It's time to Feed the Bees
I hope you are having a fantastic summer enjoying these long summer nights and the beautiful weather. Even if you are a busy bee I hope you can take a moment to stop and smell the flowers ... even though that may be hard right now.
As we all know July and August are some of the hottest months of the year which means, little rainfall resulting in nectar dearth for our honeybees. No flowers means no food. As much as we try to plant wildflowers and clovers ... sometime it just isn't enough. We want healthy, strong bees so we feed sugar water in these times.
This week we started our new feeding technique and wanted to share with everyone our success story since it is working out so great for us!
We have a few techniques to feeding, which all work. But we have found that this new DIY gravity feeder is a lot more bee-friendly and results in less drowned bees.
What you'll need:
5 gallon white bucket
Lid with a rubber seal
1/8" drill bit
25 lb sugar
4 gallons of water
Marbles and/or Rocks
Make sure your bucket and lid are completely cleaned out and there is no harmful residue in it.
Start by identifying the outer rim through the inside of the bucket (see photo).Then using the drill and 1/8" bit, begin drilling holes roughly 2.5" down from the lip going from the inside out.
Be careful not to perforate the outer wall, but place holes about every 1".
Clean out plastic shavings and fill the jug half way with warm water and add roughly 25 lbs of sugar. Then we add a few table spoons of the vitamin packed Pro-Health which is available on Mann Lake's website. It works great and gives the girls some much need sustenance.
**You can use marble or even pebbles to keep your girls from drowning.
Securely fasten lid to the bucket and flip it over. We placed ours on another empty 5 gallon bucket to elevate it off the ground. Take marbles/rocks and place in reservoirs to help keep bees from drowning.
PLACEMENT: We have 13 hives within a small area so we put this in a central location within the middle. Everyone is enjoying their dinner together.
**Summertime feeding is typically a 1:1 sugar:water ratio. They use the extra water to cool their hive then the sugar is used for energy. While fall months you want to do a 2:1 sugar:water ratio.
Please comment below or email us if you have any questions about how to make your own 5 gallon bucket feeders. Thank you for reading.