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I have decided that I want to use paint cans (gallon size) for top hive feeding as the quart jars just go to quick. I went to Lowes yesterday and found clean unused paint cans for sale. However it seems as if they were coated with some gray epoxy or something. Is this okay and what exactly is it?
 

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they make gallon size top feeders don't waist time effort or money doing something, that your going to need to do again in the end.
 

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It's a grey epoxy lining.

I use epoxy lines paint cans for feeding. Have for 30 years. No problem. Use shims to create bee space under cans. Can be used on inner cover or directly on top bars.

For Spring, one can on inner cover escape hole. For Fall feeding up to 5 at a time on top bars.
 

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I do exactly the same as Palmer described and have for years. I glue three small 3/8 inch blocks on the lid for bee space when inverted and surround the can with an empty hive body with the outer cover on top. It's never been a problem. Be certain to pay attention to upward ventilation for moisture control.

Steve
 

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Vinny, thats what i use just punch some holes in the top with a small nail about the size of a frame nail. I use about 8 holes try to keep them close to the center.:)
 

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I've been going to the bakery at local grocery stores and asking for their plastic bucket that icing comes in. They are pretty sturdy and they'll just give them to you. They have a black rubber gasket on the lid so no leaking and you can get them in approximately 1, 2 and 5 gallon sizes. Fill em up, drill a few holes in the top and put them directly on the frames with a few shems or above the inner cover.
 

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I've been using the gallon bucket from Home Depot. It's a red plastic one. Wider than the standard metal one. Since I use all mediums it works great. It fits on the top bars with a medium cover and a inner cover above it. Fits just right.
 

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Kingfisher,

I suppose well cleaned used gallon paint cans would be OK, but I would recommend new unused paint cans.

When you make the holes in the paint can lid they need to be very tiny. I make about 10-12 holes in a gallon lid. I hold a tiny bee hive frame nail with a pair of needle nose plires, put the lid outside down on a block of wood in a vice, and tap with a light hammer. The hole I make is only point size and not the diameter of the nail. The holes made from the inside to the outside provide a "burr" for the bees to hold on to when they draw the syrup out.

When you invert the can over the hive there will be some leakage, but it will stop. Changes in barometric pressure will also cause some leakage.

Good luck feeding and have agood productive year.

Steve
 

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I use paint cans. They work great. Shims, sticks...whatever, hold them up off the inner cover. Old deep bodies surround them. I can use one or more cans depending on how I want to feed. I fill them in the barn and carry them out. I put a small twistie tie or something similar around the handle when I treat the syrup so I know what's treated and what's not. They're easily cleaned and reasonably cheap.
 

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I use paint cans. They work great. Shims, sticks...whatever, hold them up off the inner cover. Old deep bodies surround them. I can use one or more cans depending on how I want to feed. I fill them in the barn and carry them out. I put a small twistie tie or something similar around the handle when I treat the syrup so I know what's treated and what's not. They're easily cleaned and reasonably cheap.
Do you use used ones? The reason I am asking is that I have a large painting project and I will have cans left over. I am using the paint so fast that it can't dry in the can.
Kingfisher
 

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Do you use used ones? The reason I am asking is that I have a large painting project and I will have cans left over. I am using the paint so fast that it can't dry in the can.
Kingfisher
If the cans are clean, then I wouldn't worry about it... but if they aren't clean, you are potentially introducing contamination. Perhaps you'd be better off with some top feeders.
 

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I use paint cans all of the time.......... new paint cans that I purchase from Lowe's. Never had a problem. But I don't see a need to take a chance on old paint cans that I have cleaned out. I would rather pay the $3 and change that take a chance on killing my whole colony.

The odds might be in your favor using cleaned up paint cans, but I just can't justify the chance. I can save money on buying cheaper lumber and finding scrap lumber to build my own hives to cut expenses.

If by chance the colony dies after using the used paint cans, would you use all of the comb in the hive on another colony. I wouldn't. So now it's not just the loss of the colony but also the more expensive commodity, comb. Too much of a loss when I could just spend $3 and some change.
 

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I use the new paint cans and also use medium boxes. So I have a couple 1.5" shims to provide enough space to put the cans in an empty box. The shims were built for other purposes but they work well for this.

BTW: I switched to the paint cans because 1:1 syrup crystallizes in my top feeders if they don't take it quickly. It is so dry here, the water evaporates out the syrup faster than it takes to ferment or mold.
 

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Hambone! I also thought about using those red gallon cans from Home Depot but could not find any lids to fit them. What are you using ?
 

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Nope...no used ones. Just new ones from the hardware store. I suppose that a very clean used one would be fine.
 

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I might I have used used one. But at the same time I am a painting contractor. And I pick witch ones I use. Normally paint has been empty in to a 5 gallon bucket and replaces right a way with water, at the job site. Then at the shop every drop of paint is clean out.
David
 

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My hive is being robbed but it needs to be fed - I want to use the paint cans - just learned from Michael Palmer that I can put a lot of sugar syrup on the hive and get it taken down by the bees quickly...but if it leaks, will it just create a more frenzied robbing?? I have my entrance reducer on now to one bee size to help the bees and the robbing is slowed, but still - adding sugar syrup seems a necessity, but also a huge draw to the robbers...
 

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Several things to ensure no leakage.

  • Very small holes in the center of the can lid.
  • Use an IC with a round hole so that all of the holes will be over open space.
  • Use a brood box to conceal the can and use an OC on top of that.
  • You could also put a rag all the way around the can so that if there is any leakage the rag would absorb it.
  • You could do the same thing using sand.
  • You can seal the I/C and the top brood box all the way around with some good tape.
 
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