
I actually meant do you have trouble with rain getting into the hive with just an inner cover and no telescoping or migratory cover on?
I think most talk about a hole in the outer cover/top and the bees then come up through the inner cover hole to access the top feeder. Perhaps I am mistaken.
 

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Yes, rain will get in through the inner cover if you don't have a way to keep it out. We get quite a but of rain here. I have not done this with the outer cover, just the inner. I'm scared I'll drown the bees, but maybe I'm just too skittish.
 

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The mocaps work great but are not very UV resistant. Plan on replacing them every other year unless the local racoons destroy them prematurely.
 
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