Since the location where my bees will live is not where I live, I want to make sure they have enough food between my visits to check on them. They need sugar water before the nectar flow really kicks in to gear during the early spring time. Normally you would add a top feeder to the bee hive boxes, but this only holds enough sugar water to feed them for a day or two. A solution to this issue is adding auxiliary feeders, big ones in this case made of food safe 5 gallon buckets. I will have a total of three of them so hopefully that is more than enough so I only need to visit my bee site once every week or two.
Links to my previous posts on this project:
The people I bought my bees from (Barnyard Bees) has a video on how they made the same kind of feeders, so I am following their guide to make my own. Using a food safe bucket is important to me, as if the bees are feeding from them I want my honey to be as clean as possible as I plan on consuming it at a later time. Maybe its not really needed, but I want to do all of this to the best of my ability.
What I am going to do is put little holes on the inside of the buckets, where these little partitions exist near the top of the bucket. And what this will allow is for sugar water to drop into these little partitions and the bees can land on the ledge and drink from it.
By drilling the holes pretty far down on the partitions suction will keep all the water from just leaving the flipped over buckets and will only refill as the bees consume it.
Shining a light through the bucket I can see the partitions from inside the bucket, and I mark where I will drill the holes. This makes it easy for me to figure out where exact the holes need to be.
Using my drill I add a small bit and then add some electrical tape to the base. This will act as an index to help me not drill to far through the bucket. As if I penetrate the outside of the partition all the water will eventually drip out.
Carefully I drill each hole and make use of the electrical tape to make sure I do not go too deep. I only need to drill a fraction of an inch so I go slow.
After drilling a few dozen holes I remove the burs and make sure I did not miss any or drill into any spots I should not have.
The lid I used is a screw top, as the snap tops I worry may warp after awhile upside down and not make a seal.
There are two parts to these lids, the ring that goes on the bucket and the screw top part. I did notice you have to screw them on really tight to make a water proof seal. Knowing that I will be aware of the tightness needed when I add sugar water otherwise they will leak, and causing the food for the bees to last nowhere as long as I want.
I do two more of these buckets and since making this video I have set them up at the bee site.
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