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View Full Version : Half barrel open feeder, what the heck was I thinking??



Bens-Bees
Feb 16th 2012, 01:51 AM
Seriously, what the heck was I thinking when I made a half barrel open feeder?? I cut this plastic barrel in half lengthwise and put legs on it, it has a screw in cap on one end of it to allow for easy draining, but as soon as I built it I realized how stupid I was for building it that way... can anybody guess what the issue is that I realized as soon as I built it?

PS - Here's a hint, it has nothing to do with the prior contents or with leaking.

Indiana Dave
Feb 16th 2012, 02:53 AM
I would worry about how I was going to afford keeping it full.
Maybe how you're gonna keep the rain water out, short of building a lean-to over it?

Indiana Dave
Feb 16th 2012, 02:54 AM
Or maybe how you're gonna keep all those bees from drowning?

Bens-Bees
Feb 16th 2012, 04:34 AM
Maybe how you're gonna keep the rain water out, short of building a lean-to over it?

Exactly. Here I was all excited about it and then I realize that I'm going to have to drain it and refil it every time it rains which it does here at least every week if not every other day... I could have just left the barrel in tact and drilled large holes in the sides near the top for the bees to use as entrances. and added some kind of floats for the bees to land on through those holes. It would have been twice as easy to build and wouldn't need to be drained and refilled every time it rained. Plus all that syrup will go to waste each time it rains... how much will that cost?? ugh!!!

Or here's an even better idea, since the barrel used to be sealed when you screwed in the cap I could have drilled tiny holes in the top and then turned it over on top of a little shelf with just enough room for bee space so that it'd act just like a jar feeder... how simple would that have been?? Again, ugh.


Or maybe how you're gonna keep all those bees from drowning?

There are several solutions for that, some more expensive than others... I'm going to just use straw for now since I'm going to have to drain and refil it every few days anyway... ugh... but straw is cheap and will float on top nicely for a few days before getting water logged, and I can just replace it every time I drain and refill the feeder... Maybe if I can ever figure out a way to cover it from the rain I might put in wood landing boards for the bees to use... but right now that'd just be more expensive than this feeder is worth.

This whole shooting first and aiming later thing just isn't working out as well as I had hoped, lol.

PerryBee
Feb 16th 2012, 07:32 AM
This is how many of us avoid making mistakes, reading about someone else beating us to it! ;)

Indiana Dave
Feb 16th 2012, 08:25 AM
:rolling: Perry, I'm not gonna touch that one.......

Man, its gonna cost a small fortune and half of your retirement filling and draining that dang thing everytime it rains. You seriously might end up money ahead if you build some sort of lean-to or structure overhead to prevent having to drain it. Plus it would help in keeping direct sunlight off of it and other objects from falling/blowing into the syrup when you're feeding.

Iddee
Feb 16th 2012, 08:29 AM
One piece of tin bent at a 45 and laid on top would give them both ends to enter and shed rain and debris.

Bens-Bees
Feb 16th 2012, 03:48 PM
Man, its gonna cost a small fortune and half of your retirement filling and draining that dang thing everytime it rains. You seriously might end up money ahead if you build some sort of lean-to or structure overhead to prevent having to drain it. Plus it would help in keeping direct sunlight off of it and other objects from falling/blowing into the syrup when you're feeding.

Well I definately won't be filling it up... I set it out today and put 10 lbs. of sugar with about 2 and a half gallons of water to make light syrup with and they've got three days 'til the next rain to drink it up... that shouldn't be too bad.

efmesch
Feb 16th 2012, 04:00 PM
Feeding hives individually is probably more of an effort than a "mass feeder" (of any sort). But there is an
advantage in knowing how much each hive is taking when fed by individual feeders. It tells you about the size of the family and its' needs and at the same time makes sure that the food is going where you want it to go (and not to any nearby hives you're not interested in supporting.

Robo
Feb 16th 2012, 05:39 PM
Just put a piece of corrugated metal roofing over it. That is what I use for my barrel top bar hive (http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/barrel-top-bar-hive/).
http://photos.beevac.com/albums/userpics/10001/Picture_006.jpg

Bens-Bees
Feb 16th 2012, 07:49 PM
I have Miller hive top feeders on each hive to feed them that way too, but I want the bees bringing in light syrup from outside the hive.

