Bucket Syrup Feeders
There are all kinds of ways to feed bees. We
like to use two gallon buckets. It is possible to feed by just
poking a few holes in the lid but I like to be able to see the
feeder hole and know it isn’t plugged up. We use screens
for the bees to suck the syrup out of. I have used aluminum screen
from the hardware store for this but found stainless steel 40
mesh screen to be more satisfactory. We also incorporate a fill
hole that we use a plastic plug in. That way we never have to
take the lids off.
The stainless steel wire is available from TWP
Inc., 2831 Tenth St, Berkeley, Ca. 510-548-4434 Twenty five square
feet cost me about $95 with shipping included. Smaller quantities
are more expensive. We got the plastic fill plugs from Mann Lake.
They cost fourteen cents each. They are also available for less
money from Smithco, 809 Kansas, S. Houston, Tx, 77587. Ph 713-947-8942
Smithco does not take credit cards. You have to send the money.
I have gotten plugs from them in the past. They ship right away.
I got them from Mann Lake this time because I was getting things
from them anyway. It was one less freight bill to pay. The buckets
are expensive if you buy them new. Often you can pick them us
used at bakeries or delis. I do have some of the stainless steel
screen left over if someone wants to try a small quantity.
Submitted by Phil Ebert
How to Make the Bucket
Construction of the bucket syrup feeder is pretty
simple, a couple of holes, some screen, and a plastic stopper
plug are all that is needed to modify the bucket.
The bucket syrup feeder is made by modifying
the lid. This design allows the feeder to be filled without
removing the lid from the bucket.
A hole saw and drill were used to make the two
holes in the lid. Placement of the holes isn’t particularly
important. Many of the buckets had thicker plastic at the centers
of the lid which made it more difficult to cut a hole in the middle.
Offset holes worked just fine.
The fill hole was cut slightly smaller than the
plastic plug for a snug fit. While the plug fits securely, it
is much easier to remove than the bucket lid.
The plastic plug is easily removed from the fill
hole to refill the feeder bucket.
The feeding hole is 2 inches and covered with
the 40 mesh screen. The mesh screen is attached on the inside
surface of the lid. To attach the screen to the lid, a pipe fitting
was heated and pressed against the screen melting the plastic
into the mesh. This method secures the screen to the lid quite
well without the use of adhesives. The pipe fitting did require
a fair amount of heating, but produced good end results.
This type of feeder is placed on top of a hive
that has a small feeder hole in both the lid and the inner cover.
When the feeder is inverted over the feeder hole, the corn syrup
is easily accessible to the bees through the screen. The buckets
typically have about a ½ inch lip on the lid which gives
the bees a nice clearance between the hive lid and the top of
the feeder lid.
Advantages to this method of feeding are the
ability to easily add, remove, or check the feed without opening
up the hive. The ability to refill the feeders through the fill
plug, and it does not require space in the hive body.
The completed bucket syrup feeder.
Overall the modification to the bucket lid is straight forward
and the end product provides a flexible method of providing feed
to colonies as they need it.
Submitted by Alex Ebert