Pail Feeders

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Scotty Bee, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Scotty Bee

    Scotty Bee New Member

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    After mixed concerns about top feeders, I am trying some 5 qt pail feeders with 1/16 holes drilled in the lid. I placed them on top of the hole of the inner cover, then a deep box around them with telescoping cover on top. I don't seem to have any ants in the brood box but there are always a lot of them around the pail. Is this something to be concerned about? Wiil the bees take care of the ants if they try to enter the brood area?
     
  2. LtlWilli

    LtlWilli New Member

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    A strong hive will do well against most ants, but fireants are a different ballgame. I kill the mounds with Amdro delivered at night to keep the bees off of it. Wood ants are getting pretty strong around here, but the bees run them too much to feed much.
    LtlWilli
     

  3. Scotty Bee

    Scotty Bee New Member

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    Yeah, we are familiar with fire ants around here too. I keep a couple pounds of Amdro on hand all the time. I believe these are some type of wood ants, kind of medium sized and black.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Pail feeders are great, I have used them before with good success. One thing you want to watch for is if there are significant temperature swings from day to night. I have found on those occasions that the hot rise in temp will cause the air inside the pail feeders to expand and actually push the syrup out. Not often, but it can happen.
     
  5. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    Would that happen with glass jars?
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I think (dangerous thing for me :confused: ) that glass would be ok.
    I used to use those huge old pickel jars (or pickeled egg jars) the kind that held a gallon and never had an issue.
    But at one point I bought some of those 1 1/2 gallon plastic pails with the screen centers melted in to the lids.
    I remember going to one of my yards after a cool night and a hot day and I saw clusters of bees on the outside all around the bottom of the box surrounding the pails. When I went over to examine what was going on what I found surprised me. There was syrup all over the inner cover (held in by the 3/8" lip) and was oozing out between the inner cover and the box on top (surrounding the feeder) hence all the bees there. There was also some syrup trickeling out the front entrance. :eek:
    Now I might have written this off as me incorrectly sealing the lid on the pail but the thing was that it happened to more than 1 hive.
    There is nothing wrong with pail feeders, I just found out the hard way that temp swings should be watched when using them.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    It can happen with plastic or glass. When the water and air in the jar heats, it expands. It has to go somewhere. When it cools at night, it draws in air and does the same thing the next hot day.
     
  8. Scotty Bee

    Scotty Bee New Member

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    Right now we are consistently low 80's at night and 100+ degrees during the day. I would suspect that being in the enclosure of a deep box and the thermal mass of the liquid would buffer that swing even further. However there are times of the year, mostly in the winter here, where we can have 40 - 50 degrees swings. I can see where that may be a problem.
     
  9. rail

    rail New Member

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    I use two half-pint mason glass jars with ounce graduations. Installed on top of the inner cover with the Kelly hive top feeder.

    I like the ounce graduations, I monitor the bees daily consumption. They are consuming about 1 oz. or less a day.

    I applied lemongrass oil from a Q-tip around the edges of the inner cover and the outer edges of the feeder base to deter ants.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I suspect one thing that might help is to leave as little air at the top of the container when you fill it would somewhat reduce the problem. I use a lot of feeding devices but my favorite is a standard mason jar that fits into a migratory type lid. They are very easy to change out but you do need to cover them from the sun which will evacuate the contents very quickly.

    ps... one of our club members was mucking about with plastic pales inserted over the top of the cluster and seem to suggest to me (at our last meeting) that the size and number of holes were quite important. I should be talking to him today or tomorrow and will inquire as to what he knows.