Bucket Feeders For Bees
Using a bucket for feeding honey bees has become very popular as it is a way to provide sugar syrup for bees without having to open the hive. Our bucket feeders are available in a round 1 gallon bucket and a square 2 gallon bucket feeder with a pre-drilled hole and tint plugs.
This particular design is extremely useful for feeding bees as the included lids can be pressed onto the bucket and never removed. The 2 inch tint plug is easily removed with its pull tab, and sugar syrup can be poured through the hole. When necessary, the tint plug can be removed, and more syrup can be added. When it is time to clean, the entire lid can be removed for easy cleaning and storage.
These feeders will allow you to put a large amount of sugar syrup on your hive incase you are not able to visit the apiary frequently. These bucket feeders are useful because you can easily monitor how much syrup the bees have eaten and quickly understand which ones you need to fill back up.
The lids for the buckets come pre-drilled with the correct size hole and tint plug. These do not have the metal screen seen in other feeders. The tint plug does not come with the holes pre-drilled into it as many beekeepers will use a different size hole or combination of holes for the type of feeding. We have found beekeepers want to customize the tint plugs to their needs based on how they are feeding their hives. It is necessary to poke or drill 2-6 very small holes in the tint plug. Usually, it is more holes for spring feeding and fewer for fall feeding. You can purchase more tint plugs separately if you want to make multiple sizes available for the buckets.
These pail feeder work by filling the entire bucket up with syrup, then flipping the bucket upside down at the hive and placing the tint plug over the hole in the inner cover. When feeding like this, the pail feeder will need to be surrounded by an empty hive body followed by an outer cover. It is also possible to drill a 2 inch or 50 mm hole in the outer cover of the migratory or telescoping cover, and the bees can feed through that hole.
It is important to understand the buckets do not work by continuing to drip syrup into the hive. These buckets create a vacuum inside the bucket once it is flipped over. Some syrup will drip out of the holes at the beginning until the vacuum pressure is built up. The 1 gallon bucket will drip less than the 2 gallon bucket. Filling the feeder pail up with syrup completely is best before flipping. This will reduce the initial dripping. Before using, it is best to test with water to see how the bucket feeder works.
There are many ways to feed bees, so see our other equipment for feeding bees.