How do you all make jar feeders to put on your top bars as I have been reading about? I assume (Hate doing that) that it is just a mason jar with lid that has holes punched in it. What size holes? What tool do you use to make the holes?
I used to use jars, now use the white 1-gallon buckets with the screen hole in the top. When I was using mason jars, I used an icepick to punch the holes at random. Then I place two pieces of 1/4" thick lath parallel to the hole in the inner cover, invert the jar or bucket to rest on those two sticks, apply deep super and outer cover. I like the buckets because they hold 1 gal of liquid. I use 5lbs of sugar and fill the bucket with hot water, stir until the sugar dissolves. The buckets don't break. The only drawback is that they propolize the screen holes. Carry a BIC lighter to quickly burn off the resin.
I use new 2 gallon white plastic paint cans from Home Depot. The 2 gallon seems to be about the right compromise between too little and too big on my hives. I drill my holes in the lids with a 1/16" or smaller bit. I use a piece of 1/2" plywood with a 3" hole in it for the top and invert the bucket on it. I don't bother to cover the bucket anymore.
We used gallon plastic ziplock bags last year with exceptional results. For us it meant not carryin 25-30 containers to a yard and the bees took the syrup in record time. It took me awhile to get the filling from a 4 gallon tote thing down but once I did that went fast as well. Between that and the division board feeders I bought for fall feeding last year I'm thinking I'm done with jars and buckets.
Funny, I started with baggies and didn't care for it. Carrying a dozen wobbly baggies to the hives without springing leaks was a pain, and refilling a cut baggy didn't work well for me either. They were also too small for my taste, but I guess you can get 2 gallon size now.
For those using Mason jars, what type will fit into a single medium box? I have only used 1 gallon jar feeders in the past, and was disappointed to note that these required 2 mediums. I no longer have the spare equipment to create this arrangement.
I cut the hole for the jar lid in the inner cover and screen under the hole that way the jar fist down 1/4" into the inner cover. Then I use a regular jar lid (not the ones that come with these jars) with these jars: http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
(the #417 clear plastic quart jars)
With a regular lid on this jar they are exactly 6 5/8" tall. With the 1/4" down into my inner cover and a medium box over it, I have 1/4" to spare.
[...and invert the bucket on it. I don't bother to cover the bucket anymore.]
One has to be careful that the buckets don't swell or shrink in the sun. That's usually minimized with white buckets, but black has a tendancy to leak, thereby wetting the cluster and could cause death of the colony.
By covering the bucket with another hive body, color becomes a non-issue. Some beekeepers around here were covering the bucket with black plastic garbage bags, this too was too much solar gain and caused both white and black buckets to leak.
Buckets are a great idea, just be aware of the environmental effects that act upon them.
Tarheit has hosted a print that I made a while back for boardman feeders: www.honeyrunapiaries.com
in the plans section. Thanks Tim
These are more suited as entrance feeders, but they could be mounted on a larger sheet of laun board for better stability.
For feeding over frames, I'd suggest the buckets or rapid feeders see on here. You just get much better volume and a larger feeding area with less traffic (important if you are feeding to draw wax). They are as easy or easier to clean and are not a freeze or drowning risk.
We run 3/4" migratory covers with a hole in the middle just big enough for a 70g cap to fit into. There are many sizes of jars you can get that have use the 70g lid. The cap is only about 1/2" deep which leaves a gap between the top bars and the holes where the syrup comes out.
We use 5lb economy jars for the most part. We also buy generic "mayonaisse" jars which i believe are about 2 1/2 to 3lb of syrup. Tje sizes and quantity of the holes in the 70G caps depends on time of year and size of nuc/hive. If it's colder add an extra hole,normally 3, do the same if you have an established hive you want to bulk up. Or the other way, if it's a young nuc use less holes,normally 2, of a smaller diameter, to make sure the girls can keep up with the open faucet of syrup.
When we are not feeding we just shove an old 70g cap into the cover to fill the hole. And we leave the jar exposed to the weather.
Of course this is the more labor intensive feeding, but sometimes necessary to ensure each hive get's proper nourishment. When we are getting ready to send a lot of bees off on pollination we open feed in barrels. We can put out 30,000lbs of sugar sryum in just a few hours like that, but also leads to uneven acquisition of nourishment. The stronger hives get more syrup since the have the womanpower to get more faster.
I hope my explanation helps since i don't have any photos on hand of our system.
I've been using old mayo jars and feeding through a hole in the inner cover I use a solid 1/2 inch plywood for the inner cover. I was told by an old beekeeper not to set the jar over the cluster just in case of a leak.Thats what I like about beekeeping so many different ways of doing things and if they work there not wrong just different.I also mix my suger syurp dirrectly in the jar,starting out with two cups of warm tap water in the quart jar put them in the the microwave let the water warm just a little more add two cups of suger makes just about a quart of 1to1 feed.You don't have to put the water in the mircowave before adding the suger just makes it dissolve a lot easier.I use a medieum box around the jars then put the top on that.I only have six hives so this is easy for me.
I have tried all those jars zip lock bags & it worked the crap out of me ,so i went to slop feeding in foot bath pans with pine strawin it . they hold 2 gals of syurp.i got these all overmy property. since feb 1 i have feed 400 lbs suger. trying to get bees strong so i can make some good splits
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