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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone made wooden top feeders? I have made one and coated the inside with wax which was not the easiest thing to get the wax to soak into the wood. I have now made 4 more and was wondering if anyone else has made any of these and what you have used to seal the inside of the feeder. If wax was used then how did you get it to soak into the wood. I heated up the wax and tried to brush it on and it sat on the surface then I used a torch to heat the wax and wood to get it to soak in.

Thanks
 

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I made a few of them last season and used a heat gun to keep the wood warm as i sloshed the melted was around. It worked, but by the end of the seaason, the wax was bubbling up in some places. I have, more or less, abandoned them in favor of open feeding. for the colonies i feel the need to feed directly, i have gone to using mason jars. I'd really like to pull the trigger and make up a bunch of the jar lids with the small diameter brass tubing, but i jsut have my doubts about it dripping, and i havent heard any first hand tales of success/woe. I don't like to base my decisions on second ahnd information.
 

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My favorite tool for melting wax to apply to a surface is a heat gun. Works great for just about everything to apply it to. I just waxed 4 wood top feeders I got from someone. Worked great. In the deep freezer now to kill pests.
 

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Gutter caulk would work to. I personally am not a fan of silicone caulk. Seen to many rolled up edges. As a painting contractor.
David
 

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I've build these for my DCoates 5 frame nucs and I seal the joints with silicon calk, then I hit the bottom and sides with melted beeswax. I won't worry too much about if it's soaked into the wood or not. I just want a barrier that the syrup can't easily go thru and as long as I don't scrape the bottom too hard the wax stays in place. No leaks to speak of since I went to this method. I wouldn't mind figuring out how to put a tray in mine to avoid the issue all together, but don't know if I'm that talented. LOL
 

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I've build these for my DCoates 5 frame nucs and I seal the joints with silicon calk, then I hit the bottom and sides with melted beeswax. I won't worry too much about if it's soaked into the wood or not. I just want a barrier that the syrup can't easily go thru and as long as I don't scrape the bottom too hard the wax stays in place. No leaks to speak of since I went to this method. I wouldn't mind figuring out how to put a tray in mine to avoid the issue all together, but don't know if I'm that talented. LOL
i have made a few 5 frame nuc top feeders using the fatbeemans design. they work great but, they dont hold much volume.
ive also thought about using spray in bed liner to seal them up as well. but the chems worry me.
 

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I used paraffin and a 200°F oven to warm the feeders until the chunks of paraffin were melted inside of them. By gently turning and twisting, inside edges were also sealed.

Final touch ups were done with paraffin melted in a rice cooker and a brush.

If you're accident prone or easily distracted I would use a different technique...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I used paraffin and a 200°F oven to warm the feeders until the chunks of paraffin were melted inside of them. By gently turning and twisting, inside edges were also sealed.

Final touch ups were done with paraffin melted in a rice cooker and a brush.

If you're accident prone or easily distracted I would use a different technique...
I had considered using this method. I'm glad that someone else has tried it and reported that works.
 

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I use a polyester resin to totally seal the feeder. Water tanks are made out of polyester resins so it is totally safe for the bees once it has hardened.
It is virtually indestructible under normal conditions and will keep the feeder sealed year after year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I use a polyester resin to totally seal the feeder. Water tanks are made out of polyester resins so it is totally safe for the bees once it has hardened.
It is virtually indestructible under normal conditions and will keep the feeder sealed year after year.
Eric

Where do you get the resin. I have seen some like at a couple bee conventions and I do like them.
 

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The polyester resin will give off strong odors for a very long time. I'm not sure the bees will appreciate the fiberglass smell.

Silicone on all of the joints would be my second choice after paraffin.

The resin can be purchased at Home Depot.
 

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It is sold in auto part stores under the name of "fiberglass resin". I've seen it in WallyMart and Home Despot, too.
I cut fiberglass cloth in 2 inch strips to cover all of the seams on the feeder. I mix a batch big enough to do several feeders. Use a disposable brush to wet the wood with resin, especially at the seams. Then, I put the fiberglass strips over each seam and use the brush to push the strips into the resin. Cover the strips with more resin so they are covered completely. After the resin hardens, I fill the feeder with water and see if I miss any seams. If I find one, I mix another small batch of resin and touch up where the water is leaking from.
Some critical things that are necessary to consider. Temperature should be 65 degrees or warmer. The warmer it is, the faster the resin hardens. Quantities of resin must be measured. Don't eyeball. Use a digital scale and measure quantities exactly.
Also, I always mix a test batch of one ounce to see how much hardener needs to be mixed and how long it takes to harden. Then, I scale up quantities after that is known.
Resins are a breeze to work with once you get the mix right.
 

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The polyester resin will give off strong odors for a very long time. I'm not sure the bees will appreciate the fiberglass smell.

Silicone on all of the joints would be my second choice after paraffin.

The resin can be purchased at Home Depot.
I have not experienced that. If the resin is mixed properly, it will harden completely and have no smell, whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I use silicon caulk on the joints and any knots. I never have any trouble with syrup leaking through the bottom or sides.
Have you noticed any ill effects on the exposed wood by the sugar syrup, like mold, mildew, or rot. I'm not sure how long unprotected wood will last.
 
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