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Author Topic: Plastic Water Bottle Feeder  (Read 1902 times)
BlueBee
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« on: October 20, 2011, 04:02:21 PM »

Did a search on this site and found a few threads of people using pop bottles for feeding syrup to their bees.  However I didn’t learn rather or not any special mods were needed to prevent water/pop bottles from leaking.

So here’s my question:  Can I use a regular old plastic water bottle (or pop bottle) as a syrup feeder without it leaking?

Are there any useful mods to give a plastic bottle better performance / more vacuum?  I’m thinking about o-rings here.  Would they help, or would they be overkill?

Any other advice when trying to use a plastic water/pop bottle?
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 07:30:22 PM »

my only concern would be whether or not they would flex to much with temp change.  would that cause them to leak?  of course, you could have the same issue with glass when the syrup warmed up or chilled.
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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 12:02:04 AM »

Where will the syrup come out of the soda bottle?  The cap would have little room for holes and how would it be ballanced?  If there is a way to make a feeder from a soda bottle, I would be interested....always have lots of them available!

Here is how I use icing tubs with a snap on lid (or 5 pound sour cream tubs or ice cream containers will also work).  The holes let the syrup flow into the lid (around the lip) and the bees line up around it.



Hole in side of lip of the container.

With lid snapped on...hole not visible.






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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 12:08:40 AM »



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
Plastic Jar with hole drilled in threaded area.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Plastic Jar with lid on...hole covered.


Plactic jar feeder in use, bees slurping up the syrup from the lid.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 01:02:47 AM »

Grandpa Jim, the plastic bottle feeder I saw was being used in the fashion of an inverted jar; like a traditional mason jar feeder.  They drilled some small holes in the top of the bottle cap and inverted it to let syrup form a drop below for the bees to suck.

To use the bottle feeder in a hive, they drilled about a 1 3/8” hole in the inner cover and stuck the cap end of the bottle into the hole.  That seemed to be enough to keep it from tipping over.  Never done it myself, so I don’t know how well it really works.

BTW… I like your feeder!
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BlevinsBees
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 02:46:11 AM »

How does the flow into the lid from the hole keep from going over the lid rim and dripping into the hive? Do the bees suck it up faster than it can flow over the lid?
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Jim 134
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 05:24:27 AM »

my only concern would be whether or not they would flex to much with temp change.  would that cause them to leak?  of course, you could have the same issue with glass when the syrup warmed up or chilled.


     I try this using (2 Liter) pop bottles for feeding. Thay leak on bees do to flex in the temp change Just my $0.02


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2011, 06:35:17 AM »

Don't do it, especially since your in a northern climate.   The temperature changes will pump the syrup right out of the bottles and wet the bees.
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bud1
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 10:30:43 AM »

i use gator aid bottles all the time on nukes in the spring, but then i live in the south-- just use a hole saw that cuts a hole the cap will just fit in and it works. i use migratory covers and just saw through the cover. save the plugs and with a little wax use it to plug hole when through feeding
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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 10:42:59 AM »

"How does the flow into the lid from the hole keep from going over the lid rim and dripping into the hive? Do the bees suck it up faster than it can flow over the lid?"

As long as the hole is below the edge of the inverted lip of the lid, there is no problem.  As the bees draw syrup out the it gets low enough to let a bubble into the jar, more syrup goes into the lid.  

I have to agree the the flexability of the soda bottle and the small area for feeder holes,don't make it a very good choice for feeding.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 03:25:57 PM by Grandpa Jim » Logged
Sundog
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2011, 11:57:32 PM »

Hey Jim

I made a couple of feeders per your concept and they work very well, but you knew they would.  I used plastic tubs that once contained grated cheese (Parmesian I think).  No leaks and the bees pounced on them within minutes.  

They access from the inside of my TBH and inside on the top board of my Lang to discourage robbing.
  
I like them much better than the entrance feeder I used to use, much less syrup waste. Thanks for the good suggestion.

Having much fun!

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BlueBee
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2011, 11:52:57 AM »

Sundog, what is the purpose of the plexiglass box over the feeder?
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Sundog
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 04:15:51 PM »

Sundog, what is the purpose of the plexiglass box over the feeder?


Keeps the bees in and the other bugs out.  The bees enter through a couple of holes in the slider.  The partition that the feeder is in is open to the outside world.  This way other bees need to go through the hive to enter the feeder.  When the TBH is full of bars, I will move it to the outside end wall.

Not for everyone, just having fun.
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