They always leak a little even if the lid is on tight. It helps to create a little vacuum first before flipping it over.
Here is what I do - once the top is on the feeder bucket I push down on the center of the lid to force a little air out. I then flip the bucket over while keeping the center pressed. Then I let go of the top and usually only a few drops come out.
I think our buckets must have not been suitable. We tried everything and it just didn't work. It would continue to pour out. I went and purchased very large canning jars at the fleet farm and poked holes in the can cover and that seemed to work. Is that ok :s Will that be suitable for them to eat from?
Perfectly suitable. As long as the bees can get to the holes with a hungry proboscis, they'll take it when they want it. I use half-gallon masons as you describe in nucs. The only problem is if I leave them on after they're empty I have to re-poke the holes after they're propolized.
go with the quart masons..as stated their "tongues" are tiny....so tinnie holes in the lids...I use about 6-8..also, let the syrup cool first...elevate it with two little 3/8"-1/2" tall pieces of scrap wood right over the inner cover hole, just don't cover the lid holes with the scraps or they can't dine !!! You can also make up a second jar and keep it in the fridge to replace that one and then alternate...saves time and you always have fresh syrup at-the-ready
I use 2 gallon plastic paint buckets, but I have noticed some hardware stores have the ones with the rubber gaskets, some don't have gaskets. I use the gasketed ones, from Ace. It helps to use a rubber hammer or something to pound the lid on.
Using a glass jar is great, the bigger the better. If you are feeding through the top of the inner cover I recommend that you put a small piece of window screen across the top of the inner cover hole, either taped or stapled down, then put the jar with the holes in the lid directly on that. The bees will still be able to get to most the holes in the lid and feed but when you pull the jar off they don't come after you. Makes it really easy to run out and swap jars without stirring them up, since you have to do it more often. (I actually do this with a 5 x 5 x 3/4" block with a 2" diameter hole screened over that I just set on the inner cover hole.)
Today I checked the jar and it looks like about one inch of syrup has been eaten. I was worried, thinking that wasn't enough so I slightly moved the jar and the little buggers snuck up the hole (so at least they are hovered below the jar). I didn't completely cover the hole again with the jar only because I wanted the bees to be able to get back inside. Was that bad? :s Should I be checking daily to see if the syrup is low? The instructions I have from the U of M is one week but that is if I used a 2 gallon bucket feeder.
I sat outside and watched them for about 10 minutes today. They were filing out and filing in quickly. I hope that is what they are suppose to do. They seemed busy, on a mission. Is there pollen yet? I didn't check to see if they are consuming the pollen patty, should I?
Right now, its about 6:30 pm, they are quieting down, is that the normal "shut down" time for bees?
Personally I never completely cover the hole in the inner cover with a feed bucket. I have a couple of sticks that I leave on the inner cover (the bees stick them to the cover) that I sit the bucket on. That way moisture can leave the hive easier.
Soap Pixie relax and enjoy your adventure in beekeeping. I got more bees yesterday from the same place you did. One thing you don't want to do the first week is pick at the hive alot. My buckets are one gallon also and last about a week. If you stand off to the side and watch their comings and goings you might notice a little bit of pollen on their legs with the dandelions and alot of the fruit trees in bloom. Have fun and good luck.
I do need to relax, that is true. All morning I've been peeking out at the hive and my hubby is doing everything to keep me from going out there and opening it up. I keep wondering if they are alive. It rained all night and this morning and I've seen one bee pop out :s AAaaaah, this is nerve wracking. I feel like they are my kids and I have to make sure they are eating, sleeping, pooping. LOL!
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