I also got an idea of cutting it a bit lower, then putting the other half over it with a few inches of space around the sides to allow the bees to come and go.

Here's a pic of the feeder as it is now... I decided to throw pieces of leftover wood from building frame parts in it.

Bens-Bees
Feb 16th 2012, 07:49 PM
Well that didn't come out right... just turn your heads to the left... lol

efmesch
Feb 17th 2012, 12:26 AM
Anyone used to using a cell phone tucked between the neck and left shoulder did that automatiically :roll:

Indiana Dave
Feb 17th 2012, 06:38 AM
OUCH...my neck! lol

Intheswamp
Feb 17th 2012, 08:35 AM
Ok, Bens-Bees, I really suffered arguing with myself over...."this left"..."no, stupid, the *other* left"...it musta went on for 3 or 4 minutes!!! But, alas!...I'm the only one that understands me (nobody else can understand what I'm saying anyhow!). :lol:

As for keeping out the rain... Simply build a small shed to cover the feeder. To build it correctly it needs a good support. The logical thing is to build a suitably large structure to one side of it (a cement foundation would be nice here). Build the structure with four walls so that it can be anchored to the cement pad and extend some overhang over the shed. The four walls are for keeping the overhang from "tipping over". Since you have these walls built you might as well put a roof over it to keep the cement dry. Hey, look!!!...it'd be a handy place to store some things...unused supers, extractor, bee equipment, etc.,.. Might as well put some windows and doors up, too, in case you want to extract honey in there...they'll keep the bees from drowning in the honey as you extract it. So, be sure to build the overhang long enough and you won't have to worry about rain getting in your feeder. Simple, multi-use cover for your feeder...

Glad I could help. :mrgreen:
Ed

PS... Robo, neat top bar hive!!! I like the barrel structure...

Indiana Dave
Feb 17th 2012, 11:26 AM
Might as well put in an over head door with a remote while you're at it. And a bench under the overhanging porch to monitor the effectiveness of the feeder.

tefer2
Feb 17th 2012, 11:27 AM
I use cut in half plastic barrels to open feed. I place a book of straw on top and push down once into the syrup. It floats back to the top for bees to crawl through. I only fill about 10-15 gallons at a time. It never lasts more than a day or two. I cut mine in half standing up and can just cover with a piece of metal roofing like robo. They find a way in.

efmesch
Feb 18th 2012, 12:15 PM
Hi Tefer, :hi:
To finish 10-15 gallons in a day or two, it sounds like you have a large apiary or a lot of "neighbors" who are benefitting from your largesse.
I wish I had such a generous neighbor as you. :)

tefer2
Feb 19th 2012, 10:26 AM
Got 20 behind the barn, more scattered about the county.

Slowmodem
Feb 19th 2012, 10:42 AM
Anyone used to using a cell phone tucked between the neck and left shoulder did that automatiically :roll:

ROFL I never thought about it, but you're absolutely right! (I never have been able to do that).

tmrschessie
Jul 2nd 2013, 07:10 AM
Again, when working with a commercial bee keeper when we were stopping for a few days coming up from southern Texas in Nebraska, we would put two 55 gallon metal drums out for the bees. We filled them about 2/3 full of heavy sugar syrup. Then put in big limbs, smaller sticks, and corn cobs.. We had to feed them every three days until we were ready to move them again. Then we would load them in evening and start the drive. Tom

dr.buzz
Jul 2nd 2013, 05:36 PM
Plenty of ways to cover the feeder to keep out rain and add floaty stuff to cut down on drowning......I stopped open feeding when I got tired of feeding every other insect for miles around......as well as finding out that a few neighbors within a couple miles also kept bees (that I didn't know about previously) and didn't pull their honey as early as I did, and probably didn't need my syrup plugging their supers. Something to think about maybe........

srvfantexasflood
Jul 8th 2013, 02:03 AM
Here's a pic of the feeder as it is now... I decided to throw pieces of leftover wood from building frame parts in it.

Just curious, is that treated wood you have in there for floats?