Hive lid jar feeder questions

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by d.magnitude, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I started maintaining 15 or so of the plywood nucs this year, and I hope to triple that number next year. So far, I've fed them with an inverted jar over a sort of "nuc-sized feeding inner cover" I fashioned, surrounded by a nuc super. It's my usual feeding technique for hives, and it works great, but it monopolizes too much equipment.

    I want to feed them w/ an inverted jar via a hole in the lid (as we've seen in other posts), but I have a couple of questions for the crowd that use this method.

    1) Do you make the hole big enough for the jar lid to actually fit down into? Or, is it a smaller hole (say 1.5"), and the jar rests on top?
    2) I've seen some pics where the lid has an additional piece of wood on top that the jar fits into. Is this just extra insurance so it doesn't topple over?
    3) Do you guys have problems w/ rain leaking into the hive through the feeding hole- either with, or without the jar in place? I figure I'd just put a brick over the hole when not in use. Good enough?

    Thanks for any help, I searched the archives but didn't really find these particular answers. Besides, we've got a new crop of members here, and likely some new opinions (though I like the good old ones, too).
    -Dan
     
  2. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    A fellow beek friend of mine had a 2" hole in the cover and used plastic caps to plug the hole. The plastic caps were used to cap the ends of hydrological hoses to protect the threads and keep dirt our. they are cheep and can be bought thru manufacturing supply companies. Used 1" plugs to stop the entrince hole in the nuc boxes for transporting. find a plug and drill the hole to fit the plug. at times you create an robbing situation around the rim of the jar lid from outside bees if the syrup leeks around the lid. That is why i like to have it covered. a plastic pail works fine you just have to weight it down.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I bought a hole drill the size of a lid. I think it is 2 3/4 in., but would have to check to verify. I have to ream it out about an eighth inch half way through the lid. It fits tightly in the lid with no robbing, leaking, or need for further support.

    One hint.... When a jar sits empty, the sugar dries on the threads and the lid is hard to get off. I push it down into the box lid and turn the jar. The knurls in the jar lid hold tight and it comes off easily.

    I use a solid lid without a jar when not feeding.
     
  4. LongWoods

    LongWoods New Member

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    I have used the same system as Iddee. Just be sure you choose a jar and lid system that you can buy replacement lids for and that are easily located for purchase. You'd be amazed how many sizes of lids there are when you start measuring the O.D.

    There are pluses and minuses to both the method your using and to the exposed jar method. Weigh them prior to changing a working system.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    On my nucs I use a 1/2" plywood inner cover with a 2 3/4" hole (and yes you will have to open it up just a smidgen, really needs to be 2 7/8", just wobble your hole saw a bit and it will help.) I always take another empty nuc box and turn it upside down over the jar and then an outer cover to keep the weather off of it. If you are running the D Coates plywood nuc boxes, i just cut several extra tops and have them for feeder tops and them switch back to the solid tops. I use bricks to hold the tops on the nucs and if I am short a solid top a piece of shingle or rubber roofing under the brick to close the hole works wonders.

    When pouring up syrup into quart jars, I always rinse out the lids with hot water and wipe off the threads on the jars with a hot water wash cloth. If you are still having troubles getting the lids off try a thin film of crisco or lard on the threads.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    questions followed > by my comment....
    1) Do you make the hole big enough for the jar lid to actually fit down into? Or, is it a smaller hole (say 1.5"), and the jar rests on top? >you need to first think about what kind of jar you are using and the space between the bottom of the jar and the top bars of the frames. you need bee space here enough to allow access to the holes in the lid.
    2) I've seen some pics where the lid has an additional piece of wood on top that the jar fits into. Is this just extra insurance so it doesn't topple over? > I use both. I have rims built into my migratory lids and this allows me to cut one hole in the top of the box to set the feeder. other tops, which are a bit lower in profile and made from fairly thin ply wood, I have a scrap bit of playwood with a hole cut to the outside dimension of a canning jar ring and another hole cut in the thin plywood the inside dimension of the canning jar ring. the larger jars (quart size and above) can be a bit top heavy and can easily tumble over.
    3) Do you guys have problems w/ rain leaking into the hive through the feeding hole- either with, or without the jar in place? I figure I'd just put a brick over the hole when not in use. Good enough? >I cover the jars with an empty paint can or a gallon plastic planting pot and sometimes add a brick to keep things in place. after a while the girls pretty much propolize up the space/seam up between the wood and the jar lid.
     
  7. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    I use a one inch hole and do not have leakage problems as there is a great overlap between the jar and cover. If I lose the block I cover feeder holes with not much gets in through a one inch hole. I use several sizes of feeders up to 2 gallon l[plastic pails, so a mason size (2 3/4) does not fit my needs. I no longer use migratory covers, and never used telescoping covers though I rarely feed.
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    ditto on iddees post:thumbsup:
     
  9. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I have a 3 inch hole covered with metal mesh (the hardware cloth with the 3/16" mesh size) That way the jar sits on the mesh and lid size does not matter. The mesh needs to be on the top side of the board, because otherwise it sags and there is not enough room between it and the frames. I still use an empty box on top though to keep wasps from nosing around.
     
  10. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. Glad to see there's no "standard" here (as in all things beekeeping).

    My whole goal is to figure out the feeder situation, while using the minimum extra equipment to get the feeding done. Since I'm using the DCoates-style plywood nucs and lids, I think I'll just have the jar rest on top of the cover with a 1"-1.5" hole. I'll follow Tec's advice in post #6 and build a rim to go above the nuc cover to go around the jar lid. I also like G3's tip about putting a piece of rubber roofing under the brick to help seal the hole when not in use.


    -Dan
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I made migratory covers, and initially used a jig saw to cut the holes to fit the jar lids, til I bought a 3 inch hole saw. I use 1/8th inch hardware cloth on the inside of the migratory cover. The shoulders of the jar reduce the stress on the staples and the wire. The hole surrounding the lid anchors the jar. The screening keeps yj's out of my hive, and I can change the jar without lifting a lid or bothering the bees.

    To keep rain out, when our fall rains started to come my neighbor fixed a piece of my scrap pond liner, which is stretchy thick rubber, by cutting a hole ALMOST large enough for the jar lid, and popped over the jar lid, anchored with rocks, it kept the wind from rocking the jars and the rain out of the hives. I will do this again next year, beat all my other feeding systems hands down. I can see who is taking feed, who isn't, feed condition (fungus, etc), everything, easily at one glance. The busy beek's answer to feeding, which in Texas drought has been necessary.

    (For winter I switched to telescoping covers with inner covers, my migratory ones need a paint job anyway. I do not use inner covers in the summer.)

    Gypsi
     
  12. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Dan, I prefer to feed as you describe because there is less robbing stimulus, and in general a more stable situation for the hive.

    Randy Oliver has an article showing more options here.
    One of RO's pictures:
    Randy Oliver's jar.jpg
     
  13. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I like his 1/8 inch tubes but question whether temperature changes would cause leakage, because leakage causes robbing. I like the 3 hole system that can be set on top of a small hole in a lid, but I have tried 3 thumbtack size holes in jars, and wasn't happy with the drip rate. Bees seem to cover the smaller predrilled openings of my more costly ($0.55) lids and if they don't have enough bees they propolize them well. I also like the windproof effect. And I copied my design from Cleo Hogan's, but went to plywood as opposed to his more expensive material. I just need to paint mine more often.